Android didn't support touchscreen until the iPhone came out

It’s virtually impossible to imagine now, but back when the iPhone was launched in 2007, Google wasn’t planning to make Android for touchscreen devices. Revealed in court documents that form part of the current Apple-Samsung legal argument, a Google report explains that Android “was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the product’s architecture that prevents the support of touchscreen in the future.”

One of the more interesting documents that came to light during the Apple-Samsung document last week was an early internal Google document on what Android looked like as of 2006 — before Apple had unveiled the iPhone. The “Android Project Software Functional Requirements” document was what Google was showing — confidentially, at the time — to potential hardware makers about where its phone operating system was headed. Android, at that point, was based on Linux 2.6, and didn’t actually have support for touchscreens. “Touchscreens will not be supported,” Google said in a 2006 specification for Android devices. “The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the products architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future.”

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