Andy Rubin Offered Android to Samsung First; And They Laughed Just Two Weeks Before Google Snapped Android Up

| February 17, 2014 | 8 Replies


Here’s an interesting tidbit:  Samsung could have been the owner of Android, and the mobile infrastructure as we know it today may not have existed.  Rewind back to 2005.  The ‘smartphones’ of the time wasn’t even comparable to what we view as a smartphone today. Carriers had a large amount of control over their phones software, and almost every phone was running on some different kind of operating system with very little correlation between them.  Anyone who wanted to write an app for a phone would have to do so for every different phone, which would typically cause them to write it in over one hundred different variations.

This is where Andy Rubin comes in. He is an engineer who was working on a new software structure for digital camera, but then adapted it to phones. Back in 2003, he started the Android project, which was a starting idea that was not backed by any sort of major company.  He and his small team soon realized that they needed money to keep this idea afloat.  What they did was go to a major company, but it wasn’t Google.  In case you did not guess it by reading the article title and the first sentence, it was Samsung who they went to first.  Rubin recounted his first meeting with Samsung’s executives by saying “You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us.”  Considering that there were actually eight people on the team for Android, it shows that they really did not care for the company at all.

Back to 2005.  Google CEO Larry Page agrees to meet with Rubin and loves the idea.  Google had been looking for an innovation to bring to the mobile industry, and they were afraid that another company, such as Microsoft with their massive resources, would beat them to it.  Page offered to purchase Android for $50 million and some various perks, and the whole original Android team was absorbed into Mountain View at Google HQ, and thus beganthe story of Android, and how it was not taken by Samsung but rather the innovative Google.  How do you think things would be different if Samsung had bought the OS?  Let us know that and any other thoughts you may have in the comments!

Category: Android News

About Patrick Northcraft ()

I am a student at the University of Toledo studying Information Systems, Electronic Commerce, and Instrumental Music with a trumpet specialization. I am fascinated with all aspects of mobile technology, especially the vast possibilities offered via Android. I am currently sporting a Nexus 5 (which is a VAST upgrade from my old Samsung Epic 4G Touch), a Galaxy Note 10.1 2012 Edition, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.
  • CGS

    This makes Samsung’s attempts to make Tizen happen a bit more understandable. Thank god things happened the way they did though I think it definitely helps matters.

  • Keviи 忍

    LOL Samsung… If only they have vision.. Even if Android was acquired by Samsung, i bet it won’t be as currently Android is.

  • Eduardo Cano

    Should they had acquired Android, they’d have mimicked into Samsung ecosystem… do you remember Bada? Samsung’s own Operating System?
    I guess they wouldn’t have opened the OS, it would have been a proprietary system and the current mobile ecosystem would be, likely, different… or maybe not. Or maybe Google would have done something different but with the same philosophy to what Android is now and Samsung would likely have had to stick to that open source Mobile Operating System to take the market by storm as they did with Android (even if, for me, Samsung doesn’t make the best Android experience)
    But anyway, I guess that if Samsung had bought Android, Google wouldn’t have been able to be in the market with a mobile OS in 2008 and that would have given Apple an even more and better market position more difficult to topple

  • Ric

    Samsung probably would have shelved the project and forget about Android.

  • Guesttseug123321

    So is the same Samsung CEO still around? :P

  • Bunny Chum

    samsung could have ruined the Android what it is today… The whole idea of you’re getting android on most of the phones would be vanished and Android would have become more of a Samsung’s OS…

  • shm224

    nah, would have never worked out.

  • Deepak Samuel Rajan

    Now Samsung is living because of Android can’t imagine it if google wouldn’t have maintained it …Thanks Google for making Android one of the best Mobile OS