Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2014 16:40 UTC

From a 2006 (pre-iPhone) Android specification document:

Touchscreens will not be supported: the Product 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 touchscreens in the future.

The same document, but a few versions later, from 2007 (post-iPhone):

A touchscreen for finger-based navigation - including multi-touch capabilites - is required.

The impact of the iPhone on Android in two documents. Google knew the iPhone would change the market, while Microsoft, Nokia, and BlackBerry did not. That's why Android is now the most popular smartphone platform, while the mentioned three are essentially irrelevant.

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Android didn't consider touch-only input because at the time of development, capacitive touchscreens weren't out yet. At that time, only resistive touchscreens were out and they were horribly inaccurate and required violently stabbing at the screen with your finger or a stylus. If Google is guilty of anything, it is not being ready for the mass production of capacitive touchscreens. It was known years before the iPhone that capacitive technology would allow more fluid input and would finally make multitouch a possibility. LG, then Apple, realized the benefit of this technology and were ready to hit the ground running. Obviously Apple's implementation was better than LG's. However, just doing something better doesn't make it patentable. The fact is, Apple patented using capacitive touchscreens for multitouch which was an obvious use of capacitive screens long before the iPhone (I remember the hype about capacitive years before the iPhone came out).

So Apple is claiming that Google changed the course of Android to bite off of their market when the simple answer is that anyone with half a brain knew that capacitive plus multitouch was the way to move forward. The fact that Apple recognized that before Google was obviously the primary contributor to Apple's initial success, but it does nothing to prove that their patents weren't obvious to anyone who knew multitouch at the time and should have never been granted. Of course, the current judicial system in the U.S. continues to uphold entirely bogus software patents, so I fully expect the same outcome for this trial as its predecessor.

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