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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Yeah, you can "hack out" something in a day or two. But so often, the devil is in the details.

Believe it or not, I'm completely with you on that point.
Apple would have spent months fine-tuning interaction speeds, thresholds, algorithms for handling the multi-touch inputs. All of this stuff seems invisible once the product is launched to anyone who wasn't involved - "just works" is damn hard, and too often people that don't understand the work involved in perfecting these interfaces and their interactions massively underestimate just how difficult and time-consuming this part is.

I don't disagree with any of this. However, as another poster who disputed my claims has admitted, it took Samsung years to perfect their own implementation of pinch-zoom and bounce scrollback. If Samsung had simply aped Apple's designs, it would not have taken them years. You are absolutely right that the devil is in the details - and the details were missing from the patent. Otherwise, Samsung would have been able to get a comparable implementation out much sooner than it took them. I might agree that these features are patent-worthy if the patents actually contained the details that made it work so well.

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