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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Actually, one of reasons many long-time PDA phone users like me weren't interested in the iPhone when it first came out was that it wasn't anything like a PDA phone. It lacked things like Exchange support, a proper Agenda view, and productivity apps, all of which were central to PDA phones as they then were. People with iPhones were gently ribbed: Why on earth would anyone want a phone whose key selling feature was that you could simulate ants falling off the screen when you shook it (this was one of the more popular programs via the original Why would anyone with sense prefer that over a phone where you could actually do important stuff?

One of the reasons WinMo, Palm, Blackberry and others were as complacent as they were after the iPhone came out was that they thought folks like us in the C-suite were the natural market for smartphones, and that such phones should therefore be designed around our needs. The iPhone wasn't, so it wasn't a real threat. Phones like the TyTN 2, with its tilting screen-and-keyboard, were where the action was. The rest of the world didn't really need anything more sophisticated than S60, surely. What would they do with it?

In hindsight, it's easy to see that all this was horribly wrong. Apple's genius lay in seeing that the bigger market wasn't us folks, but our spouses, kids, and anyone with a decent-paying job. There was a huge market for smartphones out there, which nobody was targeting (occasional stuff like Sidekick apart), because most companies were focused on a very narrow market - and that a phone targeted at the needs of this narrow market would not appeal to the broader market. Google's genius lay in seeing that Apple had figured out the right way of targeting this market. The failure of others lay in not figuring this out straight away - which is why their OSes faded into irrelevance.

So no, I'd argue that not only was the iPhone not a PDA phone, but its success was due to the precise fact that it broke away from that model.

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