The ‘true’ face of Android wears a Verizon ball cap

Over time, a lot of phrases have been written about how Samsung is the true face of Android — I’ve completed it myself. Nowadays, nonetheless, I am not so certain Android really has something like a face. If it does, although, it is carrying a Verizon hat.

Sure, that is one other U.S.-centric article and has little to do with Europe, or Asia, or wherever else, besides it really does. We’ll discuss why and the way corporations like Samsung have been capable of flip a buck by making Android telephones.

This is a quick however candy Android historical past lesson for many who would possibly want it. The HTC T-Cell G1, the primary commercially availably Android telephone, launched within the U.S. in October 2008. Different fashions quickly adopted, just like the Dash HTC Hero, the Samsung Momentum, and the Verizon Droid Eris. However no one may have predicted what would occur after Verizon and Motorola launched the Moto Droid. 

Truly, it was fairly straightforward to foretell.

T-Mobile G1

(Picture credit score: Jerry Hildenbrand)

The fast historical past lesson is not full with out speaking in regards to the iPhone. Particularly, that Verizon could not have it. The iPhone was not the primary smartphone, nevertheless it was the primary smartphone that amassed a following. Folks needed an iPhone as a result of it was cool, in order that they went to the AT&T retailer and overpaid for one. 

Verizon was jealous of all these {dollars} and needed a cool smartphone of its personal and Google was blissful to oblige. The relaxation, as they are saying, is historical past.

It’s as a result of of this historical past that telephone producers can fulfill our smartphone needs and wishes — not simply Samsung, and never solely within the U.S., however all smartphone makers in all places.

Cash is the ‘root’ of all issues

Samsung logo

(Picture credit score: Android Central)

The Moto Droid and its droooooooooooooid noises offered in numbers. Massive numbers. It was very worthwhile for Verizon and Motorola. Was an unique telephone locked to a single service that managed each aspect of the expertise good for the Android ecosystem? Within the quick time period, it was. 

That is what makes Android completely different when in comparison with one thing like iOS or Home windows. Google provides it away and lets any particular person or any firm do something to it. It is extra of a recipe, consisting of thousands and thousands of strains of code that needs to be constructed by the particular person or firm that desires to make use of it than it’s a product.

Telephone makers and carriers can do virtually something to Android. They usually have. And it was worthwhile.

There are guidelines about what a firm can do if it needs to incorporate all of Google’s providers, and that is the place Google makes again the cash it spends to take care of all that Android supply code. Sure, Android 13 solely exists as a result of Google can use it to make cash utilizing your knowledge by its providers. The identical can be true of Android 14 and even Android 20 if we get that far.

This leaves room for corporations like Motorola and Verizon to make cash from extra than simply {hardware} gross sales and repair plans. Simply a few years again, should you purchased a carrier-locked gadget, you’ll see tons of bullshit apps and providers that the service used to make cash. Cash is the foundation of all the things.

Samsung is run by some very savvy businesspersons. It knew it needed to pull an excellent higher rabbit than Verizon’s Moto Droid out of its hat, and that’s what birthed the unique Samsung Galaxy S. There have been completely different fashions made for a lot of completely different markets, and carriers cherished them as a result of Samsung allowed precise rubbish software program from these carriers, just like the AT&T Yellow Pages app or the Dash Nascar service that no one used. And the remainder is historical past. Once more.

This was an eye-opener for corporations that would leverage relationships with element makers to construct good merchandise, promote them a lot cheaper than anticipated, and nonetheless have sufficient revenue margins. Oppo involves thoughts right here. Oppo has been a shopper electronics producer for a very long time, and it knew precisely learn how to min-max all the things wanted to construct thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of Android telephones cheaply. And it is not the one firm that would do it, which is why Asia will get all these nice cool telephones which are so cheap.

Corporations like Oppo most likely would have began making Android telephones anyway, however seeing the runaway success of the Verizon Moto Droid confirmed how a lot customers needed to get a nice smartphone of their arms. It acted as a kick within the pants to get these producers shifting.

Would we see greater than 3 billion Android units world wide if the Verizon Moto Droid hadn’t been so profitable? Possibly, however we do not have to guess as a result of it was a actual factor that occurred. That ugly telephone with its foolish, horizontal, slide-out keyboard made cash for each firm that touched it and began a smartphone gold rush.

The relaxation is historical past. For actual this time.