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Andy Rubin reveals that Android was originally intended for cameras

Here’s an interesting tidbit for you to chew on this afternoon: Android was never originally intended for smartphones and tablets, but instead for cameras. Andy Rubin, co-founder of Danger and Android, revealed the tidbit during a recent economic summit in Tokyo. The original intention was to create a smart OS for cameras that would automatically pair with PCs, but the focus was quickly shifted to smartphones once the market began to take off.

Those Android cameras would have been connected to local networks either wired or wirelessly, linked to an “Android datacenter” that would presumably have allowed for the transfer and upload of photos. The digital camera market began to drop off, however, forcing Rubin and the developers to pivot Android to an “open source handset solution” just five months later.

Rubin went on to say that Apple wasn’t the driving force behind the move, with the company instead setting its sights on the likes of Symbian and Windows Mobile. The phone market at the time presented a much bigger opportunity than the digital camera industry, and there was huge room for growth too. Rather than charging manufacturers to license the OS, Rubin instead saw the opportunity to sell other services on the back of Android.

The rest, as they say, is history. The use of Android on smartphones has exploded in a few short years, and adoption of the mobile OS doesn’t seem to be slowing quite yet. And in the end, Android did make its way to a dedicated digital camera: Samsung famously released the Galaxy Camera late last year, showcasing functionality not unlike what Android was originally destined for.

[spotted at Gizmodo UK]


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