The 'Sooner' - Google’s first phone killed off by the iPhone

The ‘Sooner’ – Google’s first phone killed off by the iPhone

On the 29th June, 2007 Apple released their very first iPhone and with it killed off the never released ‘Google Sooner’.

The Sooner was the very first mobile phone to be worked on by Google and this Blackberry-esque device is what they believed the market wanted. In addition to the full qwerty keyboard the device also had a touchscreen interface. The phone utilised a bespoke operating system, at the point this project commenced Google had not yet purchased Android.

The Sooner (otherwise known as the HTC EXCA 300) ‘boasted’ (ahem) the following:

  • OMAP850 chipset
  • 64MB RAM
  • Available in both black and white
  • Camera (no firm specs but we can assume it would be pretty basic by today’s standards)
  • Edge

It is said that the phone did NOT have either 3G or WiFi so it looked like it was going to rely on the Edge network for data. The homescreen simply presented you with a Clock and a Google Search field. Included on the device was the as to be expected Gmail and Google calendar, beyond that there isn’t really that much information available as to its other functionalities and how what we know today as ‘Apps’ would work.

The interesting aspect behind all of this is how by NOT launching the Sooner it allowed Google to quickly assess the market place and see what sort of impact the iPhone had. Fortunately work had already begun on the Google Android G1 (also known as ‘The Dream’) so all resources were then pushed onto this project. If the Sooner had of been released the Android we know of today could be very, very different.

To read more about this please click here to go to the blog of Steve Troughton-Smith who was lucky enough to get a hands on experience.

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