According to your linked articles I'm seeing this timeline:
Apple did a lot of work in 2003-2004 to develop touchscreen technology
In February 2005 Steve had a secret meeting with Cingular... and Project Purple 2 was greenlit... Apple decides to build a phone
By September 2005 there are 200 engineers and other Apple employees involved
In November 2005 Apple hires wireless specialists since Apple doesn't have wireless expertise
And at the end of 2005 the iPhone project is at full speed
Meanwhile in Mountain View... Google purchases Android in July 2005... and they begin their journey.
You're right... Apple had a 4 or 5 month head start... especially in hardware. By the time the ink dried on Google's acquisition of the Android software... Apple already had a ton of engineers developing their own hardware and software.
Then in 2006... both companies were making prototypes. Apple worked throughout 2006, from prototype to final design, to develop what would become the multi-touch iPhone we all saw at MacWorld in January 2007.
Google's prototypes in 2006 looked like a Blackberry... and Google expected Android to be certified by carriers between June 1st and August 31st of 2007, at which point it'd be released to manufacturers.
But that didn't happen.
Clearly there was some kind of "oh shit" moment when we hear "We're going to have to start over" from members of the Android team immediately after the iPhone announcement.
Maybe it didn't happen exactly like that... but something pushed back Google's launch of their phone by another YEAR.
Apple and Google may have started their smartphone projects within a few months of each other... but it sounds like Google had a "do-over" in the process.
I don't know that it was so much a do-over on the software side as it was about what hardware it would be put on. The iPhone absolutely was a game-changer, no doubt about that at all. Google recognized it and better yet reacted faster than Microsoft, Motorola, Blackberry, Nokia and most anyone else already in the space.
What Google had envisioned for it's first Android entry just wasn't going to cut it so it was a quick pivot to "Dream", forget "Sooner". Considering it's Google and their fun naming conventions I'm surprised they didn't call Dream "Later" instead.
That was pretty much what was said in my first post in this thread:
Had Google made the unwise choice of building the phones themselves they might still be trying to get their first one to market. Instead they were pragmatic about what they could do (they have some of the best engineers on the planet) and what would be best left to those with hardware experience. So separate development paths for Google and Apple paralleling each other to the same market.
Edited by Gatorguy - 12/22/13 at 10:03am