It is hard to imagine the smartphone space without Android right now, but as per Android Inc. co-founder Andy Rubin, the operating system was originally built for cameras.
While speaking at Japan New Economic Summit in Tokyo, Rubin said "The exact same platform, the exact same operating system we built for cameras, that became Android for cellphones." According to PC World, Rubin even disclosed slides that he had used to pitch to investors way back in April 2004, when the now widely popular mobile OS was under development.
However, he states that the plan was dropped because they felt that there was not enough potential in the digital camera market. "We decided digital cameras wasn't actually a big enough market. I was worried about Microsoft and I was worried about Symbian, I wasn't worried about iPhone yet."
Furthermore, Rubin also explained their thinking behind keeping the operating system free of cost. He says, "We wanted as many cellphones to use Android as possible. So instead of charging $99, or $59, or $69, to Android, we gave it away for free, because we knew the industry was price sensitive."
Android was acquired by Google in 2005. It is now the world's leading mobile phone OS, with more than 750 million mobile devices featuring Android in use across the world. According to Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, in the coming six to nine months there will be more than a billion smartphones using Android operating system.
Just last month, Andy Rubin stepped down as the executive in charge of Google's Android operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, after being associated with the company for seven years. He has been replaced by Sundar Pichai, who is also in charge of the Google's Chrome Web browser and operating system for lightweight laptop computers.
Currently, Samsung and Nikon are offering smart cameras running on Android operating system in the form of Samsung Galaxy Camera and Nikon Coolpix S800C.