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How Samsung missed out on buying Android

Published Feb 17th, 2014 9:37AM EST
Samsung Android Purchase

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Before being acquired by Google, Andy Rubin’s Android team pitched to Samsung at some point in late 2004, looking for further funding. However, Samsung did not see the potential in Android at the time, preferring to pass on the opportunity to invest in the startup. When the eight people Android team flew to Samsung’s headquarters in South Korea, “instead of enthusiasm and questions, the only response [Rubin got was] dead silence,” from the 20 Samsung executives that attended the meeting, Phone Arena writes, citing as reference the “Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolutionbook by Fred Vogelstein.

“’You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom,” Rubin later said. “This happened two weeks before Google acquired us.”

In early 2005, Google purchased Android for $50 million, in what was to become one of the most important purchases the Search giant made. Rubin and his team further developed Android in the years that followed the Google acquisition, even though that meant redesigning the OS for touchscreen devices to better take on the newly launched iPhone.

Now, Rubin is heading Google’s robotics division, while Android is the dominant smartphone operating system, with Samsung being the top Android device maker. Google and Samsung have recently inked a partnership that will see the two company working together in following years, putting an end to speculation that Samsung may be more interested in developing its own Tizen OS than working with Android.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.


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