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The most important Android phone

The most important Android phone


– We are 10 years into the Android era and I’ve been talking a lot
about how it’s dominant now. There’s over two billion users and it has over 80%
worldwide market share. Now, in a previous video, we looked at why Android got started, but this week, I have
a different question. How did Android get so big? If you take yourself all
the way back to 2009, it was very much not a sure thing that Android would become
the king of mobile. In fact, what you were
looking at back then was like a six or seven-horse race. Far out in the lead was Symbian, which was dominant in Europe but almost nothing here in the US. The iPhone was getting a
little bit of traction, BlackBerry was doing okay, and Android was like a
blip, like, a 4% blip. Now, in hindsight, it’s really easy to say why Symbian and Windows
Mobile and BlackBerry and Linux and, yes, Linux phone existed, and webOS, why they
all crashed and burned. They all happened for
kind of different reasons but today, I wanna focus on
one of the biggest reasons they all went down in flames
instead of staying competitive and that reason is. – [Robotic Voice] Droid. – More so than the G1, this right here is the real Android OG and there’s a lot of really notable things to talk about with this device. First off, it was a big deal for Motorola, which hadn’t had a hit
since the Razr flip phone, and it was before the
company fell on hard times and then got bought by Google,
and then got sold by Google, and now, just kind of makes
bog standard Android phones now that it’s owned by Lenovo. No, this phone right here with its little flip out thing here, this was the big comeback, and
oh my gosh, what a comeback. It’s hard to remember now but this thing was the pinnacle of tech. I mean, just look at the
crazy angles on these things and it had turn-by-turn
directions in Google Maps, which was very rare back then and it launched with Android 2.0. It had a very big screen,
it had multiple buttons, little five-way, removable
battery, a whole bunch of stuff. And if you didn’t know, Google had a hand in
developing this phone. I’ve even heard some Googlers
referred to the Droid as the unofficial first Nexus device, even before the Nexus One in 2010. This phone was metal. It was metal as hell. And that brings me to the
real reason that the Droid was the moment when
Android started to get big, and that’s because of Verizon. (suspenseful music)
(robotic noise) – What in the world is that? (intense tune) – You see, back in 2009,
carriers had a lot more control over what phones got on their networks and they still did most of
the marketing work on them. And to be clear, I’m mostly
talking about the US right now. But the US was also kind of ground zero for the smartphone wars. Sure, the iPhone was getting big but it was exclusive just to AT&T after Verizon had turned it down. So, Verizon was desperately looking for something to compete with the iPhone. Now, Verizon started this thing
called the BlackBerry Storm, which was a absolute
dumpster fire of a device with a big screen that you’re supposed to
click down on to type. It was really bad. So, Verizon was looking
around for the next big thing and you know what? I know a lot of you have
been waiting for this because the company that
Verizon took a look at next, Palm. Verizon had rejected the first Palm Pre and that went to Sprint, which, you know, anytime a
phone was exclusive to Sprint, you know it’s gonna bomb. Just (chuckles) ask Essential. But by 2009, Palm had made
this, the Palm Pre Plus, and it was looking to launch it on Verizon and Verizon was actually game. The Palm Pre Plus was maybe going to be Verizon’s iPhone killer. We reported that Verizon
had placed an order for a, quote, extraordinary
number of Palm smartphones, but somewhere in there,
Verizon changed its mind. It might have just been
playing Palm all along. Instead, it launched the Droid in October 2009 as its flagship, and it did so with a
huge marketing campaign. I mean, massive. The campaign was called Droid Does and it took direct aim at the iPhone. It said that it could
do all sorts of things that the iPhone can’t, like
multitasking and navigation and taking five-megapixel photos
and just on and on and on. It was a spec war, basically. Ad Age reported that
Verizon pumped $100 million into its marketing campaign,
which is a lot of money now and it was a huge amount
of money back then. Verizon also licensed the word Droid from George Lucas, who
had the trademark on it thanks to, you know, Star Wars. (droid chattering) I have to point out that these ads, they were awful and really misogynistic. They painted the iPhone as girly and the Droid is a manly
stealth-bomber-looking thing. I mean, just look at
some of these imagery, it’s kind of flat out offensive. – [Announcer] Is it a precious porcelain figurine of a phone? In truth? No. It’s not a princess. It’s a robot. A phone that trades hair-do for can-do. – Verizon, what were you doing? A lot of people bought into
your manly Droid ad claptrap and it kind of hurt the
Android community for a while. Thankfully, those days
are mostly behind us but the Droid was good
enough to serve as the thing that people could get on Verizon since they couldn’t get an iPhone. And that ad campaign made Android the de facto other
smartphone to the iPhone. Now, it does not help that everybody else was tripping over their own shoelaces trying to make a phone to
compete with the iPhone. BlackBerry was antiquated,
Symbian was on the downslope, and Microsoft was so years away from really knowing what the
hell it was doing with phones. They all shot themselves in their own feet over and over and over again. And Palm, it wasn’t much better,
but it was a little better. Now, Verizon did eventually
launch the Palm Pre Plus but they made some pretty
terrible commercials for it, which were also a little bit sexist. But that whole Verizon thing,
it kneecapped the company. And in the face of that huge,
massive marketing blitz, there wasn’t any oxygen for
anything other than Droid. The rest was history. Within six months of launching the Droid, Android passed iOS as
the most used smartphone and it never looked back on its path taking over most of the world. So, I’m not saying Verizon single-handedly made Android happen, but without that ad campaign
and this phone right here, who knows? Who knows what might have happened? The next time you see a phone ad and you just feel it’s just
a little bit too feel-good and sentimental, just
remember, nice is better than. – [Robotic Voice] Droid. – Hey, everybody, thanks
so much for watching and let me know in the comments what made you buy your
first Android phone. Was it an ad campaign? Was it a friend? Was it something else? I’m really curious, let me know. Also, if you missed the
first part of this series about Android history, it’s
about why Google bought Android and made it in the first place,
so you can check that out.

100 thoughts on “The most important Android phone”

  1. a friend had the g1 and i saw the pattern to unlock thing and for some reason that just blew my mind, I vowed to never buy another phone until I could have an android.

  2. My first Android phone was the HTC Evo. I got it because this was the first Android device that was getting mostly positive reviews and the timing of my device refresh lined up almost perfectly with the launch of the phone on Sprint. I was on a highly discounted plan through work, so I was getting yearly phone refreshes at that point.

  3. In south america the one that started the Android revolution was the LG optimus One, affordable and good specs phone for the time, launched with android 2.2

  4. The Palm Pre would have been a great competitor to the iPhone. Loved the fact that it used web technologies to render stuff. It was my first contract phone and everyone was impressed.

  5. The Droid was my first smartphone! I loved that phone! I was disappointed thatit was not called Droid here in Brazil, it was called Milestone, for some obscure reason.

  6. Droid 2 was my first smartphone. It was great. But it was so glitchy that I switched to the iPhone and haven't looked back

  7. My first smartphone was going to be the BB Storm. One of the managers at a carrier store warmed me about it actually. Went to the other carrier and saw the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S. I ended up leaving with the Galaxy S. I've been on Android since. Also, those ads were not nearly as bad as you made them seem.

  8. The most important Android phone, irrelevant anywhere outside Murrica, where iPhone has a 45% marketshare.

    Meanwhile in Europe Android has an 85-90% marketshare, and we don't even cared about Motorola before the Moto G.

    Getting tired of this USA-centrism in a global platform like youtube.

  9. My first Android was the Nexus one. I foresaw that I needed to pick an OS that was designed by computing engineer rather that phone engineer.

  10. Ya'll remember when android started making all touch screen devices but didn't have multi touch capabilites and ios didn't have mms messages yet?

  11. My first Android phone was the Nexus 4 and I got it because I wanted to try Android. Still my favorite phone of all time!

  12. I picked Android because it had a keyboard at the time. I was using a Windows phone with a keyboard and transition over to Android was easy. I still want a keyboard phone with flagship specs.

  13. I feel like this video was made by people who do not understand that the world is not just the US. Android is popular because it offers more phones with a variety of prices. Duh.

  14. I would try anything that was not iPhone back in the days. The first android phones was terrible, at least here in europe. So I bought several phones a year, because they all sucked and I never gave up.
    Now a days, there’s ecosystems to consider. So now I’m neck deep in Apple.

  15. I've only ever had iPhones but the reason I switched (to a pixel 3) is because I didn't like the way that apple was going. They were getting way too expensive and lackluster in quality (plus I hate the notch, that's why I didn't get the pixel 3 XL) and I feel like if I didn't switch now, I'd be forced to go the iPhone path. I love Google and the pixel is the only thing that could and did make me switch, and I'm loving it.

  16. i don't think so, maybe it happened in US. But in worldwide, Samsung had made huge selling numbers in their Galaxy lineup back then

  17. I got my Droid by accident really. My Blackberry Storm screen stopped clicking so I got a Droid as a replacement. I was instantly in love with how easy it was to "hack" it, I still remember downloading Cyanogenmod to get Android 2.2 on it before it was officially released for the Droid. I still miss the keyboard on it, with custom firmware you could even set up key macros to open up certain apps. Holding it now it feels like a brick compared to my Galaxy S9+ but the OG Droid will always have a special place in my heart…and my "old tech" drawer lol.

  18. I remember getting robbed in 2012 and having to buy another device. So I decided to dich blackberry and get a Samsung s3 mini. Never looked back.

  19. back then nokia Symbian still 44.6%, make me thinking around 2006,2007 i guess.back then nokia design completely different than other brand.bold and crazy. i really like it.

  20. misogynistic, sexist, offensive?….it's videos like these, that keep paving the way for Trump 2020. so thank you regressives for being the biggest "why vote Trump?" commercial.

  21. I remember walking into a Verizon store and we bought our OG Droid phones. Incredible phone. Still waiting for a Droid 5!

  22. 10 years makes a difference in smartphones, 1999-2009,
    Big changes, 2009-2019, well, we had touchscreens then they just have higher specs, they don’t look so different from ‘09-‘19.

  23. First android? Galaxy s3 in 2015… YEARS late to the game after hanging around windows mobile for.too damn long….s3held up nicely and root easy was the best

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  25. As for Brazil, android boosted because price and availability. When Apples start officially here, things got better. But they didn't catched Android still.

  26. Droid was actually my first Android phone (smartphone as whole for the sake of it) but as the Milestone in Brazil and I never looked back. I loved it, kept for 3 years until the touch screen started failing. Tried Samsung at S1 for a little while and the no flash camera they sold here and never liekd TouchWiz. Got three Nexuses, then back to Motorola with two Xs and a Z. Now I got a Pixel 3. Funny enough, Milestone was a Vivo (Brazilian carrier) exclusive I tried my at the time carrier Claro to get me an iPhone for the same price. Happy they didn't.

  27. I love the Droid but hate the sexist remarks made in this video, can't an ad just be ad when it's 10 years old? Stupid to bring sexism in to an tech video. Know your audience…

  28. I wanted one, but it was really hard to get on contact in the UK. I got a Samsung Wave later on, with the stupid Bada operating system. Got an HTC desire later on, been Android ever since

  29. I used a Sony Ericsson G502 all the way through high school. I had that phone for like 5 years.

    I'd gotten it before the smartphone revolution happened and I wasn't all that interested in tech at the time. Hadn't kept up with the industry.

    So when it was time for me to get something with my own money the market was totally different. I was kind of overwhelming for me. Phones had all sorts of different specs now.

    But that was in 2013 so Android was already dominant. iPhones were way out of my budget.

    I got the Xperia P. I really dug Sony Ericsson's design language at the time so that had a lot to do with it. I didn't have a great experience with that device but, yeah, that was my first smartphone.

  30. I traded my blackberry curve 9700 for galaxy s1 and plus on top of that I gave $70 to that person, it was a bad trade value wise for me, his phone was old and used up, mine, I gave in box almost new. But the whole experience of android, I bought for $70. It was worth it, nothing better than android.

  31. I used to use windows mobile in the early 2000s, my first android was the nexus one as the Motorola Droid wasn't released in the market where I live, powered with android cupcake v1.5 upgradable to Android 2 eclair, the next year Samsung shipped their first galaxy s1, lovely days 🙂

  32. I deeply loved lumia and would buy one anytime its out once again… But my first android phone was gifted… and although it felt like it sucked at sooo many points… My current phone working on Android one actually makes life a bit more better

  33. My iPhone 4G was so slow, the internet was mostly a dream. I then bought an LG with a 3D camera. What was I thinking?

  34. "What made you buy your first Android phone?" – in 2015 when the BlackBerry PRIV came out 😯 I immediately said goodbye to iPhone.

  35. I played with Android a bit on Moto G4 play. What made you get a handy down android device (A horrible BLU phone, sends SOS ) is that I accidently left my Windows Mobile phone on public transportation… 🙁

  36. I'm still upset Android phones don't have flip down keyboards anymore. My G2 is still one of my favorite phones ever.

  37. That was my first android phone! I saw all those commericals my sophomore year in high school and had to get it… Mainly because we couldn’t get iPhones since AT&T hadn’t reached our area and even if it did my parents would never switch from Verizon. I never even saw an iPhone until 2010 when the iPhone 4 could finally be sold on Verizon.

  38. Great video! Actually, the ad campaigns with the "DROOOOIIIIIID" sound/cool commercials made me want the Motorola Droid phone, plus it had a premium feel and sturdy design. I also REALLY LOVED the DROID notification sound when texts came in; nothing sounded cooler! I was a Verizon customer at the time and since the iPhone was only on one carrier then, I decided on the Motorola Droid. It will forever be one of my favorite cell phones of all time.

  39. I bought my first Android phone (after I had an iPhone) because of the value proposition… I'm sure that is the same reason most bought an Android

  40. First smartphone HTC Eris, why AT&T and at the time GSM networks were only a myth in Montana. Sadly worst phone I’ve ever owned. Switched back to a basic phone mostly due to lack of having a 3G network where I lived. Have had an iPhone since the 4S. Tried a S6 Edge, phone was poorly designed and am back with iPhone. Want to try android again but worried due every time I’ve tried android the phone ended up becoming a POS within 6 months of ownership.

  41. Firefox 🔥Operation system mix with opera browser is the best of using vertu branding ( Nokia ) but its gone for discontinued because of open source and free for the manufacture

  42. Those old ads weren't offensive nor misogynistic. It helped the world understand at that time that what iPhones were doing wasn't anything special. Let us know it's about the apps and how versatile Droids were in comparison. It was effective. Because of those ads, I never ever bought an iPhone.

  43. I bought an Android Phone because I tried Windows Mobile and just hated it. The battery would get hot if I WASN'T using it, there were no apps on the store, the phone restarted all the time, it would turn off if I wanted to answer a call…
    It was terrible.

  44. Im confused on the sub to view count, did youtube automatically turn off notifications for your channel or something?

  45. I love webOS but even for Sprint it was being killed by Android. The HTC Hero was one of the most popular smartphones at the time. Also the LG Optimus S (and other letter ones) was very popular and carrier agnostic. It relied on price, delivering a good Android experience at half the cost of most other devices.

    I mean Droid phones were really popular, but they're not the reason Android took off. More than anything else it was Google's software. Android 2.1 was leaps and bounds improved over older Android versions. It didnt look like some weird beta test. Turned your smartphone into a GPS without any weird proprietary apps. Lots of features over Apple that spoke to a geekier segment of the market that Apple ignored.

  46. I friend was convincing me to buy Nokia 725. He used to tell me that windows phones are the future. But I bought Nexus5. Which is not as good looking and good built as Nokia ..

  47. my iPhone 4 broke and I got an s9 and its the best decision of my life because I am a dedicated android user

  48. My first smartphone was the Motorola Droid and I loved it. I only ended up with the Motorola Droid because in the Spring of 2010 both mine and my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) contracts were up with AT&T and went to get a group plan and both upgrade to the iPhone. The sales rep said he wouldn't sign us up for a group plan because we weren't married and he didn't think it was the right thing to do so we went to Verizon, got a group plan, and both got the Motorola Droid. Used Androids for the next 8 years until we got the iPhone XS mainly for iMessage and the Apple Watches.

  49. Money, mostly… And to be honest I didn't know much about smartphone then. And I'm happy and still happy with my choice.

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