Ten years ago an Australian telco launched the first Android phone in the country, the HTC Dream following its success in its incarnation as the G1 in the United States. It goes without saying that since the launch of that device, Android has taken Australia by storm with success in a wide variety of areas. Android has been so successful that Android devices now outsell iPhones routinely in Australia. Ten years ago, feature phones ruled the roost in Australia and smartphones were limited to PalmOS, Windows Mobile and the feature hamstrung iPhone.
Enter the HTC Dream
A decade ago the most popular mobile OS in Australia was Symbian by Nokia. The HTC Dream by what we are used to today was barely a smartphone. It had extremely average specs, did not support Bluetooth and Android was just a fraction of the operating system it has become today. Even so back then, its hardware keyboard was simply delightful. In comparison to 2019 smartphone models, the specs on the HTC Dream would be terrifying for anyone to use, with a 3.2-inch TFT display that had a resolution of 320×240, 528 MHz ARM 11 Qualcomm CPU, 192 MB RAM, 3.15 MP Camera and 1150 mAh battery that delivered 5 hours of talk-time.
The love affair with Android begins
These days even the most average Android Wear OS smartwatch can run circles around the HTC Dreams, nevertheless it was a very special device. It is arguably the device that started most people’s love affair with Android that for many continues unabated until today. Back then you could browse the Android Market at the end of the work day and be aware of which apps had been added that day. There certainly weren’t the thousands of apps that are now being added on a daily basis.
Look how much has changed
By March 2009, Android Market featured just 2,300 apps. Today that number is now well over 2.6 million apps, so just a little growth in the ecosystem! The first people who bought the HTC Dream were unable to purchase paid apps. It took about a year from the launch of the device before paid apps were made available. Since then everyone has now gone through multiple Android devices and the operating system has certainly come a long way.
The future is impossible to predict
The OS continues to power from strength to strength and is growing in popularity and expanding its customer base with each passing year. There is even an Australian Android dedicated website that’s not half bad and when you think about how Android has evolved over the last decade it is almost impossible to imagine how much will change over the next decade. If we think back to 2009 could anyone have foreseen what the smartphones of 2019 would have looked like today? Certainly not us.