Did the iPhone really come first, meaning Android ripped Apple off? Or did Android come first? Is it possible that both companies independently arrived at the idea for a touchscreen smartphone around the same time?
Lately, I’ve been a little… obsessed… with these questions. Apple fans are convinced iPhone came first. Android fans are convinced their open-source smartphone OS came first.
I decided it was time to find out, once and for all. So I started digging. I searched and researched and then I searched some more. And in the end, I found that the history of the iPhone and the history of Android are a lot more complex than you may realize.
It occurred to me that the best way for our readers to get their heads around this issue was to present it visually, as a timeline that shows you, point-by-point, exactly who did what, when. With the help of our sister site Infographic Labs, we put together the following infographic. Our intention here is not to point fingers or cast blame — or even to draw conclusions, despite the fact that we’re an Apple-centric website. We created it to try and clarify this very muddy issue, so you can see the facts neatly and clearly, and draw your own conclusions.
Click on the image for the full-size version.