Taken from The Economist

The Story

Andrew Rubin & a few colleagues founded Android Inc. in Oct. 2003. At first the company planned to develop an advanced operating system for digital cameras, but realised the market was too small. Instead they made an operating system for smartphones. The system is based on the Linux kernel, & its interface enables users to manipulate applications on their phone by touching, tapping, swiping & pinching objects on the screen. It also provided support for internal hardware such as accelerometers, gyroscopes & proximity sensors.

The Impact

Google acquired the company in 2005, & the first Android-powered smartphone was launched in October 2008. Android has since come to dominate the market for smartphone operating systems: by the second quarter of 2014, 85% of smartphones sold globally were running Android.