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Way Back Machine: Treo Pro an Android Prototype?!

Sun Jul 11, 2010 - 2:49 PM EDT - By Annie Latham

Did you know that our Treo Pro began it's life as an Android prototype?

Perhaps this is a good story to put under the "remember when" category.

An Engadget post made mention of it. The story was about how Steve Jobs appeared to be rewriting history during the D8 conference and how the Google folks didn't take kindly to it.

Larry Page told Reuters that the "characterization of us entering [the phone market] after is not really reasonable." Page, who was being interviewed alongside Eric Schmidt, also said that Google had been working on Android for "a very long time" and that the goal was always to develop phones with solid browsers to fill a market void.

So let's hit the smartphone rewind button:

a) Google purchased Andy Rubin's Android, Inc. in 2005

b) Android was officially announced in November of 2007. That version looked nothing like the OS we know and love today, and the SDK emulator used an image of an HTC-built prototype that had much more in common with the traditional BlackBerry than the iPhone.

Fun fact: that device eventually became the Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile.


So let's do a rewind of our own. At our sister site, WMExperts.com, Dieter Bohn did a post (The Treo Pro -- Brought to you by HTC? ) in August 2008 that delved into Palm's HTC connection:

"Our guess, if you haven't gathered yet: there was must have been some collaboration on design between Palm and HTC. There are still Palm touches aplenty here -- the Centro keyboard, Ringer Switch, and WiFi button prove that. On the other hand, we have an HTC-esque power button, battery, and let's be honest here: HTC's been able to design the innards in such a way as to make thin phones in a way that Palm just hasn't.

So we kinda sorta a wee-little-bit suspect that, hardware-wise, the Treo Pro is Palm on the outside, HTC on the inside."

Dieter's story referenced this one which noted, "Although HTC is manufacturing the new handset for Palm (Treo Pro), Inventec Appliances is still Palm's biggest ODM partner."

It would be very interesting to do a family tree showing the origins of smartphones to put things in perspective.


FYI. Amazon is still selling the Treo Pro (Sprint). It is listed at $249. You can get an unlocked version for a $100 more.

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