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The HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1, was the first Android phone to launch commercially. The device came a year after the first iPhone, but apparently, renders of what could have been the first Android phone were ready five months before the launch of Apple’s introductory phone.
Co-Founder of Android, Rich Miner, took to Twitter to reveal the above details and also shared a render of what the first Android handset could have looked like.
The image above shows that the black and neon device looks similar to the HTC Dream with its sliding keyboard and physical buttons. However, the unreleased device certainly exuded more oomph than the muted final design of the HTC Dream. The keyboard is full neon, which would have been pretty sick to have back then. The green also appears in the Google logo on the top left of the display.
We can see that the original Google G1 had a jog wheel, which could have been used for navigation purposes. The Dream ended up with a trackball instead.
Elsewhere, the design incorporated way more buttons overall, including hardware keys for email and “@” symbol. The bottom of the phone also housed buttons for answer, decline, home, and back. In contrast, the HTC Dream ended up with five buttons in all.
Miner says they were working on two phones at the time, “Sooner,” a Blackberry-like device & “Dream.” After the iPhone launched, the company ditched Sooner and focused efforts on developing Dream.