Android mobile phone software did not add support for touchscreen technology until Apple released its iPhone model, according to documents released as part of the Apple vs Samsung patent trial.
The “Android Project Software Functional Requirements” document detailed Android’s supported hardware features and the basis for how the new mobile software would operate in 2006.
“Touchscreens will not be supported,” said Google in the specification document that was given to potential hardware manufacturers in 2006 prior to the iPhone’s announcement the following year. "The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption.”
“However, there is nothing fundamental in the product's architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future,” Google continued.
The iPhone was announced in January 2007 by Steve Jobs at the Macworld convention with touchscreen control.
Android prototypes at the time resembled BlackBerry smartphones with no touchscreen and physical keyboards and buttons, but by the time the first Android handset was commercially available in the form of the HTC Dream or T-mobile G1 in 2008, touchscreens were not only supported but specifically required by Android.
The document also shows that many of the mainstay features of Android were set in 2006, including removable storage, third-party application support, which Apple’s iPhone lacked until July 2008, homescreen widgets, notifications and a plethora of Google applications.