Late last week, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google VP of engineering for Android, took the stand for the Samsung vs Apple trial. Of course this trial is all about copying Apple, and Lockheimer argued that they never tried to copy Apple’s iOS. Not only that, many of the Android’s software features were created before Apple did.
“We liked to have our own identity; we liked to have our own ideas,” Lockheimer said. “We were very passionate about what we were doing, and it was important that we have our own ideas.”
Lockheimer was Samsung’s first witness for their defense, and they said they might call as many as 17 witnesses. Samsung is taking a different approach this time around by showing that Apple’s beef should be with Google, not Samsung. Google created Android, and Samsung merely installed it on their devices. Of course Samsung did create their own proprietary features, but the heart of the system is all Google.
Lockheimer joined Google in April of 2006 and immediately joined the Android team, which was only comprised of about 20 to 30 people at that time. He said that most features, like quick links and background syncing were created in 2005 and 2006, well before the launch of the first Android phone in October of 2008.
I think Samsung is going about this case the right way, and frankly, I never understood why Samsung didn’t bring Google into it from the beginning. Of course, a lot of the first round of arguments were more related to hardware, which Google didn’t have a hand in.