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Alex Webb

Waymo Takes a Page Out of Google's Android Playbook

If it worked for phones, it might work for autonomous cars.
Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg

When Google set out to tackle the smartphone market with its Android operating system, it picked off the more vulnerable subscale brands with little software expertise.

Within three years, those phone makers had surged up the sales charts to become the biggest players. At the time of Android's launch in 2008, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and HTC Corp. were the sixth- and fourth-largest smartphone makers, according to research firm Gartner Inc. By 2011, with phones running on Android, Samsung had leapfrogged Nokia Oyj and Blackberry Ltd. (known as Research in Motion at the time) to assume the top spot, and HTC had caught up with those two market leaders.