Android CentralToday marks the fifth birthday of the organization that made Android possible -- the Open Handset Alliance. On Nov. 5, 2007, Google, T-Mobile, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and others joined forces and announced the development of the Android mobile platform.

The result of Google's 2005 acquisition of Andy Rubin's Android, Inc., the first version of Android wouldn't appear on handsets until a year later, and even then, early versions looked radically different to the Android we know today.

But the main pillars of Android were already in place back in 2007 -- a focus on an open platform that anyone could build on, and variety in hardware and network support through numerous partners. It's this variety that's seen Android thrive in recent years.

At the time of the announcement, the iPhone had just been released, and many of us were carrying either featurephones, or BlackBerry or Windows Mobile devices. Five years on, the landscape has shifted dramatically, with Android claiming as much as 75 percent of the global smartphone market, according to recent figures.

How times have changed. Any guesses as to where the next half-decade might take us?

More: Open Handset Alliance