As we look back at 2007 and recognize just how far the industry has come it’s easy to poke fun at these kind of comments. A brief statement taken from Google’s Android specification documents in May of 2007 says that touchscreens will not replace physical buttons. Oh how times have changed.
Touchscreens will be supported. However, the Product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption, therefore a touchscreen cannot completely replace physical buttons.
We all know the very first Android device was the T-Mobile G1 and while it had a touchscreen, it also had physical buttons. Google added soft keyboard support in Android 1.5 and the rest as they say, is history.