Credit: Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

For a brief period this June, NVIDIA became the most valuable company in the world after surpassing Microsoft and Apple by a narrow margin. The company’s massive valuation jump comes from the AI boom led by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini, and others. Until recently, NVIDIA was almost exclusively known for making graphics hardware that targeted gamers and creatives. Go back just a few more years, however, and NVIDIA was trying to become a dominant player in the Android ecosystem.

Of course, NVIDIA’s presence in the smartphone industry was short-lived and we haven’t seen the company try to break into it again since the mid-2010s. Despite those setbacks, however, NVIDIA exerts greater influence over the modern smartphone experience than perhaps many of us realize. Here’s the story of how that transformation happened and why a traditionally graphics-oriented company today holds many clues to the future of Android.


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