Sometimes that veil looks like ugly, bad, and usually unnecessary extra software. Sometimes it looks like a carrier failing to send out timely software updates. Other times it means getting something inexpensive, but fundamentally flawed in some way. Even the Nexus phones were behind the veil, little more than reference designs with hardware that was mostly determined by a third party before Google made tweaks here and there. A pessimist would call this situation “fragmentation,” an optimist would call it “diversity.” Either way, it hasn’t really been a huge problem for Google yet. Google wanted people to use its services, and the Android platform was flexible and ubiquitous enough to thrive and take over the planet, achieving dominant marketshare. Just because Android is everywhere doesn’t mean that Google is everywhere on mobile. There has been a lot of talk about Google being more “opinionated” about what a phone should be, and Google’s opinion has always been hidden behind that veil. That situation might be okay at the low end, but at the high end (where all the profit and mindshare is), Samsung and Apple have expressed the only opinions that really matter. With Note 7s off the market and Samsung… Read full this story
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