It’s interesting that Kontra goes for the word "Bondage" and relates Android back to the experiences of the desk bound manufacturers such as Acer, Dell and HP with their experiences of domination by Microsoft in the nineties. Albeit for different reasons, the argument is that Google are going down the safe path, binding smartphone OEM’s to them like a Maggie Gyllenhaal to their James Spader.
But like any safe and sane play, the likes of Samsung and HTC have their equivalent of a safe-word:
… even the most successful Android hardware manufacturers … are hedging their bets on Google’s mobile platform either with their own OS (Bada) or Microsoft’s (WP7). Why would experienced OEMs hedge their bets on Android if it were so open, so free and so benevolent?
Indeed. It’s going to be a very interesting 2011. Personally I can’t wait!