Oh, I firmly agree.
“But the general consumer doesn’t care. They just buy the phone and get apps from either the handset maker or their carrier (if they add apps at all). They probably don’t even know they have an “Android phone”.
The real customer for Android? It’s the handset manufacturers. They have been given a customizable, powerful and actively developed OS, and they get it free. Better, they can put in on any device they like. And this is what Microsoft is up against with its fussy new Windows Mobile 7, which has the cheek to specify minimum hardware requirements. Forget about the iPhone. Microsoft is in a death-match with Google and its free OS.”
Apple is not Android’s “competitor.” Apple’s iPhone is a closed hardware-software package — you can’t take the iPhone OS and run it on anything other than an iPhone. Thus, as far as the OS is concerned, no one is “competing” with the iPhone.
Where Apple competes is on the total mobile phone market front, and there they are competing against companies like Motorola, HTC, LG, etc. Not “Android” — no company “owns” Android, thus it isn’t competing against anyone, unless you’re talking about a philosophical open-source/closed-source “war” with Microsoft and their Windows Mobile OS.
I have no problem with Android phones becoming the vast majority of cell phones — this won’t stifle innovation like a Microsoft monopoly did in the PC market. Like I said, no one company owns Android, and no one is stopped from taking it, changing it, and then releasing it in any personalized form they want to.