This is a much more important article than it may appear on the surface. It shows exactly why it was such a mistake for Google to capitulate to the carriers. They made the proverbial deal with the devil, trading control of their destiny for traction. Too bad.
Make no mistake, when Andy Rubin tells Dieter Bohn and Nilay Patel of The Verge that “costs” and “battery life” are two major factors in the decision, it’s pure misdirection. Said another way, it’s bullshit. How do we know this? Just look at the iPhone 5. It’s rolling out on LTE networks around the world just fine with its thin design, multiple antennas, and solid battery life.
The real issue here is that Google wants to sell an unlocked LTE phone and can’t because the U.S. carriers (Verizon in particular) have them over a barrel. And why do they want to sell unlocked phones (which are more expensive since they’re not subsidized by the carriers)? Because the carriers have proven time and time again that they will not allow Google to push timely Android updates.
And yet, Apple has no problem shipping iOS updates over the same networks. Why? Because they strong-armed Verizon into the same deal they got with AT&T. They fought for the user. Google sold us out to sell some phones.