Will device manufacturers choosing Operators become the rule – rather than the exception?

Andreas has a very interesting post on Androids bearing gifts.. Which I recommend you read as usual link below ..

I have an interesting related question about it which I originally posted as a comment on his blog

The key conclusion of his article is:

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What Android needs most is for the key productisers within the industry to step up and take a leading role in offering an out-of-the-box Android-based stack. Here I ‘m referring to chipset vendors (e.g. Qualcomm, ST-Ericsson) and system integrators (e.g. WindRiver, Teleca) to provide complete stacks including a UI personality framework, operator-compliant packs and test suites, language packs, app store (doesn’t have to be Android Market) and post-sales software management tools. The role of system integrators can also act as a gap-filler for OEMs looking for expertise in Android phone development.

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Leaving the timelines apart, I agree with that sentiment overall ..

However, this raises a broader question .. which I raised when the iPhone was launched ..

The iPhone is extraordinary not because of it’s UI but because it’s the tail wagging the dog ..

Qs is:

Will device manufacturers choosing Operators become the rule – rather than the exception? – Will Operators compete for the best devices – changing the current model of devices deployed to many Operators?

In other words, the iPhone launch was an anomaly .. because it was launched as one device and one Operator.

Android has also taken a similar(slightly broader) route. That’s not the way devices have been launched prior to the iPhone i.e. you have same device(mostly) launched across many operators

(and Andreas’s post is elaborates that problem)

So, we are seeing the start of something new .. Both in the case of the iphone and the android. i.e. will now see Palm PRE adopt the same model(start with one – or limited operators)

If I were to be more radical – can I even say that Nokia should also explore this?

The model itself is not so radical.

We are seeing a major shift now ..

No longer is the OS etc etc a key differentiator and with increasingly larger number of (mostly Smartphone) devices – the device creates differentiation ..

In addition, the old supply chain efficiencies worked best for simpler devices in mass production.

Maybe device manufactures will want to take this path of choosing operators?

End of the day – customers will drive the change ..

They have a choice and they will be increasingly choosier and devices will provide the differentiation

so, here we go .. the post from Andreas

Beware of Android bearing gifts