As I understand it, the Android platform exists as a delivery vehicle for Google services to mobile devices. The deal is supposed to be: We (Google) give you this free, open platform to do as you (handset makers, carriers, et al) wish. In return, Google services are more prominent than they might be on another platform.
Then along comes AT&T to upset the apple cart on its new AT&T-branded Motorola Backflip. The carrier removes the home-screen widget, the browser and other Google items and replaces them with those from arch-rival Yahoo. (Full disclosure: My wife works at AT&T Interactive.)
So let's recap. AT&T, which has an issue with Google over Google Voice, is selling a phone that runs Google's Android platform. The carrier has removed all the reasons why Google even developed Android, and replaced them with competing services from Yahoo. Some of those services will also probably hook into the Bing search engine, which is from Microsoft, another Google rival.
Which raises a few questions. Is Google Android too "open"? Should Google require the use of its services for carriers that sell it? Why would anyone buy a Google Phone with the Google services removed? What will Google's response be? What should it be?
Thanks to Engadget.