TechCrunch talks about the theory - Android phones should be more open - and the sad reality brought to us by the carriers:
the last couple of Android phones I’ve gotten as demo units from Google: the EVO 4G and the Droid 2, have been loaded up with crapware installed by the carriers (Sprint and Verizon, respectively). Apple would never let this fly on the iPhone, but the openness of Android means Google has basically no say in the matter. Consumers will get the crapware and they’ll like it. Not only that, plenty of this junk can’t even be uninstalled. How’s that for “open”?
This looks a lot like the situation you have in the PC space - you can buy a Mac, and get a somewhat more limited selection of software, and higher prices. or you can buy a PC, save some money - and have a ton of crapware pre-installed for you. I wonder how soon we'll see a free for all in malware coming to the Android space - that would just complete the circle.
This article really, really makes me doubt that we'll see an iPhone on Verizon. Verizon wants the V-Cast store front and center, and Apple just has no interest in that. Google can't stop it, because Android is open for carrier customization. Another thing, and this harks back to someting Gruber said awhile back - the branding thing. Whenever you see a Verizon ad touting phone selection, look carefully: every single phone, regardless of the hardware vendor, has Verizon branding on it - prominently. You think Apple wants any part of that?