And from the consumer’s perspective, does the openness really matter? Has anyone ever marched into a Verizon store and said, “I want a Droid phone because I want to make cosmetic changes to Android” instead of “I want a Droid phone because it’s thin, fast and runs on Verizon”?
Maybe what the world needs is one final grand scientific experiment: closed and proprietary (Apple) versus closed and free (Google). You know—somehow separate the variables “free” and “modifiable,” so we can see more clearly what’s responsible for Android’s momentum.
Okay, that experiment isn’t going to happen. But that’s the only way to know the real value of “open.”
This article was originally published with the title An Open Question.