Here’s the truth about Android’s so-called “open-ness”. If a phone manufacturer using Android wants to pre-install say, Google Play, as the app store (or any other Google app) on their devices, they have to:
- pre-install all Google applications on each device.
- agree to give prominent placement to all Google applications in the phone’s user interface.
- set Google Search “as the default search provider for all Web search access points.”
These are all listed as explicit requirements in the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) that manufacturers have to sign if they want access to even a single Google app for Android. For a full explanation of MADA’s requirements and how it hurts consumers, read this brilliant piece by Benjamin Edelman.