Remember when Apple launched the iPhone back in 2007 and made it an AT&T exclusive? That forced Verizon to scramble. Two years later they introduced the “DROID” brand, a brand that some might say is the reason for Android’s success. Now fast forward to today. Verizon still promotes Android devices, but they have have no problem selling you an iPhone either. In fact, during Q3 2012, they sold 6.8 million smartphones, of which 3.1 million were Jesus Phones. What do all these numbers prove? Verizon doesn’t really care which platform wins, they just want to make more money.
Amazon, looking to get more people to buy not only physical goods, but also digital content, threw a bunch of cash at Verizon to get them to integrate their new “App Suite” on Verizon’s Android phones. The first phone to get this new app is the recently announced Droid DNA. We know what you’re thinking, why is Verizon screwing over Google by encouraging people to buy into Amazon’s ecosystem? Again, it all boils down to back room deals.
Let’s say you’re actually a huge Amazon fan, and some of you probably are because the site is genuinely good and you also get access to a ton of great content if you’re willing to cough up the dough for a Prime membership. Can you install this new “App Suite” on your Android smartphone? We’re sorry to say this, but the answer is no. Why? We wish we could tell you.
What’s Google’s response to all this? There’s nothing really they can do. They’re so far down the value chain at this point, all they’re really responsible for is the “plumbing” that HTC uses to make Sense UI and that Verizon uses to throw on their operator bloatware. Amazon, first with the Kindle Fire, now with the App Suite, has successfully hijacked Android to lure people into their ecosystem.
This probably isn’t the future Andy Rubin had in mind.