According to a story posted by TechRadar, Vodafone’s Rachel Williams noted that the network might put out future Android based devices that lack the common Google services that we’ve all come to expect from Android.
Speaking to TechRadar, Rachel Williams from Vodafone highlighted the fact that while the HTC Magic contains all the Google features we’ve come to expect tightly integrated, like Google Mail, future offerings might be more of a ‘basic’ package, where networks will want to put their own clients on there instead.
This sounds like an attempt to simplify the platform into more of a feature phone system for some handsets, instead of offering the full fledged smartphone capability that current devices offer. Vodafone in the past has often had very strong branding and integration with its own Vodafone Live services. This is quite possibly what Williams had in mind when she was speaking to TechRadar.
Update: Our own James Tromans was sitting in on that conversation, though, and says that things were stated a bit differently than how TechRadar is reporting. According to James:
When we were sat with Rachel Williams at the Vodafone UK press launch of the HTC Magic in London, we broached the subject of Android without Google services. Williams described the possibility of Android without Google services as something that will enable carriers and operators to offer their own versions of said services. We both agreed that this presented Android in a positive light in terms of its open source nature, but we also both believed that the services are so well integrated with Android and so useful that many carriers would probably want to make use of them. The overall vibe from Vodafone was that they love the Google Services integration and had no intentions of launching an Android device without them any time soon; they were merely commenting that it will be a forthcoming possibility for carriers should they want it.