Traditionally, Android fans have blamed mostly the hardware manufacturers for the nearly worthless skins that come on many Android devices. This makes sense, considering the fact that the manufacturers are in charge of developing the software skins for their devices. However, according to the now Google-owned Motorola, at least one manufacturer believes that stock Android is the way to go, and says that the carriers forced them to continue using a custom UI.
Motorola’s Senior Vice President of Product Rick Osterloh said to reporters, “Going forward, we’re going to try to be as close to the base as we can be, because we think that’s the right thing for users. We think users also want fast upgrades and upgrades for their phones over the long haul, so we’re going to be focus on that as well.” While it isn’t specifically worded against carriers, this statement implies that Motorola has been trying to use stock Android, but something, almost certainly carriers, kept them from doing so. You might wonder what gives carriers so much control over manufacturers, but remember that Verizon was the company behind the Droid campaigns that arguably saved Motorola, and any carrier can refuse to subsidize a company’s hardware.
This declaration shouldn’t be too surprising, as it is obviously something that Google would like to hear. Still, it is quite interesting that Motorola has called out the carriers, and makes it sound as if they the only reason their devices have software skins. This seems a little bit suspect, considering that many of Motorola’s worldwide and carrier independent devices still have skins, but perhaps the statement signifies a change. Hopefully, we will see more Nexus-like stock devices come from Motorola, and if they aren’t sold through US carriers, then we’ll know that they are a problem.