Do seperate/proprietary android markets hurt the android platform?
HOWEVER, walled gardens can be GREAT with devices like the kindle where the app store is tailored to your specific device. So I understand the need for them SOMETIMES.. however in my opinion, the bad outweighs the good when it comes to the entire platform. It's confusing.
So, long story short... in your opinion.. do these other markets hurt the android platform?
I don't think the skinning hurts or helps.
I don't think having a separate app store hurts Android very much. If you're making an app for the Amazon App Store, the barrier to entry for the Google Market is nothing compared to the barrier to porting it to another OS entirely.
Besides, I don't think it's always in the best interest of companies like Amazon to skin like this. If Amazon released a phone with the same model, I think there are plenty of people who won't buy it because it doesn't have a decent default email client. They have to have things like that on a phone. Maybe they'll make their own, but the default Google apps on Android are fantastic, particularly GMail.
This however does have it's downsides as you mentioned, although I haven't encountered any effects as bad as you've described above.
Having separate proprietary markets for cell phones is the old paradigm for the cell phone distributors such as AT&T, Verizon, etc. This was fine when it seemed that every cell phone had its own separate operating system. Unfortunately this paradigm is being carried to today's Android based cell phones and tablets. This is a huge mistake and it is leading to the appearance of additional fragmentation.
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