Why OEMs shouldn't make stock phones (don't blame the carriers)

Why doesn't anyone realize that making a pure stock phone is basically trying to compete against the Nexus line. That's a problem because that OEM will also never be able to keep up with the Nexus when it comes to updates because Google is always going to push out its own update the fastest. A stock phone would basically be a poor man's Nexus and carriers have little incentive to push a phone where they can't upsell the customer on a bunch of extra services.

You also can't argue with sales. The Nexus is NEVER the best selling phone on any carrier. With all the smack the Droid RAZR has gotten from the Verge staff it remains the best selling phone by far on Verizon.

There are also advantages in coming up with custom software

  • Better plugin to a media ecosystem (Kindle Fire)
  • Innovative software (Motocast, Moto smart actions, Moto Universal Inbox)
  • Rethinking of core apps (Cyanogen Music Player)

If you still don't believe me. Here are some phones who tried to do stock and were not blockbusters

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G2 T-Mobile

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G2X

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Kyocera Echo