The Stock Android argument - revisited.
With the release of the HTC one and Sense 5, there has inevitably been more talk about why OEMs don't just put stock on their phones - and all the people opposed to the idea have arguments along the lines of "If people wanted stock, they'd use it", or "because it differentiates their phone from other OEMs phones" and the like. The only reason "people" don't say that they want stock is because they don't care what OS is on their phone, and most people couldn't even tell you anything beyond it being Android, never mind precise Android version numbers or skin numbers.
So, considering that it takes an OEM such a huge amount of money and time (and therefore more money) to make skins, why do they still do it?
I mean, people don't ask for it. Sure, they don't ask for stock either, but that doesn't necessitate OEMs putting so much effort into trying and failing to improve something that is already excellent - especially when people don't care about it to begin with. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Android is beyond the point where an OEM can improve the software - 2011 and before, sure, but not now.
Also, it doesn't make handsets "unique". Unique is relative. Let's use Sense as an example, seeing as the name is so hilariously ironic. On HTC's website, I can see 11 devices, 9 of which run Android. All of these devices run Sense Android. Is it just me or would any phone with stock Android stand out more than any phone with a skinned version? Unless you don't know what it is, of course, but then why do you care either way? Stock certainly wouldn't make it stand out less.
OEMs may as well make us happy (yes, the minority), because it has no affect on most end users and it saves them a lot of time and money, while giving the devices a USP - strangely by omitting a feature that was originally intended (predominantly) as a USP.