AllthingsD are reporting return rates of over 15% for the Samsung Galaxy S today on a day where Horace Dediou makes a very good point about the Open source nature of the Android ecosystem and the challenges that presents to the theoretical owner of the platform.
He reminds us that because they have open sourced Android and made it freely available, Google have no control over the usage of the software. While this gives OEMs huge benefits in the go to market space, it does also create situations where the OEM’s can make some seriously poor decisions with regard to how the platform should be used in order to “compete” in the market in the short term.
Google must be hoping the Android brand isn’t damaged in the longer term if the OEM’s continue to use Android 2.x for tablets. While the evidence isn’t there either way to date, ongoing large return rates would likely push people toward other platforms.
As we know getting it right the first time is extremely important in the technology market and especially with tablets at this time. Google must be hoping Motorola get it right with the XOOM, otherwise you have to wonder if there will be a growth of negative sentiment around the platform which might make growth slower than otherwise expected.