So here is the issue with Android

Check out the photo at right, and note that each guy is holding a different phone. Choice is great, right? Well, let’s examine that a bit.

Gizmodo runs a closeup of that shot of Eric, and concludes that the phones in question are the HTC Hero and the Motorola Sholes.

Both wonderful phones — not really, but for the sake of argument, let’s say they’re both the most amazing pieces of hardware ever invented, way better than the iPhone, purely on a hardware basis.

Now imagine you’re an app developer. Maybe you’ve got a game. Writing for Android means you do one version for this phone:

and another version for this one:

As you may notice, they’re not very alike. And let’s imagine there are loads more of these Android phone models, all slightly (or very) different from one another. Like this new vaporphone that Dell is working on. And you, lucky Android developer, have the pleasure of trying to guess which models are going to sell enough units to make it worth your while to port your application to them.

People gripe about Apple being control freaks, but please try to remember, there’s a method to our anal-retentive madness.