good article on android openness

Of course they will, Charles. There is simply no compelling incentive for either a device manufacturer or a carrier to retain an "open" software platform if they can close it down.

() The number of customers for whom modifying the operating system is a primary benefit is miniscule as a percentage of all devices sold.

() The cost of supporting/dealing with customers who have modified their phones is a major cost (on a per handset basis.)

Why would any firm incur costs they don't have to incur when the benefits in terms of sales is so small?
I think a lot of people misunderstand that an open source OS like Android does not necessarily mean that every aspect of a particular device will be open to tinker with.

The Apache license Android is distributed under specifically allows companies to maintain proprietary innovations and features. This would be impossible if there weren't protections placed on certain things.

That does not mean Android isn't open. Many people can't or won't understand this point. A locked bootloader does not mean Android is not open.