quote: I think the argument could be made that Android is the only thing that has kept those manufacturers in the game at all. Not that YOU would see it like that. Without Android phone makers would have had to rely on Symbian or WinMobile (UGH!) back in the early days. Yeeeahhh, good luck making that work.
quote: they might decide to ditch Google altogether and switch wholesale to WP7
quote: There is no point in them forking android. why would they do that? How does that benefit them? That would give them their own platform and product differentiation but look at the other players with their own platform (rim and symbian) - they are failing. If Samsung developed their own platform, they would incur all the development and business costs which you have mentioned and those costs are a huge net loss for google. And android is free. Samsung would start making losses instead of profits in the smart phone market if they made their own OS.On the other hand, it makes sense to make WP phones. The hardware is virtually the same. The only reason it's not exactly the same is for marketing reasons (product differentiation and branding).