Interesting article. As an android user I have a slightly different take on this. If you buy a Samsung phone with android then it’s not really android anymore. It’s android crammed with as many additional features as Samsung could think of at the time of release. However, I decided to get a Nexus phone and it is the base version of android.
You could say it’s lacking in features compared to the Samsung, but then when you consider what you actually use, you realise you don’t need all those features.
If you go into settings on a Nexus you have a handful of categories logically sorted. Do the same on a Samsung and you are presented with a list of options as long as your arm. It’s a nightmare.
It seems companies use a scatter approach of creating as many different features as possible in the hope that one of them sticks.
So going back to Google and android, they have actually created a great operating system that does what you need really well, but handset manufacturers seem to feel they have to make their mark on it by making unnecessary changes, resulting in making it worse instead of better.