Just like Google: Motorola wants stock Android, but will concede to Verizon
Being the number one smartphone platform has its benefits, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're the top dog in the mobile world. Android is huge, but Android wouldn't be nearly as big if it weren't for Verizon. So, while Motorola wants to provide "close to" stock Android experiences, it has to concede to Verizon's wishes.
Speaking to reporters Motorola Senior Vice President, Product Rick Osterloh said that the company is dedicated to providing an Android experience that is "as close to the base" as possible, because "that’s the right thing for users." That sounds a lot like the philosophy of Google, which shouldn't be a surprise, but is definitely good to hear. Osterloh went on to say that Motorola (read: Google) thinks "users also want fast upgrades and upgrades for their phones over the long haul" and that will be a focus of the company.
One odd point was that Osterloh said that Motorola wants to "be as close to the base as we can be". Given that Motorola is owned by Google, you would expect that "as close to the base as can be" would be a pure stock experience, just like a Nexus device. Unfortunately, Osterloh said that "Our partners sometimes want customizations... Our interest is to make it as close to Android as possible and generally we negotiate somewhere in the middle."
Given that Motorola is essentially synonymous with the Droid brand of Verizon, this seems to point to Verizon as a big reason why the company can't offer stock Android devices. This doesn't really make much sense though, because we can't really understand why Verizon would be pushing for a customized device. Almost every single Android device available on every carrier is customized in some way. Even the Verizon Galaxy Nexus came preloaded with Verizon specific apps. So, if Verizon and other carriers can get proprietary apps on stock devices, why would it matter if the device is customized or not?
The only answer we can come up with is that if there are too many stock devices with fast updates, it could hurt the sales of other devices. But, that shouldn't be a concern of the carrier, that should be a concern of the manufacturers. Of course, as we mentioned the Verizon Galaxy Nexus isn't exactly stock Android, with extra apps and a lock-down on tethering, so even Google has conceded to Verizon in order to get devices on the carrier.
source: The Verge