Android is a very beautiful OS in all of its flavors for the options that it gives its users. For many, including myself, it was an alternative to an iPhone due to the exclusivity that AT&T have (or had due to hear-say). But now it is much more than that and thanks to the investment from HTC that launched the granddaddy of them all, and the device I am still very fond of; the G1 (or HTC Dream).
HTC set up the platform for OEMs to see that there is an alternative and that if the hardware and the software work and there is enough support, there will be success. You can see this with other popular devices in which they are usually compared to as a standard. And then enter Motorola and Samsung.
Motorola took Android to heart and ran with it like the bulls in Spain, seeking to deal damage. Motorola and Samsung now have something in common; they have the Droid series and Galaxy S series, respectively. HTC also has high-end devices, but they have yet to establish their own series per se, but they are infamously known for their user interface (UI) which also catapulted the improved reception of the Android name.
Motorola has successfully updated all of their Droid series, though their MotoBLUR has gone under some serious reworking as being a skin and no longer built into the core of the OS like it originally was. This skin is seen on their newer Droid series, and have seem to have learned the lesson that Samsung learned the hard way with their Behold II fiasco.
These two OEMs are going to have some big shoes to fill in, especially Samsung and their issues with updating and discrepancies with their reasons for not updating their first Android device and Motorola releasing more Droid series phones; due to the overwhelming sales that they have had (recently Samsung announced that they have sold over 5 million phones of the Galaxy S series; Droid, you know that sells like beer in a college town). So what does this mean?
It means that Android is one again at the brink of a paradigm shift. Just how Motorola updated one Droid, they updated all of them. Now with the situation that Samsung have confidently put themselves in, they have no choice but to do whatever it takes to maintain their clientele, or face being shunned by the Android community on a way bigger scale than with the Behold II; especially now with their tablet being released soon.
This mainly has nothing to do with Motorola, but they have been a good example when it comes to their Droid phones and updating them as soon as possible. Of course they're not always up to par as Google is with their Nexus One, but like HTC and Motorola have always been on top of their devices and their OS.
I think that in creating these kinds of series, (HTC also uses the Droid name) it forces the OEMs to make sure that they are able to maintain that promise of why you bought that device to begin with, to have the latest and greatest that they have to offer.
There is no way that the Galaxy S series would've come about if it wasn't for the Droid series. Will Samsung be able to rise to the plate how Motorola and HTC have been doing? And although those companies aren't perfect by any means, no one can really be. As I've said before, I would like to see Google strongly work with these OEMs (even more so), especially when one of their big players is in a patent battle with another formidable foe. They did it for HTC and I think that they should do the same for Motorola.
What do you think about Android phone series? Do they hinder the process of uniting and further being able to be a strong platform, or do they help Android be much more stronger than it is now; what Android could be. Or do we still rely on the Nexus One to unite us all?