Nope it's google's fault. In order to go the whole hog and have all the google apps etc, the vendors have to do certain things.
You mean change these things?
Carrier business model:
(1) Contractually obligate you for 2 years
(2) Entice you with "upgraded phone" every 18 months
(3) Prevent them upgrading their own phone and escaping carrier lock-in after 2 years
(4) Benefit from customer lock in
(5) Goto 2
Cell phone vendor business model:
(1) Bring a new phone to market
(2) Contract with a carrier/seller who considers it enough of an upgrade to entice an early re-up on a customer contract
(3) Start work on the next phone to sell more hardware
(4) Goto 1
Phone OS vendor business model:
(1) Continuously work on the OS
(2) Convince cell phone vendor to use OS
(3) Cell phone vendor takes snapshot of tree
(3)(a) Cell phone vendor productizes snapshot, because OS vendor could not produce a finished product to save their mother
(4) Goto 1
Admittedly, Google would *like* to change things, but at this point, it's really kind of too late; they should have started with lock-in to their own App store.
Apple doesn't have this problem because the next iPhone only has to compete with the previous iPhone, and Apple *actually* tends to improve the iPhone hardware in a less-than 18 month cycle (which keeps the carriers happy), and it doesn't have to fight with all the other cell phone vendors for mind share because, hey, where else are you going to run all those apps/listen to all that music/watch all those movies, that you've already paid for.
Apple has App-based lock-in, and 18 month upgrade cycle carrier satisfaction, and they sell both the hardware and the software, so there's no hardware company to push-back on software updates, and there's no PITA continuous development cycle that prevents software updates from being polished products to push back the other direction.
Google could *probably*, *eventually* fix things, if they were willing to swallow some incredibly bitter pills, and if they were to do profit-sharing of App revenue with the hardware vendors so that the hardware vendors for Android device were willing to be commoditized, but