Head right on over to Wired and read Fred Vogelstein's behind-the-scenes look at how Android succeeded. Just one point of emphasis from me -- Android and Google give carriers an incentive to provide a better mobile Internet experience and Apple does not.
The iPhone, revolutionary as it was, didn’t alter one underlying dynamic: Phone manufacturers—who wanted to make the most capable, feature-rich phones—were still at odds with the carriers that provide the pricey bandwidth to power those features. That had led to conflict between Apple and its carrier partners, especially AT&T. Apple wanted users to take full advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities, but carriers then had to spend billions to keep up with the demand on their overtaxed networks. Android finally rewrote that calculus. Because carriers get a cut of app sales and ad revenue, they stand to make money when subscribers surf the web or download applications. For once, the interests of software designers, manufacturers, carriers, and customers are all aligned.
-Wired, April 14, 2011