As an analyst, I’m frequently asked for advice on buying different phones. I’m happy to give it, but when I “review” phones I am typically looking at it from more of a strategic angle. In other words, I’m trying to determine “how does this help/hurt the vendor/carrier,” not “is this a good phone, per se.” You’d be surprised at how many terrible phones sell well, and how many fine phones falter. It’s my job to help vendors and carriers navigate these dynamics. With that in mind, here’s my mid-year update on Android and the challenges vendors face when licensing it.