The whimsical notion that Android is an open platform is a tattered fabrication that has been stretched beyond the average open source software enthusiast’s capacity to suspend disbelief.

Google’s lockdown of Android’s (open) source code, its relationships with carriers and manufacturers who’ve little interest in openness, and its willingness to renege on promises of an open ecosystem make it hard for Android to continue to claim the high ground in its war against Apple’s “closed” iOS. Indeed, is there really any difference between the two in terms of philosophical purity?

Maybe it’s just marketing, but many people — like me — would still probably say, yes, there is a difference. Just why, though, is hard to explain.