Interesting article, but i think it misses some key points:
– Talk of Android vs. iPhone is to discuss a platform vs. an OS. The key advantage App,e has is the huge volume of devices that run iOS but aren’t phones (iPod Touch, iPad) – these are just as important to app developers, and add hugely to device volumes.
– To say Google makes little or no money from Android is also somewhat missing the point. What about the profit from mobile search and advertising that Google may miss-out on if they didn’t have Android? Possibly even this is small, as those competitor OS devices are probably heavy Google users, but…
– Android is a defensive play against a future where Google has no direct route to consumers, much as the Chrome browser and OS is in the PC space. It’s impossible to put a value on the future lost profit if that happened.