What happens when the manufacturer of your newly purchased Android phone decides to stop providing updates? If you're a Motorola customer, you will probably be out of luck (except with the newly released Xoom.) Motorola locks the boot loaders on their phones preventing 3rd parties from providing updates (eg. CyanogenMod) for devices that they have released.
Which got me thinking, what are the really "friendly" device manufactures out there? Not Motorola for sure, which leaves some other players in the market:
- HTC which doesn't try all that hard to lock their phones down (except if say, T-Mobile requests it)
- Samsung isn't exactly friendly to hackers, makes it relatively easy to brick your phone if you aren't super careful
- Acer, and LG clunky and poor quality hardware and I find it hard to see the appeal, not a very large userbase of "hackers" for the hardware
- Huawei, poor build quality and a new player in the market
- Google, which sources their phones from various manufacturers (to date: HTC and Samsung)
There are some other smaller manufactures, but none that really make a "dent" in the market at present. Now, based on quality what do you select? You could go with Samsung, but you might have to deal with a faulty boot loader which will cause your phone to become bricked if you mess up while doing a firmware flash.
Seems like HTC is one of the only decent Android smartphone manufactures out there! I know that many people are going to disagree with me, but they are consistently cranking out new hardware that is well supported by CyanogenMod and isn't totally-locked-down.