1. The obligation-free option: Fre Android, load onto their devices and provide access to as many or as few apps as they want. No preload popular Google applications, like Gmail or Google calendar.
2. The small strings option: Same as Option 1, except that manufacturers sign a distribution agreement to include on the phone Google applications. Of the 18 to 20 phones coming out this year, Mr. Rubin said, 12 to 14 subscribe to this option.
3. The bigger strings option or the no-censorship version: These phones Google calls “The Google Experience”. They are physically distinguishable by the “Google” logo on the phone. They include a range of Google applications that the carrier and handset maker agree not to remove from the phone. The carrier and handset maker also agree not to censor access to the Android market. Meaning: if some developer comes up with an application that some people find distasteful, or that gets bad press, it must nevertheless remain available to consumers. Of the phones coming out this year, 5 to 6 belong to this category, Mr. Rubin said.