This is a question that I was wondering for quite some time. To provide some background, I bought a few physical devices with different screens and operative systems so we could test apps at the office. Since these devices are not for heavy use, I went for the cheapest option for each one (basically, base memory).
Right off the bat, I realized something: a couple Android devices with 2GB from factory defaults were almost without memory: Almost 1.3Gb were taken by different Google apps and some specific apps for the phone and all its related files.
Obviously, this leaves no room for anything more than maybe a couple apps and a few photos, resulting in a less than desirable User Experience. And consequently, a really hard hit to brand's credibility. For example, I know I won't buy a Motorola or HTC phone again.
So, my take is: - Manufacturers accepts that Android limits the user experience - They allow the loss of user's locus of control - They're OK with Google taking full control of the device
Please note that this is not a Google or Android bashing. I simply see Android phones needs some specifications to work, so my question is: why do manufacturers create phones with all its features limited by the OS? It's really obvious that just adding a bit of memory would make user's experience more enjoyable, yet they don't do it, so: Is there a technical o economical reason to explain this behavior?