geekdad, if Apple held a majority position in the market (like RIM or Nokia for example) then your argument would hold water - but they don't. What IS happening is that Google has targeting Apple as being the most geek-tastic and therefore worthy of inflammatory rhetoric and the whole "freedom" argument. These sorts of arguments do nothing to mitigate the obvious popularity with the consuming public of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. So Google has to address it's attack elsewhere. By crying "FREEDOM" they hope to peel as many devs away from Apple as they can, hoping that none of the other players in the smartphone market gain/regain any traction with consumers.
It is far easier to just ignore RIM and Nokia (and Microsoft) and focus on attacking Apple than to construct a well-thought-out and comprehensive approach to the market over the long term. Remember just like the Google fanboys, Google has a notoriously short attention span (remember the Nexus One?) And while they are selling koolaid by the gallons to the current fan club, there's every indication that once they hit too many obstacles, or just simply get bored, the enthusiasm will evaporate leaving devs and fans alike with empty cups and unrequited thirst. The degree to which the likes of Stevie, AsianBob and Asharian are championing Google/Android indicates the success of the attempt.
And Android kiddies, let's review a little history shall we?
Google purchased Android (a modified Linux kernel)in 2005
2007 they announced the Android distro, together with the consortium they put together of a bunch of carriers, hardware and software suppliers (essentially a significant body of competitors to the iPhone). And Apple announced an dreleased the first gen iPhone - note that Schmidt sat on Apple's BOD this whole time, reaping the information out of Apple's development plans.
2008 Google releases Android as open source - allowing vendors to add proprietary extensions without referencing the open-source community
Android Market started out with only free apps but now supports paid-for apps as well effective 2007
2009 Google sues Cyanogen for modding/re-distro of the closed Google apps. Google reserves their own apps from open modification.
Now, with Google TV coming, the word from the inside is the desire to produce a walled garden of TV-optimized web services.
And of course from the dev conference itself: don't use our private APIs (even tho a while back we were told "we have NO private APIs")
So even content provisioning is limited:"there are more Content Providers in the system than are documented in that package, and while you can use them, you probably shouldnt. Theyre there because some of the Google-provided apps use them internally to access their own data resources."
So yeah, the front room is wide open - windows open, doors open even ceiling is open - but you don't get to go in the back rooms. At all. Just sayin'.
When something is open, it either is open or it isn't. Something that is mostly open but not completely open, isn't really open, and just saying the word doesn't change that simple fact.