Android OEMs are copying Apple in all the wrong ways
Apple phones and gadgets are fashion icons. Yes through marketing and hype, but there is also a critical factor that most companies seem to ignore or not understand.
Apple is able to make fashion icons because of a simple thing: it releases ONE or at most TWO devices. That means that they are distinguishable and easily recognised. Someone says "I have the iPhone" or "I want the iPhone".
Now try to do that with other brands. Try to say "I have the XPERIA". What the heck are you talking about? Which of the myriad XPERIA phones do you have? 'I want the Galaxy". Which Galaxy? The S, the One, the... the... . Crap.
Furthermore, in focusing on one ro two devices, it means HUGE economies of scale. Now what is important to understand, is that these economies of scale are not mostly for components. No. They are economies of scale for development, thoughts. ideas, effort, software, services. Instead of distracting through a myriad devices, focusing on a single design, makes a huge difference in producing a product that is clearly well thought of. How can you do that when you ship at the same time a line of 10 to 50 different phones in all sizes, features, hardware etc that can be imagined?
How do you support all those platforms?
Do you want a quick answer? You cannot and you dont. Sony is great for NOT supporting its phones at all. The Sony experience I had was a terrible one. No updates, a lot of crapware, full of bugs in the firmware and fast deprecation.
Google goes exactly the other way around: one device per category - it is copying Apple in exactly the way it should. This is what it did with Motorola and it made a splash with Moto G and Moto X.
So if Android vendors want to survive, I would say that they should forget the whole 100 phones strategy, forget that they will manage to cover all market needs and forget those awful skins and stupid things with the software.
Instead they should focus on producing a couple of solid devices, keep the Android software as close as possible to stock Android, make sure they can provide good response to issues and updates and try to make profit through services rather than loading the phone with crapware that everyone tries to remove.