For the point I was trying to make, there's not a difference between Android and CM. CM is much more transparent and friendly than its upstream Android, certainly. But it wouldn't be accurate to owe application compatibility, for example, simply to CM. CM and Android are more alike than different; they're related.
drag has a point that traditional distributions can learn from Android. Fair enough. Android, and its derivatives, could learn a lot from traditional distributions. I don't like the popularity argument for reasons I explained in another post.
I would argue that the success of Android isn't tied to its development model, its tied to the resources of Google. On the contrary, I see success despite its development model.