Google make sure (in conjunction with some hardware company) they have a working device when their new software is released. This device is a working reference design for all other OEMs to make their own. And software is open source, so customisations and new drivers are not a problem for OEMs.
PC space works using a slightly different model, where Intel (and before them IBM) release reference board implementations, Microsoft writes core software (also greatly influences hardware specs) and OEMs do the rest (their own board designs, based on reference stuff + drivers).
Apple is a world of their own, much like, say, a mainframe world. Limited hardware choice, proprietary OS and tightly controlled app store eco system.
Sure, it would be great if we didn't have package format/tools fragmentation, desktop fragmentation etc., but fixing this is not strictly a requirement for having a successful Linux desktop. A serious commercial entity with real technical expertise, putting competitive (i.e. not dirt cheap) devices into people's hands is.
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