Stasys Bielinis, writing for UnwiredView.com:
According to Android developer and author Maximiliano Firtman, he just got official confirmation that KitKat “… doesn’t ship with any browser, just the WebView. The emulator has it but not real devices. It’s up to each vendor to create a browser app using the WebView (such as Samsung) or to get license to preinstall Chrome.”
The decision to ship open source part of Android without a browser is probably another part of Google’s strategy to take back the control of Android. But it may also give an opening for other browser makers such as Firefox.
If ever Apple were to ship iOS without Safari built-in (when pigs fly), it’d be a major PR shitshow, from users and the media. It’s okay for Google to do so with Android because, you know, open. But if Apple did it? Not even the National Enquirer could write more sensationalistic headlines.