Nokia has the best record at delivering Android software and security updates to its smartphones, a new study has found.
Counterpoint Research says 96 per cent of all Nokia devices sold since Q3 2018 were either running or had been issued with Android Pie. This was more than Samsung with 89 per cent and Xiaomi with 84 per cent.
In general, premium handsets are updated first, with mid and low range devices following later. Nokia was also the best at getting updates deployed across its entire portfolio, while Xiaomi and Lenovo also had a good record.
Analysts say that as produce refresh cycles lengthen, manufacturers have a duty to ensure that customers have a good experience and are secure throughout the entire period of ownership. Those that don’t, it is argued, are failing their customers.
“Operating system and security updates are an aspect of Android smartphones that get relatively little attention,” said Peter Richardson, Research Director at Counterpoint. “In our experience researching the industry, we have seen a few brands focusing on this. And perhaps because manufacturers are not talking about it, consumer awareness is also low. It doesn’t appear among the ten features consumers say they care about most, in our research.”
“Unsurprisingly, therefore, little effort is expended by the top manufacturers in focusing on regular updates to the operating system and device security, despite it being a critical element in the continued safe performance of the smartphone.
“Many of the key features including battery life, processor, camera and memory are linked to the performance of the underlying operating system. We believe it is important to the overall consumer experience and is likely to become more widely recognized as such.”
HMD Global has manufactured Nokia devices under licence for the past three years and hopes a wide range of devices, attractive designs, and a commitment to issuing timely software and security updates will win a significant share of the mid-range segment. Having initially focussed on the consumer market, it is now targeting the enterprise.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.