Report: Nokia leads way for Android updates, but who are other winners, losers?

The Nokia 4.2 is one of many Nokia phones to receive Android updates.

A new report by Counterpoint Research has ranked Android phone manufacturers by their ability to deliver updates. The report looked at a brand’s phones sold cumulatively since Q3 2018, then checked whether the devices were running Android Pie at launch or had the update pushed out.

The tracking firm found that only about a quarter of the top Android phones sold during this period were running Android Pie.

Unsurprisingly, Nokia phones were the top performer according to Counterpoint’s study, with almost 96 percent of all its phones sold since Q3 2018 offering Android Pie. Samsung (89 percent), Xiaomi (84 percent), Huawei (82 percent), and Lenovo (43 percent) occupied the rest of the top five spots respectively.

A graphic by Counterpoint Research, showing the percentage of phones on Android Pie.Counterpoint Research

Despite the huge gap between Lenovo and the rest of the top five, Counterpoint praised the firm for its ability to deliver Android updates nonetheless. It noted that the above graphic took new phone launches into account as well, and the likes of Samsung delivered more new phones than Lenovo during this period.

When it comes to the actual time taken to update older devices to Android Pie, Nokia was ahead here too. HMD Global covered 94 percent of its portfolio in 12 months.

The Finnish brand was followed by Xiaomi (62 percent updated in 12 months), Lenovo (52 percent), Huawei (40 percent), Vivo (28 percent), and Samsung (23 percent). The tracking firm specifically called out Alcatel and Tecno for lagging behind other manufacturers in terms of Android updates. Check out the graphic below for a better idea of how the manufacturers stack up.

A Counterpoint Research graphic showing time to update to Android Pie.Counterpoint Research

Counterpoint research director Peter Richardson underlined the importance of Android updates, but also noted that it’s not one of the top features consumers care about.

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“Operating system and security updates are an aspect of Android smartphones that get relatively little attention. In our experience researching the industry, we have seen a few brands focusing on this,” Richardson explained. “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.”

The Counterpoint representative noted that little effort was made by top brands to deliver regular feature and security updates. He added that features like battery life, the camera, and other aspects are linked to the performance of the operating system. After all, it’s possible to improve battery life, picture quality, and overall responsiveness with updates.

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