HMD Global’s Nokia showed more alacrity than any other phone vendors when it comes to delivering latest Android updates on existing smartphones. Almost 96% of all Nokia smartphones, sold cumulatively after Q3 2018, are running on Android 9 (Pie) or have been issued an update, claims Counterpoint Research’s latest whitepaper- Software and Security Updates: The Missing Link for Smartphones.
“OS and security updates are an aspect of Android smartphones that get relatively little attention. 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," points out Peter Richardson, Research Director at Counterpoint Research in a press statement.
Richardson has a point. Timely software and security updates have always been a major drawback of Android ecosystem. Most phone vendors would take their own sweet time to roll out the latest version of Android on their smartphones. The end user not only misses out on useful new features but also critical security patches.
According to Android Distribution Dashboard, for month of May 2019, the latest version 9 of Android accounts for just 10% of all devices, while Android 8 runs on 28.3% of devices. Rest of the devices run on Android 7 or even older versions.
HMD Global’s Nokia is one of the few phone vendors that has embraced Google’s Android One program. All its handsets outside of China are part of the program and run stock Android out of the box, which assures timely software and security updates on all devices for a period of 2 years. This has helped the company to push the updates on time.
Surprisingly, phone vendors with custom UIs are fast catching up with their stock UI counterparts. For instance, 89% of Samsung smartphones and 84% of all Xiaomi smartphones launched post Q3 2018 run on Android 9.