Nokia has emerged as the leader when it comes to updating smartphone software and security. Nearly 96 percent of Nokia smartphones cumulatively sold since Q3 2018 have been found running Android Pie already. If not the update, they have been found having received the update. This makes HMD Global, the Finnish licensee of Nokia brand, fastest among Android smartphone makers to push out software update. Lenovo is the only other brand with a comparable performance when it updating their devices with new software.
The findings were released by Counterpoint Research in its whitepaper titled Software and Security Updates: The Missing Link for Smartphones. The research firm notes that device makers need to step up their efforts to provide regular software and security updates to their users. It is no surprise that Nokia has emerged as the leader since the company has built its reputation around timely software update. It recently announced plans to offer extra year of software update for its first smartphones.
Nokia leads software updates among Android device makers
Software has never been the most important element for Android devices makers. However, with consumers now holding onto their smartphones for longer duration, software is becoming important once again. Keeping the software and security aspects up to date is once again important for consumers. Counterpoint notes that 96 percent of Nokia smartphones run Android Pie. The remaining 4 percent of its devices run Android 8.1 Oreo.
Samsung is second with 89 percent of its devices running Android Pie while 7 percent of its devices are on Android Oreo. Xiaomi has 84 percent of its smartphones on Pie and 9 percent on Android 8.1 Oreo. Huawei is fourth with 82 percent devices running Pie, 5 percent running Android 8.1 Oreo and 10 percent on Android 8.0 Oreo. Lenovo and Oppo have 43 percent and 35 percent devices on Android Pie. Vivo, LG, Alcatel and Tecno have the worst record with 18 percent, 16 percent, 14 percent and 5 percent devices on Pie.
“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. 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,” Peter Richardson, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.
“There are a lot of factors that play a role in issuing software updates. But some brands put much more effort into reducing the time lag from the release of the latest Android version to issuing the update to all their smartphones. Only a few brands commit to making sure their smartphones are always running the latest version. Nokia was the fastest brand in issuing the latest software updates covering 94% of its portfolio within a year of the launch of the latest Android version,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research added.
At the end of the second quarter of 2019, Samsung was the leader in the global smartphone market. It was followed by Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. The performance of Oppo and Vivo should raise concerns considering these companies are shipping more devices but is a laggard when it comes to software updates. HMD Global, on the other hand, managed to ship only 4.8 million devices during Q2 2019 and was 9th largest smartphone brand.