Every release of the Android operating system (OS) includes new features which optimize the overall device experience and improves the security of the device. The OS updates present smartphone manufacturers with an opportunity to create a point of differentiation as many manufacturers either don’t bother updating their devices’ OS or take many months to issue the update. We think this issue deserves more attention because maintaining optimal software performance is critical to the long-term health of the smartphone.
Currently, Nokia leads in the regularity of software and security updates among the top Android smartphone brands; 94% of its portfolio is updated to the latest Android version within a year of release, making it the fastest brand to reach this level. In terms of security updates, it again leads the rankings by issuing 100% of the monthly Android security patches to its complete portfolio.
Nokia’s performance is a competitive advantage as all other brands are far behind. Many manufacturers offer inconsistent software and security updates. Some brands focus only on keeping their flagships up to date, while others only issue software and security updates after a considerable delay.
It is surprising that there are manufacturers among the top 10 smartphone makers that don’t have any clear strategy for updating customers whether their devices are eligible for security and software updates. We think this issue will become increasingly important in determining competitiveness in the future as consumers keep their smartphones for longer and longer, and rely on them more and more.