When it comes to timely Android updates, Nokia is on top


IF PIXEL PHONES don’t appeal, then new research from Counterpoint says there’s only one other game in town for timely Android updates: Nokia.

That’s not a bet you’d have made three years ago, before Nokia dramatically came back from the dead after a spell churning out Windows handsets for a largely apathetic market. Indeed, Nokia has pretty limited experience of Android ahead of its recent resurgence (who remembers the Nokia X?), but despite that it has a pretty impressive record of pushing updates out to its whole spectrum of phones.

The “whole spectrum” part is important. It’s one thing to keep your expensive flagships on the latest build, but quite another to keep the various budget numbers ticking over. 

Counterpoint found that an impressive 96 per cent of Nokia handsets sold since the release of Android Pie now run it, ahead of Samsung (89 per cent), Xiaomi (84 per cent) and Huawei (82 per cent).

After that, it falls off a cliff, with just 43 per cent of Lenovo handsets, 35 per cent of Oppo phones and 18 per cent of vivo devices following suit. At the bottom of the pile: LG (16 per cent), Alcatel (14 per cent), Tecno (5 per cent) and “others” (15 per cent). 

Almost as important as the destination is the speed of updates, of course, and this graph gives you an idea of how snappy each manufacturer was at updating their portfolios. As you can see, for Xiaomi and Huawei a late burst at the nine-month mark ensured they ended up with respectable positions. 

Not included in this list, of course, is Google, given every handset its released since Android Pie runs the software. In fact, every Pixel phone does, and will be updatable for at least three years, according to the company.   

With people keeping their phones longer than they used to, the willingness of companies to keep them updated is more important than ever. Probably something to consider when you’re comparing identical looking phones in the Carphone Warehouse window. µ

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