Nokia (the mobile brand licensed by HMD Global) has surprisingly topped the chart when it comes to updating smartphone software and issuing security patches and nearly 96 percent of Nokia smartphones are already running on Android Pie or have had an Android Pie update, making it the fastest brand to reach this level, a new report said on Friday.
Only around a quarter of the top Android models are updated to the latest OS version, said a whitepaper titled "Software and Security Updates: The Missing Link for Smartphones" by Counterpoint Research.
"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.
"Because manufacturers are not talking about it, consumer awareness is also low. It doesn't appear among the 10 features consumers say they care about most, in our research," said Research Director Peter Richardson.
The average time that consumers keep a flagship smartphone before buying a new device has been gradually increasing. In markets as diverse as China, Europe and the US, it is now approaching 30 months.
Keeping the software and security up to date is important to ensure consumers continue to enjoy a good performance and have security throughout their ownership.
"Samsung closely follows Nokia with 89 percent and Xiaomi with 84 percent. Xiaomi is good at ensuring its mid-price range products launch with the latest version of Android," said Tarun Pathak, Associate Director.
There are a lot of factors that play a role in issuing software updates.
"Only a few brands commit to making sure their smartphones are always running the latest version," Pathak added.
"High-priced devices are often updated first, but having the latest software is as important to mid- and low-priced products as it is to flagship devices.
"Brands like Alcatel and Tecno are the laggards. This is because these brands have broad portfolios, mostly in the sub-$200 segment, and the lifecycle of their models tends to be short," said Research Analyst Abhilash Kumar.
"Their products often transition from launch to end-of-life in as little as six months, which means they have less incentive to provide long-term updates," Kumar added.