Nokia Ahead Of Peers In Software Updates

Having an updated software on your smartphone is critical for both smooth user experience and for data security, and the mobile brand you use may determine how secure you are.

Globally, telecommunications pioneer Nokia leads modern smartphone makers when it comes to updating Operating System (OS) on its phones the fastest.

Nearly 96% of Nokia smartphones sold cumulatively since September 2018 are already running on Android Pie (9)- the version released in 2018, data from Counterpoint Research shows.

Smartphones from Samsung follow closely behind with 89% running on Android Pie, and Xiaomi comes third with 84%. Android just released its latest update Android 10, and typically there is a time difference between Google launching a latest Android version and the same arriving on smartphones. Oppo, Vivo, LG, and Alcatel emerged as laggards in this listing with 35%, 18%, 16%, and 14% of their portfolio updated with the latest software version.

Vivo and Oppo did not respond to TOI’s queries.

Many key features of a smartphone including battery life, processor, camera, and memory are linked to the performance of the underlying OS. In addition, updates can also help fix bugs, speed up the way applications work, and prevent malicious attacks that can cripple smartphone users.

Analysts said time taken by brands to offer software updates depends on price of the model, frequency of new launches from the brand, and target customers, but noted that having the latest version is crucial across category of devices. “In terms of price tier, high-priced devices are often updated first both in terms of issuing software and security updates while devices in sub-US$200 are either not updated or postponed,” Tarun Pathak, associate director, Counterpoint Research, said.

He attributes this to the broad portfolio of brands, the time a consumer holds on to a device in the affordable segment, and the overall focus OEMs have on software updates.

Counterpoint Research believes that manufacturers who fail to take security and user experience into account when planning the timelines for updates are “potentially failing their customers.”

As the smartphone market heats up, and as more OEMs offer similar features, the performance of the OS and the security features have emerged as a key differentiator.

“This is why we think that software and security will have a bigger role in the overall smartphone experience for consumers in the future” Pathak says.―Times of India

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