Carriers are struggling to cope with punters who want to keep returning their Android phones.
Figures from wireless management experts WDS claim that the return and repair of Android smartphone devices is costing mobile operators as much as $2 billion per year.
The study, which has the catchy title “Controlling the Android” looked at 600,000 technical support calls that the WDS teams around the world have handled in the last 12 months.
It said that fragmentation of the Android operating system has led to a higher than average amount of hardware failures on Android-based devices. These have resulted in 14 per cent of technical support calls on Android relate to hardware, versus 11 per cent for Windows Phone, 7 per cent for iOS and 6 per cent for BlackBerry OS.
Tim Deluca-Smith, Vice President of Marketing at WDS said the analysis did not find any inherent fault with the Android platform. But what had happened was that its openness has enabled it to grow a bit quick.
Lower-cost hardware, a variety of software customisations and the process for delivering OS updates to consumers were all resulting in operators’ retail operations and their return and repairs processes being stretched.
Deluca-Smith said that operators were treating Android as if all flavours were alike when it was not the case.
Android differs enormously between devices and this means that the way in which Android devices are retailed and supported must consider factors such as the hardware build and quality of components, he said.
The report says that Telcos need to improve device testing and the on-boarding processes when ranging Android products to minimise risk of hardware failure.
There needs to be improvements in product documentation and punters need to be told what to expect with each phone during the sales process the report said.