In 2015, we had seen a surge in the Smartphones that launched in India. It all started in 2013 onwards when we had seen the Chinese Invasion that went multifold in 2015 with not just dozens of devices getting launched but along with that the competition brought in price wars, making the phones more affordable to everyone. In 2014 November, the Android 5.0 OS was officially launched though it was seeded in beta to a few Nexus devices earlier. A significant percentage of devices that did launch in 2015 had come with the Lollipop pre-installed, but this is the same year when Android 6.0 Marshmallow was launched.
Brands have been making a lot of iterations on the devices in the form of skins that completely change the looks and the functions, primarily to give users a theme that they get habituated to. The often debated Samsung’s Touchwiz is one example that gives users a seamless experience to their regularly used options and shortcuts; that does not change even when the core Android version has been upgraded. If you notice whenever you switch to a new version of Android, there’s a fair amount of change regarding the visual aesthetics, placement of options that could confuse most of the general users. The custom skins help these users in quickly understanding everything & retaining the shortcuts in the same place.
It is also very important that the brands should be promptly updating their devices along with the bug fixes to ensure they are compatible with the latest applications and could make use of the new features. In this world where consumers are looking forward to the Android Updates, the brands are now offering their UI updates confusing the users because it’s still the same software at the core skinned to make the user feel they have been upgraded. Today we have a report that is based on all the leading brands that have been selling Smartphones in India in the last year ie 2015 & the software update information is by the end of March 2016.
- Total Smartphones Launched in 2015: 212
- % of Smartphones Launched with Android Jelly Bean: 1.88%
- % of Smartphones Launched with Android Kitkat: 41.03%
- % of Smartphones Launched with Android Lollipop: 56.13%
- % of Smartphones Launched with Android Marshmallow: 0.94%
Based on all the software information on all the 212 Smartphones launched in the year 2015, we were able to find that there were just 14 phones that have received the Android Marshmallow update by April 2016. To be precise this comes to around 6.6%, and that is pretty small.
The Phone brand that has topped the charts for offering quicker software updates is Motorola whose all the phones have received the update.
Upgrade Report Card
At the end of the day what matters is which brand cares more about you and your phone. Based on all the above mentioned brands and their respective phones launched, we were able to find that the brand Intex that launched the maximum number of phones in 2015 never upgraded its devices. Followed are some points.
- Major Software Updates only for 6.6% Devices
- 100% of Motorola SmartPhones received Major Software Update
- 0% of the 95 Smartphones from Intex, Celkon & Micromax received any Update
- 47% of Sony SmartPhones received Major Software Update
- 25% of Samsung SmartPhones received Major Software Update
- 16.6% of LG SmartPhones received Major Software Update
- New Brands like Honor, Infocus, Vivo also lacked in offering any Updates
We would like to conclude that Motorola leads the charts regarding the software updates while most of the new brands that entered India in the last 1-2 years have also focussed on offering price drops to increase their market share but have not focused on improving the users experiences. Brands like Xiaomi that have been promising weekly updates have been providing some updates but to the MIUI that fixes a few bugs and issues but does not bring in the core Android update.
This report can help you in understanding what brand’s the device you should be buying next. If it just confuses you, get a Nexus device like the Nexus 6P that’s going to get the latest update like the recently announced Android N and the one that’s coming next year.