Reports of high Android handset return rates rubbished

By Gary Johnson - Jul 29, 2011

The Android Platform is growing fast with great new handsets being released all the time. But recently some quarters have wondered if quantity doesn’t always mean quality, this was amid reports that the platform sees around a forty percent return rate from consumers. But reports of high Android handset return rates have been rubbished by industry sources.

An article by Zach Epstein of BGR is reporting that a few sources have told them the figures quoted as “ridiculous’. If these figures were accurate it doesn’t take much to workout retailers and carriers would be dropping Android as if they had just been handed some hot coals. Not only that they would have all gone bust because when a handset is returned it costs the manufacturer money.

The carrier would also lose money and any third party retailer which may have sold the device will also take a hit financially. A few weeks ago Google announced they were activating around 550,000 devices a day. This doesn’t tell you exactly how many new Android handsets are sold, but it should be around at least 90 percent of that figure. This equates to slightly below 15 million new Android smartphones being soled every month.

If the return rates of this figure was around 40 percent it would cost the industry millions if not billions of dollars every year. But the real return rate of Android handsets is according to BGR sources is low and in single figure digits. Two of the sources did say that some makes of smartphones were worse than others, with some getting slightly higher return rates.

But these figures are a long way from being almost forty percent, which for any product would be disastrous. Also what one person may think is the best thing since sliced bread others will hate, a bit like the iPhone. The handset in many people’s eyes is the best handset to get and nothing that rivals offer compare, but there are some who despise the device for one reason or another.

One of the biggest complaints about some Android handsets has been issues with battery life, but with the demand for powerful processors housed in super slim handsets something has to give. Have you ever returned an Android cell phone?

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