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Android phones vs. iPhone: Quality or quantity, which prevails?

The sales of Android smartphones have soared over the last two years, gaining Google the dominant percentage of share in the market from having almost none. In terms of devices sold they have taken the lead, having shipped more than their rivals like RIM and Apple. All is not as smooth sailing as it seems however as despite the sales they also have a high return rate percentage, in some cases as much as 30-40%.

This news has got us asking the question whether it is quality or quantity that is most important when trying to gain the highest market share. To some extent quality does prevail over quantity, take Apple for example, they only have one smartphone the iPhone, which allows them greater quality control. This is why the sales of their device have been so successful and also explains their low return rate of 1.7%.

Apple only has the iPhone and still manages to have a large percentage share of the smartphone market as consumers are highly satisfied with the product. Google on the other hand, has a number of different handsets available, making the quality control much harder to handle so you get a variety of Android smartphones to choose from but they also vary in level of quality of hardware used.

The percentage of return rates for Android devices above is a statistic that only accounts for some of their smartphones sold. Truth is that some devices may have an even higher return rate of maybe 50% and some will almost certainly have little or no return rate. Take the Samsung Galaxy S II for example, one of the most successful selling Android smartphones yet, selling 3 million in just 55 days. The HTC EVO 3D is another example of a high end Android device that would have return rates much lower than 30% if any at all.

As TechCrunch explains the Android OS appeals far more to people who may be looking to make their device open platform, but to the average phone user it may seem complicated. This means the more simple iOS handsets could appear easier to use and leave customers more satisfied. Whatever the reason for the high return rate, the Android sales continue to grow, but you can’t help but think they could be so much larger if their return rate was not so high. So which do you think will prevail, quality or quantity?

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