Which Android mobile manufacturer should you buy from?

Written by on May 29, 2011 in other - 7 Comments

I recently wrote the 2011 guide to Android mobiles. In the article, I recommended a Sony Ericsson, a couple of HTC’s and a couple of Motorola’s. What I didn’t really take into consideration was the manufacturers. The companies who you buy an Android mobile from are responsible for updating it to the latest version of Android and for giving you support and even fixing/replacing your phone if it is under it’s 12 month limited warranty.

Computer World has created some great graphs which show how many mobiles the manufacturers updated and how long it took them to update the one’s they did.

So what do these graphs show? Well, they clearly show that HTC come out on top. HTC updated 50% of their eligible mobiles while the nearest competitor, Motorola, only updated 15%. HTC took second place for the amount of time it took them to update the mobiles they chose to update. Considering HTC updated many more mobiles than the other manufacturers, that isn’t bad!

Motorola is the second best manufacturer for updates. Even though they only updated 15% of their mobiles, they came second above Samsung which only updated 11%. Motorola did much better on the amount of time it took to update the mobiles they did as they came first with 54.5 days.

Samsung came third for both the amount of updates and the duration of the updates. To be honest though, they were terrible. They only updates 22% of the mobiles they could have done and it took them a whopping 159 days to update the mobiles that they did.

The rest of the big Android mobile manufacturers which are Dell, LG and Sony did not update any of their mobiles at the end of last year. I will forgive them this time as they are relatively new to Android and don’t have the volume of Android mobiles out as the top 3 manufacturers.


Obviously, the amount and duration of updates for each manufacturer could have changed in 5 months and could still change. However, This graph does show how dedicated each manufacturer is to supporting their devices. So, what have we learnt here? If you want good support for your Android mobile, go with HTC. Otherwise, your new Android mobile could be stuck with an outdated version of Android.


About the Author

Caleb is an 18 year old student from England. He bought an Android mobile over a year ago and has been a self confessed Android fan ever since. Caleb is passionate about helping people to make the most of their Android.

7 Comments on "Which Android mobile manufacturer should you buy from?"

  1. JAG May 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm · Reply

    So that HTC and motorola are ahead of other companies in upgrades?

    • calebk May 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm · Reply

      Yes, according to this data. They upgrade more eligible handsets and upgrade faster.

  2. Arion May 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm · Reply

    First of all..all manufacturers committed to an 18month upgrade cycle..ALL of them are getting timely updates…Check the Google I/O…

    Now in the case of Samsung, you have to note that they upgraded to 2.2.1 not 2.2, Motorola also upgraded to 2.2.1 around the time Samsung did..HTC still has yet to update their phones to 2.2.1

    Also take into account that HTC had a 3 month advantage with Froyo as they had the Nexus One…this is seen that Samsung already upgraded their international lineups to Gingerbread in March (since they had the upper hand with the Nexus S).

    So out of all the Manufacturers Motorola is the one which had no advantages in the phones OS and updates the quickest. (Though I hate their locking policy)

    As far as US goes, I’ll tell you this..who ever has the carriers sticker will get updates first..aka for Verizon if it get a Droid sticker, it gets updates first. On sprint if it has Evo sticker it gets update first. On T-Mobile its the mytouch series. ATT has no series..yet..but those phones will get the most love from their manufacturers. (Manufacturer is irrelevant as the Carrier forces them to update faster for their “branded” phones)

    So if fastest updates are your thing go by these 2 elements:

    1) whoever makes the Nexus line

    2) If its branded by carrier

    • calebk May 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm · Reply

      Hi Arion, thanks for your great comment. You may be right that HTC had a 3 month time advantage so they could have been considerably slower than Motorola, not Samsung though. You are right, Motorola is great at speedy updates. What Motorola aswell as Samsung are terrible at is upgrading eligible handsets. In my opinion, this is far more important than the speed of updates. There is no denying that HTC is the best manufacturer because they upgraded far more handsets than the others.

      I also agree that in the US, the carrier is just as or more important than the manufacturer where the speed of updates are concerned. It is possible that I will write an article about this sometime in the future.

      You also mentioned Google I/O and the 18 month updates that the manufacturers committed to, I totally forgot about that. Read this Androinica article, http://androinica.com/2011/05/android-updates-for-18-months/
      The article says that although Manufacturers have committed to it, it is a guideline and not mandatory. This means that manufacturers can ignore the guideline even if they have committed to it. The guideline also does not make sure that the manufacturers provide every Android release in the 18 months. This means that is very possible that Samsung and other manufacturers that have been bad at updating, will still be bad at updating even though they committed to the pledge.

  3. Arion May 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm · Reply

    I am in no way saying that Samsung is better then HTC at updating..but I personally think they are around equal..and I have data to backup my claim.

    Lets look at the list: (provided by computerworld)

    HTC – Aria(S7), Droid Eris(M7), Droid Incredible (yes)(S8), Evo(yes)(S8),hero(M7), mytouch(yes)(M7), mytouch slide(M7), nexus one(S8)(yes)


    Samsung – Behold 2(U1), Continuum(H1), Captivate(H1), Epic(H1), Fascinate(H1), Vibrant(H1), Intercept(P1), Moment(P1), Transform(P1)


    Now lets break down the results..first of all we definitely should take N1 off the list..its obvious N1 is getting updates..I’d be scared if it didn’t..Incredible is effectively the same phone but let that slide..

    Now here is my outline:

    H1 = Hummingbird (0/5)
    M7= Qualcomm MSM7xxx ARM11 (1/4)
    P1= Samsung 800mhz ARM11 processor (1/3)
    S7 = Snapdragon 7xxx (0/1)
    S8 = Snapdragon 8xxx (3/3)
    U1 = Unknown 528mhz processor..might be a Qualcomm..couldn’t find the info.. (0/1)

    So effectively since Froyo was built on top of the the Snapdragon processor..we can easily see all of the Snapdragon 8xxx phones were easily updated..as expected..the Aria was behind but got updated internationally in dec and in feb on ATT (if I were to guess ATT was the delaying factor)

    The Hero and the Moment were most likely Sprint’s fault..they gave a generic statement saying that the devices did not have the hardware for it..despite T-mobile 3g and Intercepts being almost the same phones. Transform got an update in March.

    For samsung what hurts the most is that on that list 5 devices were effectively the same device being the Galaxy S. From what I heard the Hummingbird did not play nicely with Froyo (which is quite possible as Hummingbird was made before Samsung got access to source and Google couldnt test on it as it wasn’t public), the OMAP and Snapdragon existed at the time thus got upgraded easily. As of today though All Galaxy S got updated to Froyo and there are leaks of Gingerbread to come.

    Now As of Today the list looks like this:

    HTC – Aria(yes)(S7), Droid Eris(no)(M7), Droid Incredible (yes)(S8), Evo(yes)(S8),hero(no)(M7), mytouch(yes)(M7), mytouch slide(yes)(M7), nexus one(S8)(yes)


    Samsung – Behold 2(no)(U1), Continuum(no)(H1), Captivate(yes)(H1), Epic(yes)(H1), Fascinate(yes)(H1), Vibrant(yes)(H1), Intercept(yes)(P1), Moment(no)(P1), Transform(yes)(P1)


    Continuum update is ready but Verizon is testing it…

    Hero, Eris, Behold 2, Moment are never getting updates…

    So as of today they both upgraded 6 handsets…

    There is just a lot of things that come into consideration when you want to consider updates..to say HTC is better or Samsung is better is a little too early..we will know once Ice cream comes as I expect neither will have the advantage on that one and both released phones with their processors..so there is no excuse on that round.

    So far if you process all the data, the one I can say is most likely to receive updates is Motorola if its branded as Droid by Verizon. (And I hate motorola). As far as HTC I have been using their phones for 5 years already. Right now I have an HTC and a Samsung phone (yes I have 2 phones)..

    so all bias aside if we look at the raw data there is no indication of Samsung being better then HTC nor HTC being better then Samsung..

    What Samsung does need to do though is stop doing frequent vague responses..if they have nothing new to say they really should stop digging their hole in the ground. The behold incident is actually the reason why they have an infamous reputation for not supporting their phone..but this is only 1 instance and while Samsung is 100% at fault I do not think going forward it should be used as a precedence.

    As for the 18month commitment thing..Google is working out the details of how they will handle it..my guess is judging by how Honeycomb went they are going to use access to source code to pressure the companies.

  4. Android Applications Development May 30, 2011 at 10:02 am · Reply

    Yes according to this data HTC has upgraded its handsets fastest. But Motorola is also giving good competition to HTC. So accordingly HTC is the best manufacturer. Thanks for sharing this graph.

  5. Jill Wilks December 26, 2011 at 7:26 am · Reply

    Ofcourse samsung. I like this brand very appreciative though voted 11.1% from users. Anyway I enjoyed this content very impressive. Thanks! :)

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