Networks across the globe are spending hundreds of millions of pounds per year on customer support for Android phone users, a study has shown.
According to call centre operator WDS, which studied 600,000 support calls worldwide, carriers shell out a whopping £1.25 billion per year on customer counselling and repairs, substantially eating into profit margins.
The problem lies with cheaper devices using lower-grade components whose existence has been facilitated by Google’s free and easy, open approach to Android manufacturing partners.
This was borne out by the fact that of 12.6 per cent of calls concerning Android devices related to hardware issues. That compares to nine per cent for Windows Phone, and eight per cent for Apple.
Somewhat consolingly for beleaguered BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, its phones were found to be least prone to hardware snafus with just 5.5 per cent of calls.
Tim-Deluca-Smith, Vice President of Marketing at WDS, said the findings revealed the hidden price of ranging budget Android handsets, some of which cost as little as £60 at retail.
"While this price point sounds very attractive, when you look at a total cost of ownership it's a different story" he said.
News of the WDS’s numbers comes as a separate report found that almost one in four Britons now own an Android smartphone, following remarkable growth for the platform over the last 18 months.