There’s a wee bit of a storm kicking off over at TechCrunch today because of comments from a source. First the introduction:
It’s generally accepted that, on the aggregate, Android device sales will far outpace iOS sales year after year. However, there’s a dirty little secret about Android devices that most manufacturers are facing the return rate on some Android devices is between 30 and 40 percent, in comparison to the iPhone 4′s 1.7% return rate as of Antennagate in 2010.
:: snip ::
Right, and now the offending sentence:
However, on the ground, many return rates are approaching 40% said a person familiar with handset sales for multiple manufacturers.
Ooof. No wonder folk are going nuts — especially the burgeoning Android fan club.
I can see their point. John’s source is a little bit vague. I’d have been far more comfortable if he’d explained that the source was a high level executive working at a tier-1 US operator in the terminals division.
From what people tell me in Europe, Android return rates are slightly higher than feature phones but on par with other smartphones.
If the rate was anywhere near 30-40%, I can tell you unequivocally, there is no way operators would tolerate them in the channel. 5% return rate is seriously annoying. 20% return rate is a dramatic failure. 50% return means a whole department should be fired.
In fairness to John, he did use the word ‘some’ — as in ‘some Android devices’. I have no doubt that some Android phones, especially the first generation from some mid-tier manufacturers, were utterly rubbish. But all of the Android platform? No, I don’t think so.