Even though Android handsets are driving the price of affordable smartphones down, there is a hidden cost associated with installing Android on cheaper smartphones according to research carried out by WDS.
The total cost of repairs associated with Android handsets reached as much as $2 billion, expenses sustained entirely by mobile phone carriers worldwide because hardware failures were found to be prevalent on Android handsets.
The reason is that many Android handsets unfortunately do not use the same sort of strict quality control as Apple's iPhone handsets or RIM's Blackberry smartphones.
Tim Deluca-Smith, Vice President of Marketing at WDS, said "While this price point sounds very attractive, when you look at a total cost of ownership it's a different story".
With Android grabbing an even bigger share of the smartphone market, the total cost of repairing Android handsets is set to rocket, especially as they expand their user base by pushing feature phones out of the frame.
Deluca-smith said that the average cost of returning a device to an operator was £80 (roughly $125), a cost that included service costs, transport fees or the cost of replacing the device completely.
Based on WDS' estimates, that would be equivalent to around 16 million Android phones being serviced. Google's Larry Page said that there are around 190m Android devices in use, which would put the return rate at more than 8.5 per cent (as WDS's figure excludes unlocked handsets) or an average cost of servicing of $10, which incidentally is roughly twice what HTC is reportedly paying to Microsoft per Android Handset.