Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener
    11:06 Deals

    Unreal Prime Day deal gets you a MyQ smart garage opener and a $40 Amazon credit for $17

  2. Amazon Dash Smart Shelf
    15:16 Deals

    I’m obsessed with this Amazon gadget you’ve never heard of – and it&#821…

  3. Roomba Prime Day Deals
    21:34 Deals

    Robot vacuums start at $90 for Prime Day, or get a Roomba for $200

  4. Amazon Gift Card Prime Day Deals
    07:58 Deals

    Free money is definitely Amazon’s hottest deal of Prime Day 2021

  5. Prime Day Deals 2021
    04:05 Deals

    Amazon Prime Day deals 2021: See hundreds of the best deals right here




40% of Android phones are returned? ‘Absolutely ridiculous’

Zach Epstein
July 28th, 2011 at 1:30 PM

TechCrunch on Wednesday published a report claiming to reveal “Android’s dirty secret,” and quite a secret it was. According to the report, which cited a person familiar with handset sales for multiple manufacturers, between 30% and 40% of many Android handsets are returned by consumers. “Plainly put, these figures are absolutely ridiculous,” a source told BGR. We spoke to multiple well-placed sources following the publication of that story, but in reality we didn’t have to know the claim was ridiculous. If return rates were in fact “approaching 40%” as the report suggests, vendors wouldn’t just be bailing on Android, they would be going out of business. Handset returns are a huge deal in the wireless industry because every single device returned by a customer costs the manufacturer money. It also costs the carrier money in the event the device was sold through a carrier, and it costs the third-party retailer money if the device was sold through a third-party retailer. Read on to find out how many Android devices are really being returned.

Earlier this month, Google revealed that Android activations have reached 550,000 devices per day on average. While this figure does not directly correlate with Android handset sales, we can use it to get a pretty good idea of how many Android phones are being sold these days. There are some great Android tablets out there and Google TV is nifty, but smartphones easily make up the lion’s share of those activations. Conservatively, let’s say 90%. So that means about 14.85 million Android smartphones are sold each month. If “many” of those phones were returned, it would spell huge trouble for manufacturers. Assuming each return costs the manufacturer $50 — which, according to two of our sources, is a very low estimate — that means Android handset return rates of 30% to 40% would cost vendors hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars each year. Outlandish.

So what’s the real number? It’s tough for us to give an across-the-board estimate, of course, but that’s why we have sources. We have been told by three very reliable sources that a safe estimate for Android’s global handset return rate is “in the low single digits.” That’s a pretty far cry from 30% or 40%, we’d say. Of course not all phones are created equal and two sources did mention that some manufacturer bungles have resulted in higher return rates for individual smartphones. By “higher,” we’re talking teens… not 40% or even 30%.

It’s entirely possible that the source of TechCrunch’s story misspoke. Perhaps he or she was referring to the return rate of Android phones in a single retail shop. To think that 40% of many Android handsets are returned across the board, however, is crazy.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.




Popular News