AAPL Stock: 118.03 ( -0.85 )

Printed from

Some Android phone return rates reaching up to 40%

updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue July 26, 2011

Android device returns may be very high

Android phone makers may be facing unusually high return rates across the board, according to one claim Tuesday. A source reportedly aware of sales for multiple phone makers suggested returns were as high as 30 to 40 percent. Not all reasoning was mentioned to TechCrunch, but it's believed that a disproportionately high number of users are frustrated with Android's interface.

Although many 'alpha' users like Android, the mainstream doesn't necessarily understand the interface. Some allegedly get to the point of returning the phone, even if they had bought it with the initial intent of avoiding an iPhone or BlackBerry.

The claims don't yet have full corroborating evidence from outside sources, although specific hardware problems are known to exist as well. High Thunderbolt return rates have been an issue for Verizon as many get the phone for its 4G only to be disappointed with battery life of just four to five hours.

If true, the exchanges would contrast sharply with the two percent iPhone 4 return rate even at the height of worry over its antenna sensitivity. Some Android phones are known to have very strong acceptance, such as with Samsung's three million Galaxy S II sales, but it's suggested that manufacturer shipments and Google's activation claims don't necessarily reflect actual, long term adoption.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dashiel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Groks with usage numbers

    As a developer I’ve been trying to figure out the disparity between Google’s announced activations and what in both global and personal site usage statistics. According to Google and Apple the ratio is 2:! so Android should have about half the market share, but it’s more like 35%.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    TMO G2X Debacle

    The debacle of the G2X probably contributed substantially to the numbers quoted. It looks like LG did their typically pitiful (next to non-existent) QC before releasing it to TMO who did no testing either before putting it up for sale. The industry press only gave the device a cursory examination while fawning over the first dual core phone.

    Users ended up with frequent reboots, WiFi problems, Bluetooth problems, GPS name it. Gingerbread seems to have fixed most of these problems, but we went for over three months with no word except for vague promises from both companies.

  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Android will outsell Apple

    It's really a matter of time: In order for Apple to "beat" Android, the iPhone must not only be the best seller, but outsell ALL other Android phones COMBINED. That's a tall order for any device.

    However, the question is whether it really matters. As long as the iPhone has a substantial market share, and as long as developers can make money on the iPhone, the iPhone will do fine.

    You can claim talk about the whole "Mac vs. Windows" debate and claim that one must rule, but lets look at how that battle is going: Macs are increasing market share, but even Macs aren't the best selling computer, and their market share is sill less than 15% of the market. Yet, over the last five years, would you have rather own shares in Apple or Dell or HP or even Microsoft?

    There are hundreds of Android phones out there and only one iPhone model. A new improved Android phone comes out every week, and at most a new iPhone can only come out at more once per year. There will be Android phones with better specs than the iPhone. And, there will be all sorts of Android promotions: Buy two for the price of one, Free phones, etc. Stuff Apple can't and won't do.

    Yet, I would still rather own Apple stock than all of the companies involved in making Android phones. iOS will have a substantial, even if it's not the largest share of the market, and programmers will flock to the iOS because you can make money over there.

    This isn't a battle of Good vs. Evil. This is about two major corporations with two distinct visions competing in the marketplace. Both will attract customers and both are doing quite well.

    Are there some Android phones, out of the zillions of models sold that have high return rates. That's probably very true. But, I am sure there are plenty of others that users like.

  1. burger

    Joined: Dec 1969



    2:1 is 66.6% to 33.3%

    Not 50 50

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Activations are only part of the picture

    Bottom line, no one has figured out how to make a phone as successful as the iPhone - period - end of story. And now the iPad is taking up that same torch for Apple in the tablet industry. Even with outright copying Apple, the competition is still barely competition.

  1. onedunya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree Android battery life sucks

    I was one of the people to return my Android phone for an iPhone 4. I can attest to the fact that Thunderbolt had poor battery life one on occasion it ran out of juice after 3.5 hours with moderate use. That was the final straw that led me to exchange it for an iPhone. I love my iPhone and iOS is IMO superior to Android as I still have a 7" Galaxy Tab that I use less than my iPhone.

  1. kdarling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesn't anyone use actual sources?

    Repeating a number that some blogger made up is not journalism. Who was his source? A neighborhood cell phone kiosk? Or some other blogger.

    As for the supposed 1.7% iPhone return rate, that number was for returns to ATT stores just before the antenna press conference. Since only Apple stores had spare replacement phones, it was an artificially low number designed to impress the naive. Actual iPhone return rates have always been around 5-7%.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented