According to market research company techARC, of the 32 smartphones models were launched last year by various OEM’s, Google and OnePlus were the only brands that loaded all their devices with the latest version of Android OS in 2018. Google launched the Pixel 3 and OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 6T smartphones in India.
Vivo with 7 new models including Nex, V11 Pro, etc. led the number of launches by a smartphone vendor with the latest Android OS version. The second spot was taken by Nokia which launched four models, followed by Tecno (3), the report said.
"With stock Android becoming the preference of users, the OEMs are able to reduce the upgrade turnaround time for OS as it requires minimal integration from their end after Google releases one," said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.
Nearly 80 per cent of the launches had Android 8.1 (Oreo) pre-loaded when shipped for sale and the rest 20 per cent had Android 9.0 (Pie) version. Android 9 Pie was one of best stable and feature rich OS lauched by Google in 2018. The OS introduced a new system navigation with the help of just a single home button. The 9 Pie also came with features including adaptive battery, which optimises the battery performance by learning about the apps you use most.
"The good news is that even for the entry level (sub-Rs 5,000), users could get a smartphone with the latest Android version, which were sold by Nokia and Lava," the report added.
According to the Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service report, mobile phone shipments in India crossed 330 million units for the first time ever in 2018. Smartphones captured approx. 44 per cent of the total volume in 2018.