It's not much of a secret that Android's success is in no small part due to the broad range of devices which are currently available on the market. There is a phone for everyone available if you look hard enough, from top-of-the-range choices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II all the way down to cheap, unbranded phones from China.
For those on a budget this choice can only be a good thing, but for carriers, it turns out that the cheaper devices may actually do more harm than good.
As Android is open source software, there are no hardware specifications that manufacturers have to meet before they can sell their phones with Google's operating system. Although this results in a greater diversity between devices, it also means that there is more scope for hardware failure.
A report from Reuters has revealed that the repair costs from these cheaper models could send the total repair costs of global telecoms operators up to a staggering $2 billion. This data comes from a study conducted by WDS, a wireless services firm. 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 its a different story... at the moment, Android is a bit of the Wild West.
He went on to say that on average, a device costs a mobile operator £80 in service costs, transport fees or in the costs of replacing the device.
With these recent findings, operators may begin to question the viability of offering such a wide range of cheaper devices, and they could instead choose to focus on the high-end market more depending on their customer demographics.