While it’s generally accepted that Android smartphones sell like hot cakes, it might not all be good news for the platform. According to one report, the strong sales figures may mask an underlying problem that Android-packing smartphones face— keeping the sale.

TechCrunch has reported today that Android return rates could be as high as 30-40%. For comparison, Apple’s iPhone sees a return rate in the single digits….

Citing the always reliable “people familiar with handset sales'” and listing Samsung as an example, TechCrunch’s John Biggs claims that Android handset buyers are finding their new purchases a little too confusing, with average buyers not being taken in by the trappings of an ‘open’ operating system. This results in more people handing their Android devices back in for a less ‘open’ and ‘complicated’ smartphone.

Of course, whether Android really is open or not depends on how you look at it.

“For the “average” phone user, however, Android is a maze. Anecdotally, I’ve heard of multiple examples of folks who bought an Android phone in order to “Think Different” and came away disappointed when faced with the glaring differences between Android and a friend’s iPhone or Blackberry.”

Ironically, it’s the often complicated nature of Android that draws in many of its most vocal fans, with the opportunity to customise almost all facets of a smartphone proving to be a big plus for those so inclined. Thankfully the iPhone has the jailbreak community.

Unfortunately for Google, it appears many consumers also finding Android’s extensive options and customization off-putting, with the iPhone’s simplicity acting as an antidote to the powerful, yet complicated, Android virus.