Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

Android Handsets More Unreliable

Posted by Andrew at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2011

Android LogoWireless expert WDS is reporting that high failure rates in Android handsets are costing mobile network operators as much as $2 billion per year in dealing with repairs and returns. Reviewing the four leading mobile operating systems, its study found that Android-based devices seemed more prone to failure as 14% of technical support calls on Android were for hardware, versus 11% for Windows Phone, 7% for iOS and just 6% for BlackBerry OS.

Simplistically, Android handsets were twice as likely to suffer a hardware fault that an Apple or RIM device. The study suggests that cheaper hardware, software customisations and OS updates all contribute to the failure rate and in turn, the increased impact on the network operators to provide technical support and customer service. WDS analysed over 600,000 technical support calls from July 2010 to August 2011.

One thing we must be absolutely clear on,” says Tim Deluca-Smith, Vice President of Marketing at WDS, “is that our analysis does not find any inherent fault with the Android platform. Its openness has enabled the ecosystem to grow to a phenomenal size, at a phenomenal rate, and it’s this success that is proving challenging.

He added, “The Android customer experience differs enormously between devices and this means that the way in which Android devices are retailed and supported must consider factors such as the hardware build and quality of components.

If you are thinking about buying or upgrading your smartphone, you might want to bear this research in mind before you purchase.

The full WDS whitepaper can be downloaded from this page.

2 Comments

  1. From Clinton at 2:21 pm on November 3, 2011

    I guess I’m somehow the luckiest phone user on Earth. I had a ‘day one” Palm Pre and never had a problem with it. And now I have a Nexus S 4G which has also served flawlessly since May. Am I too easy on my phones, or are other people too hard? Don’t know.

  2. From John Knights at 1:20 pm on November 8, 2011

    You are not exactly a representative sample Clinton to be fair. 14% represents roughly 1 in every 6 handsets so your single sample of an Android phone is not exactly a fair sample.

    I wonder what the breakdown is between cheap Android handsets and the premium model.

    I’ve had (I think) 13 handsets between my Wife and myself in the last 10 years, including 7 Nokia’s, a Motorola, a Samsung, 4 iPhones and not a single one has given either of us a moment of trouble. OK we are very respectful of machinery in general and treat our possessions well but even then you would think that maybe one of them would have failed in that time. Not a sniff.

    Oh forgot, the wife busted one of the Nokia’s and also one of the iPhone’s screen but they carried on working flawlessly in their own right.