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Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware 357

hazytodd writes "Repairs to Android smartphones cost wireless carriers $2 billion per year according to a new year-long WDS study that tracked 600,000 support calls around the globe. Android's popularity and the introduction of a number of low-cost smartphones has put a strain on the wireless business model, WDS noted in its report. 'Deployment by more than 25 OEMs and lower-cost product coming to market is leading to higher than average rates of hardware failures and, in turn, return and repair costs.'"
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Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:33PM (#37951156)

    Do they just spontaneously combust, or are people abusing a piece of electronics until they break? My G1 is still working and it's taken a beating, but I upgraded long ago.

    While on the flip side, I dropped my first gen iPhone into a puddle of water and it broke immediately.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:34PM (#37951166) Homepage

    It couldn't be someone who has an axe to grind on Android phones, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:35PM (#37951180)

    Cheap stuff breaks, who knew?

  • Bogus study (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moozh84 ( 919301 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:37PM (#37951198)

    What a garbage article.

    An Android phone is not the same as an Apple or Blackberry phone. Google just makes the software. Apple and Blackberry make their own hardware.

    Therefore you can't really say "Android phones have a high rate of defect". More accurately, you could say "Low-end no-name brand Android phones for that cost under $100 have a high rate of defect". High-end Samsung or HTC Android phones are just as good as their Apple or Blackberry counterparts.

    Low-end phones have existed forever, and they've always had more technical issues. They just never had a high-end operating system. Since Android is free you can get it on even the cheaper phones. This is a good thing because it allows cheaper phones to have top-of-the-line software on a budget price.

    It's no wonder that if you search for the study all you find is links to this and similar articles about this bogus study, but no references to the company or the studies themselves. Obviously a paid interest study.

  • by BStroms ( 1875462 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:38PM (#37951208)
    Sadly, even skimming the article I didn't see any data by manufacturer of android devices or, even better, by individual model. That information would have been quite useful.
  • Re:Bogus study (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:44PM (#37951276)

    Let me guess, you're more than happy to say Android is kicking Apple's ass in the marketplace, however. I suspect when the story raises Android and/or puts down Apple, you're more than happy to lump all the Android manufacturer's together but when the reverse happens, you rush to point out it's not fair to lump them all together.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:45PM (#37951282)

    Or more likely many of the Android phones are poorly made. ZTE, LG, and every other no name chinese flyby night has an android phone. No surprise they break a lot.

    Add to that they are often free with contact and you get these poorly made phones ending up in the abusive little hands of children.

  • by jcombel ( 1557059 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @04:42PM (#37952018)

    The iPhone line on the other hand has all the products on the latest version of the OS even if every phone doesn't support the latest and greatest features

    i don't feel like this is a super valid comparison, unless you mention that the iPhone ran like horseshit on iOS 2 onward, and the iPhone 3G always ran poorly. now my wife's 3GS runs like butt on iOS 5. further, all the products are not on the latest version of the OS: the iPhone caps out at version iOS 3, and the 3G caps out at version 4. history suggests that iOS5 is the last straw for the 3GS.

    if, perhaps, you mean that all the iPhones currently for sale are on the latest OS, i would point out that all the Nexus phones currently for sale are on the latest OS, and that will be true when ICS is released, also.

    a more accurate comparison of HTC and Google's upgrade path to iOS:
    the original iPhone used the current OS until it didn't get iOS 4, so from 2007-06 to 2010-06, three years, half of which it ran poorly. you have no options for upgrading for new features even if you wanted to.
    the iPhone 3G used the current OS until it didn't get iOS 5, so from 2008-06 to 2011-10, three years and some change, all of which it ran poorly. you have no options for upgrading for new features even if you wanted to.
    the Nexus One is using the current Android phone OS until it doesn't get ICS, so from 2010-01 to ~2011-11 or 12, just under two years, all of which ran excellently. you will have the option of installing custom ROMs with ICS features if you choose to.

    anecdotal, my nexus one also had the defective power button, but since it had previously been dropped onto the highway from my motorcycle (whoops), it was in too ugly a condition for me to send back to the manu for a repair: i figured repair center drones would return it to me as user abuse, and that they'd be right to do so. since i have the option of rooting the phone and installing a custom ROM, i did so and use an app to power down the phone, and the volume buttons to wake it up.

    considering it survived a 75mph bounce and skid on the highway (i had to file down burrs on the metal face), i forgave HTC for the eventual failure of the power button. it is my first HTC phone, but they've sold me on their build quality. my first-gen iPhone was had an unusable crack on the screen that needed replacing after a three-foot drop, and once i repaired that, i found that the impact had also killed the battery, as it wouldn't last longer than half an hour idle, or a few minutes in call.

    HTC's build quality despite my abuse, and their vow to not stop hobbyists from rooting Android phones has guaranteed that my next phone will be an HTC again; probably their first ICS phone that supports NFC. my wife's next phone was looking to be an Apple, but now she's frustrated with how poorly it has been performing this last month so we'll see.

    last thing, i don't agree with Synerg1y's take, "Ya but u can do more on any build of android than any ios build so the comparison isn't really that fair." while the capabilities of the OS are pretty similar, the fine details is pretty objective: i definitely respect that some people (my wife) just want a simple, option-less phone that also connects to the internet. what i mean is, the feature set does not need be mentioned in the same conversation as build quality (though build quality perhaps need be mentioned in the conversation about feature set).

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @04:57PM (#37952234) Homepage

    Honestly the headline is downright misleading and the summary is almost as bad. I read this article yesterday, and they're not saying that Android phones are inherently worse than iOS or BB devices. The difference is that while iPhones are all produced by Apple (or at least under direct contract for Apple) and Blackberries are all produced by RIM, Android phones come from a number of manufacturers. Some are good phones of good quality (Most of HTC and Motorola's stuff along with several other "main" brands), others are produced on a shoe string by no-name manufacturers and given away free with a contract. On average Android phones fail more often, but the article doesn't really go into a like for like comparison. It seems likely that Droids, Heroes, and Transformers fail at a rate comparable to iPhones.

    The no name Android white boxes are the problem. They fail at a much higher rate than either iDevices, BBs, or their higher quality Android cousins and drag down the averages. They're costing the carriers a lot, because they were "free" to the consumer to begin with, and they have to be replaced quite often. Frankly I'm not feeling too bad for the carriers. They use cheap ass rap to lure people in to sign contracts, it's their problem that the crap predictably breaks and costs them money to replace. A nice phone flame war is always fun, but the title and summary of this otherwise interesting article are complete flamebait.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @05:16PM (#37952468)

    No, you just have reading comprehension fail.

    Support of the latest OS, 3 years after initial sale. Not the latest OS ever.

    Simply, the graph shows this:
    Every iPhone has had 3 years of support. Every Android has had less than 3 years of support.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"