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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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  • What do you expect? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:35PM (#37951186)
    You lower a product price to impulse buy territory but then lock the buyer into a two year contract. I know dozens of people who will brick their phone on purpose in hopes they'll get upgraded. Especially those that get the handset insurance.
  • by txoof ( 553270 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @03:45PM (#37951288) Homepage

    I bought a Nexus One from Google and had to return it to an HTC service center twice in the first year of ownership. The main board needed to be replaced the first time. The second time I had to return it for a bad power switch. Apparently when the service center installed the board, a faulty switch was used, or they crimped the ribbon. Either way, it's bad QC on the board, the switch and the labor.

    I really like my N1 and I find FY to be a pretty snappy OS, but I'm not supper impressed with the longevity of the devices. There are no plans to roll the next major OS version for the N1 which doesn't speak too highly of Google or HTC's expectations of longevity. 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. It would be nice to see a greater commitment to lasting hardware from Google and the various phone makers. I expect a mobile to last around 3 years of normal use; perhaps I'm being too optimistic in the current age of accelerated obsoleteness.

  • by NoobixCube ( 1133473 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @04:07PM (#37951594) Journal

    In my experience working in a phone shop, peopoe just tolerated more from their beloved Apple-emblazoned brick than they would of Android devices. I had people returning perfectly good (and to my eye perfectly healthy and fast) Android phones for being a bit slow. They'd also claim the reception was bad on the Galaxy S and that "a friend with an iPhone gets better reception". Right, Galaxy S tested best on the network for network speed and reception, waste of another courier bag sending that one away. People sent their Galaxies away for a minor chip in the screen, but I regularly see people running their fingers over shattered glass panes on their iPhones, little chunks falling to the floor with every touch.

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Friday November 04, 2011 @04:12PM (#37951676) Homepage Journal

    If all you offer is one model at a time (Apple, no capacity differences don't truly count as a different model - radio differences may) it's really easy to make a tried and true hardened product. That being said Apple has been screwing up it's one product last couple of generations, granted not in a way that can't be handled.

    Blackberry OS products, though more diverse than Apple's product line, are still very narrow in offerings.

    Anyone who can slap together a few components can make an Android phone.

    Android is truly a buyers market. It is up the the buyer to do all the research required to buy an Android device. Sticking with a few vendors is usually a safe way to do it. Sure you can probably find a really cheap phone from China from a manufacturer you've never heard of that looks like an iPhone, runs Android, and advertises 1,000 features, but you know deep down in your heart you probably should go with something by HTC instead. The difference between the compared groups is that Android, being free, allows the last guy to exist. In a true unencumbered market you're always going to have your sleeze bag bottom of the barrel stuff, then you're going to have your sexy Cadillac stuff. My EVO is over a year old and I don't see myself giving it up for a different model for at least six months, probably more, however if I were to have bought the budget "free" phone from any carrier at the same time, Android or not, there's a pretty good chance I would be growing tired of it by now, if it still worked at all.

    This is no different than the way I always buy Wrangler Carpenter pants for work even though I could just as easily go to a discount store and buy random generic brands. I've done the latter, and sometimes I've gotten really good pants that last, and sometimes I got trash. Apple only sells the "Wrangler" product and wont allow anyone else to produce the equivalent. Blackberry only allows the Wrangler and a couple of others like Levi and Carhart. Android says "Make em all!".

    These findings don't detract from Android. In my book it actually uplifts Android. What if all I wanted was a cheap but descent phone, not for making phone calls but for my kid to play Angry Birds on and listen to her Chipmunk albums? Chances are she's going to drop anything I get her in the toilet eventually so quality isn't the highest priority. I can get a bargain basement Android phone that doesn't break the bank. With Apple I have to mortgage her bicycle and LPS collection to buy an iPhone and lets face it, Blackberry isn't the best choice for Angry Birds. (Truth is I gave my kid my old iPhone 3G, but I seriously considered getting her an Android phone from instead)

    Articles like this that intentionally overlook the obvious are mostly FUD.

  • by BagOBones ( 574735 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @04:33PM (#37951896)

    Correct, however the minimum you can take from the correct data is that Apple has support EACH model with OS updates for up to 3 years, your typical longest cellular contract, and each device launch with its latest available OS.

    Android phones regularly launch with software 1 version behind and support drops as early as 6 months after launch.

  • by Namarrgon ( 105036 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @07:14PM (#37953378) Homepage

    Seriously, I recently bought a new Huawei U8300 for $29, no contract. Not as a phone (though it works fine), but as a dirt-cheap, networked GPS & IP camera that'll run any Android app - for $29. How awesome is that?

    This is the advantage of real diversity (that you want to block) - there is something for everyone. Thank Christ Google saved us from Jobsian monoculture.

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