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Android Phones More Prone To Hardware Problems

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the that-button-doesn't-work-on-mine-either dept.

Android 220

adeelarshad82 writes "A nearly year-long study conducted by WDS on 600,000 support calls has found that Android phones are more susceptible to hardware faults than other types of devices. '14 percent of all technical support calls for Android devices could be traced to a hardware fault, versus 3.7 percent for RIM BlackBerry, 8 percent for iPhones and 9 percent for Windows Phone 7 devices.' WDS attributed the gap in hardware faults to the disparity in OEMs that manufacture Android devices."

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fist prost!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555130)

bwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!1111111111111

moving parts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555158)

what's the ratio of those that have slide out or fold open keyboards?

Re:moving parts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555198)

this is like saying NIGGERS MORE PRONE TO POVERTY/CRIME/DRUG PROBLEMS. whoda thunkit? just leave the white women alone you niggers. ok you can have the fat ones they hate themselves and are trying to kill themselves with food so they're niggers too.

Re:moving parts (2)

Shitfucker (2164966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555640)

Not exactly. It's more like saying Windows PCs are more prone to hardware problems than Macs. With the iPhone and Blackberries, you have devices from one manufacturer with a relatively high standard of quality control. Windows Phone isn't so rigid, but still, the companies currently manufacturing Windows Phone devices are on the relatively high-end.

With Android, pretty much any schmuck can sell a cheap tablet with a resistive touch screen running the OS - you only need Google's approval to ship with the market and their proprietary apps preinstalled. I didn't catch in the article whether this study only included Android handset manufacturers like Motorola and Samsung, or if it also included manufacturers like, say, Augen. It would make more sense to compare Google-approved devices to Windows Phone 7 handsets, or HTC phones to the iPhone, for example.

Of course - its by design! (4, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555182)

Android runs on the full gambit of available phone devices. That means on the low end, crappy hardware is there by design. Crappy hardware, by design, driven by cost considerations, are going to have less reliable hardware and less QA.

Basically the story says, "Shit happens. Sometimes free market economics create products which are far from ideal." Is anyone really surprised. Next story. I mean, that's really all that needs to be said. Duh.

Re:Of course - its by design! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555440)

Android runs on the full gambit of available phone devices. That means on the low end, crappy hardware is there by design. Crappy hardware, by design, driven by cost considerations, are going to have less reliable hardware and less QA.

Basically the story says, "Shit happens. Sometimes free market economics create products which are far from ideal." Is anyone really surprised. Next story. I mean, that's really all that needs to be said. Duh.

It's quite obvious that's the case. Why is it a story, then? Because iPhone 5 rumors have probably dropped off sales of the iPhone 4, and they don't want the impatient to even consider Android and not wind up perpetuating the cultists.

Re:Of course - its by design! (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555522)

Was this study paid for by Apple...??

Re:Of course - its by design! (1)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555612)

Why, whenever something less than favourable is mentioned about Android here, do we always get cries of "nothing to see, move on!" and "omg Apple r paid for this!".

Re:Of course - its by design! (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556208)

Perhaps in this instance because who is WDF and of course how do you blame software for "keypad/button failures and microphone and battery issues". In this case "Windows Phone 7, meanwhile, will benefit". So in all, a silly little story based on a silly little study, all paid for by some silly little M$ marketing executive.

Re:Of course - its by design! (2)

dswskinner (630472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555928)

A study paid for by Apple that puts RIM in a much better light? that must be Apple innovating again.

Re:Of course - its by design! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556388)

Are you really that insecure about your "own" platform that you think anything that that is less than glowing praise is perceived as a paid-for trashing by shills working for "the man"? In this case, Apple (and again, on slashdot, nothing they ever do is plain and simple, it's all part of some grand illuminati-style plot to steal your freedoms and enslave the masses while simultaneously destroying open source).

The paranoid conspiracy stuff is just tiresome. It's quite obvious, and stated in the summary even, that this sort of issue is purely a result of the way the Android ecosystem is deigned - it runs on all manner of commodity hardware from high end awesome stuff right down to crappy 'EZ Break' models.

Re:Of course - its by design! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555596)

Android runs on the full gambit of available phone devices.

I hate to do this, but please, use the phrase correctly. The word in bold should be "gamut", [wikipedia.org] as in "the full gamut".

Examples [wordhippo.com]

(What is a partial gambit? [wikipedia.org] You offer your bishop but your opponent hasn't captured it yet?)

Re:Of course - its by design! (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555602)

I suspect that it may be slightly more than low end, crappy hardware:

Some(by no means all, sadly) of the cheap dumbphones are both cheap and nigh-immortal, because nobody gives a damn what CPU they are using or how many UberMarks they get on some benchmarking suit that wouldn't fit in the onboard storage anyway. This means that, while they certainly don't use fancy parts, they are polished and solid designs.

The Android low end is extra unfortunate because it suffers from cheapskate-itis and much of the hardware gets churned and replaced by a different design all the time.

Re:Of course - its by design! (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555866)

The "full gambit"? I guess Android does require a sacrifice in order to gain an advantage.

        -dZ.

Commodity phones (1, Insightful)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555186)

Android is used on the cheapest smart phones so they use the cheapest parts....to you know...make them cheap.

Re:Commodity phones (1)

x6060 (672364) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555392)

Android is used on the whole spectrum of cheap to very nice phones. All this says is that Android runs on good and crappy phones alike.

Re:Commodity phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555486)

And that crappy phones break, as if that was something new.

Re:Commodity phones (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555578)

...it's a shame that this information is not broken down in a more detailed fashion as to actually be useful to those of us that might buy a device.

Re:Commodity phones (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555914)

Just seems like they didn't even include Archos devices or the numbers would've turned out a lot worse.

Re:Commodity phones (1)

dswskinner (630472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555950)

Broken down by manufacturer would have been better.

Re:Commodity phones (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556456)

Well, if you can lump all the android devices together to claim dominance over iPhone marketshare, as is commonly done on here, that includes all the crappy Android handsets as well as the really good ones, then it seems fair to lump them all together when looking at bulk failure rate. You have to take the rough with the smooth.

How about we break down the handsets that are comparable to the iPhone and look at just their marketshare and just their failure rates? I suspect it would be broadly similar on hardware failure (9% ish, just like the iPhone), but no idea on marketshare. I know there are several out there - I've used a couple of them before.

Re:Commodity phones (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555776)

There are some android phones that are going to be designed to meet a price point rather than maximum quality. Like MS computers by mass market manufacturers like Dell, customers are going to tolerate a lack of high quality due to the low price. This is also a winning deal for the manufacturers as tech support is no longer hugely expensive.

What is going to be interesting to see is if the MS Windows Mobile phones continue to be more reliable than Android phones if and when the MS Windows phones begin to sell and quantity and expand to bottom line mass market manufactures.

Re:Commodity phones (0)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556170)

There are some android phones that are going to be designed to meet a price point rather than maximum quality.

By which you mean "ALL PHONES are designed to meet a price point rather than maximum quality," right?

The *maximum* price point is a carrier-subsidized $199/299 or $649/749 unlocked in the US. No phone that costs significantly more than the iPhone is going to sell in any numbers, especially now that AT&T and Verizon both sell the iPhone.

Reliability certainly enters into the purchasing decisions, though. A phone is something you carry around with you all day, every day, and at least for me, I need the thing to work, not randomly crap out on me when I'm in a conference call with clients. If I'm a corporate purchaser evaluating iPhone and some Android model, and find that I'm looking at a possible Android issue rate that's nearly 2x the issue rate of an iPhone, and the phones cost the same... guess which phone I'll add to my "corporate-approved device list?"

Re:Commodity phones (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556528)

I'm sure if they just did a comparison with equally priced phones the failure rates would be nearly identical.

The answer to your question? That depends on if you look at a study like this and make incorrect inferences from it or not, which says more about you than the phones.

So what? (0)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555192)

So what? Android is a software platform installed on tons of different kinds of hardware. So it's got more hardware issues? well how odd it's installed on more and more widely varied forms of hardware than any other mobile OS.

Re:So what? (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555732)

Bad experiences with crappy hardware running Android will tarnish the Android name in the consumer's mind.

That what.

Re:So what? (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555962)

What "Android name in the consumer's mind"?

People see TV commercials, posters, and other material promoting marks and models of handsets, such as Droid, EVO, Galaxy, etc., not Android.

The same is true for the competition: consumers purchase iPhones and iPods, not "iOS devices."

          -dZ.

Re:So what? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556216)

Bad experiences with crappy hardware running Android will tarnish the Android name in the consumer's mind.

Only if consumers are buying an Android phone. The advertising I see usually pushes the carrier or the manufacturer. Android is a bullet statement. For example, driving in to work I heard an Ad for Cricket offering the Ascend phone "powered by Android" (manufactured by Chinese company Huawei - I suspect this is right in line with the subject at hand). Which leads me to wonder what name will come to mind if the consumer looks at their device and decides it's a crappy phone. Will they blame Cricket, Huawei (which doesn't even get air time - maybe consumers will identify it simply as the Ascend), or Android?

The other way to read this... (5, Insightful)

tdyer (1399659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555212)

Is that 96.4% of all rim support calls are for the terrible software.

Re:The other way to read this... (1)

tdyer (1399659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555340)

In fact are these numbers normalized at all? How do we even know that we aren't comparing apples and bolts? I know a guy who got a new blackberry (model) every year, because Telus in Canada had a unpublished policy that if a phone dies for you 3 times they waive the etf/upgrade fee for the fourth phone. Like clockwork he would go through one every 3 months.

Re:The other way to read this... (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555772)

That alone would make me switch from a BB phone. I have a Tour, which has worked fine for me over the past 13 months, but if a phone needs to be replaced every 90 days, then that phone/(model?) is crap.

Re:The other way to read this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555978)

It wouldn't actually break (at least on its own) every 90 days. The OP's friend was gaming the system to get a free phone upgrade every year.

Garbage headline (5, Insightful)

cabraverde (648652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555216)

WDS did not disclose how many support calls in general technicians fielded for each platform

So without saying that android phones are more or less reliable in general, what they are really saying is:

Android phones less prone to software problems.

Re:Garbage headline (1)

Woy (606550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555376)

Precisely.

Re:Garbage headline (1)

nezcarotte (2164366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555434)

Android phones less prone to software problems.

exactly, this is a good example were the real message is completely reverted by the title, what a shame

Re:Garbage headline (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555478)

Mod up Parent! If that's not insightful, hell if I know what is!

Re:Garbage headline (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555658)

Mod up Parent! If that's not insightful, hell if I know what is!

Not to disagree about GP post's insightfulness, but I am concerned about your difficulty in being able identifying insightful ideas without its aid. Let me toss a few out:

  • the laws of thermodyamics
  • the biggest homophobes are the people most insecure about their own sexuality
  • the origin of various species by the operation of natural selection upon random genetic variations
  • George Lucas should have quit making Star Wars movies after "Return of the Jedi". Maybe before.

mod parent all the way up. (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555514)

right on.

Re:Garbage headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555712)

Wait, that's not true at all. If you read the press release, it's specifically talking about things that were related to hardware issues and has nothing to do with software issue statistics at all. It's not "if one, not the other."

Your statement is like "I crashed my car. My car has a faulty tire. Therefore the crash must be caused by the tire, not the fact I was drunk." There are serious problems with your outlook on causality, correlation, and relation.

All this study said is that 14% of calls were related to hardware problems; that does not mean that software was not also an issue.

Re:Garbage headline (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556234)

If one platform gets 1000 calls, 100 of which are hardware, this article would say 10% hardware calls, another platform gets 10000 calls 200 of which are hardware and it would say 2% hardware calls.
while they are technically right, the later one would, assuming equal number of users, actually have worse hardware.

Now I'm not saying that any one platform is better or worse than the other, or even that their conclusion is wrong, only that the article lacks enough information to actually back up what they are claiming. More useful information would be number of support calls equalized for user base, percentage hardware, percentage software, percentage instructional.. with those 4 numbers you could actually start to draw some reasonable conclusions about ease of use, and the quality of both the hardware and software.

Garbage comment (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555954)

Errrrnttt. Nice try. You are correct that the article is committing a statistical error, but so are you. Technical support calls range the gamut from questions, software problems, hardware problems, user errors, help on setup and installation, etc. And you can't lump all the nonhardware issues into "problems strictly with the software" per se because a question could be as simple as "how do I install this" but could be more intricate like asking value added questions about how to best set up wifi or what settings are best to get maximize battery life. And some of those calls might fall outside the realm of the phone like "sorry the problem is not in your phone but your router/printer/computer/etc."

You also have to factor in user fatigue. If your first problem is a hardware problem where the phone doesn't even work, you're less likely to keep calling back about other problems because you just get tired of dealing with it.

Also the only scrap of information we have here from the article is that they separated out hardware calls from everything else. We have absolutely NO idea what those other issues are. They state "problems" but problems aren't the only reason to call technical support and by their own paramaters of the study they didn't appear to really look at those other calls to state they were actual problems.

Given the data in the article, the statement that 14% of Android phone calls are on hardware issues is meaningless. The statement that percentage wise, that 92% of iPhone calls are software problems is also meaningless. So you have an article and a comment, both meaningless. More numbers need to be revealed to make this meaningful.

Android FUD being ramped up... (-1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555224)

Is it me, or is the FUD campaigns on Android on a dramatic increase? It seems coordinated.

Re:Android FUD being ramped up... (1)

fbarajas (261145) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555524)

Coordinated? By Apple and Microsoft?

Re:Android FUD being ramped up... (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556274)

Well sure, them too. But mostly the Illuminati.

Re:Android FUD being ramped up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555858)

Is it me, or is the FUD campaigns on Android on a dramatic increase? It seems coordinated.

I can't prove a negative, but there are natural mechanisms that explain this, just as natural mechanisms explain how birds flock without some bird-master pulling their strings.

Having followed politics for 15 years, there's very little active coordination in the media. It is, however, a relatively insular culture of people who have a much narrower set of opinions than the larger culture and often aren't cognizant of this. And there are media leaders, such as the NY Times, that other smaller operations look to when judging the newsworthiness of a subject. This causes the most problematic kind of bias, that of important stories that don't get reported.

The tech news is mostly the same, though they are far more susceptible to sponsors in industry withdrawing ad dollars. And, again, the problematic bias is usually of important stories that don't get reported out of fear of offending sponsors.

If there are a few reports published that are critical of Android, it becomes newsworthy simply by being in the news. That's the simple explanation of why you see a few reports and then a flood, and this increase is how the progression of any big story happens.

Now, PR people do understand this, and they do sometimes drop hit pieces. But the natural defense mechanism is that there are people who actively follow this stuff and look for those kinds of shenanigans. For example, here's a story that accuses the Obama administration of feeding a story to the WaPo [pajamasmedia.com] . When PR people try to stir up a story, it's very easy to be caught out, so that naturally limits them to dropping a few hints.

So, yes, there could be a PR firm quietly spreading FUD stories. This doesn't match that profile; usually they use anonymous sources, since you can't affect the news cycle very quickly with a year-long study. But they can't force papers to run with their press releases and anonymous leaks: they can influence, but not coordinate.

Re:Android FUD being ramped up... (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556486)

Now, PR people do understand this, and they do sometimes drop hit pieces. But the natural defense mechanism is that there are people who actively follow this stuff and look for those kinds of shenanigans. For example, here's a story that accuses the Obama administration of feeding a story to the WaPo [pajamasmedia.com] . When PR people try to stir up a story, it's very easy to be caught out, so that naturally limits them to dropping a few hints.

The article is over five years old, but I think it still is quite applicable today: The Submarine [paulgraham.com] . The trick seems to be having awareness of this manipulation, looking for it, and being able to communicate those findings. Politics breeds that kind of watchdog (especially in the current environment). But I don't think you'll find it in every arena on every issue.

That's not to say your view lacks insight. I suspect there is a lot of news that is news because it was in the news - especially within tech. But I also suspect that simply leaves tech news wide open to manipulation either by priming the pump or providing information to feed the cycle beneficial to your message. And unlike the political arena, tech watchdogs rarely become the news which greatly reduces the effectiveness of uncovering manipulation.

Antenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555242)

Did they include antenna problems in their survey?

Re:Antenna (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555510)

They probably did and since the faux issue you are referring to was actually a NON issue it didn't make any impact in this data.

Re:Antenna (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36556464)

You're right, it's a non-issue that the phone drops calls if you hold it normally.

In other news (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555244)

14 percent of all technical support calls for Android devices could be traced to a hardware fault, versus 3.7 percent for RIM BlackBerry, 8 percent for iPhones and 9 percent for Windows Phone 7 devices.'

In other news: '86% of all technical support calls for Android devices could be traced to a software issue, versus 96.3 percent for RIM BlackBerry, 92 percent for iPhones and 91 percent for Windows Phone 7 devices.'

Shows how bad Android is doesn't it....

Re:In other news (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555302)

Could it mean there were more "real" problems with Android vs. more "I'm a dumbass and can't RTFM" problems with other platforms?

Re:In other news (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555354)

True, and actually I wouldn't be surprised if a system that is run on budget hardware (as well as some quality phones) does have more hardware issues than the iPhone for example

Re:In other news (3, Informative)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555352)

the author explains his study a little bit [pcmag.com] in TFAcomments.

the focus of the study was something like "how many support calls will end in an (expansive) hardware replacement".

Re:In other news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555696)

the focus of the study was something like "how many support calls will end in an (expansive) hardware replacement".

But it deliberately avoids telling you how many, it only tells you what percentage of support calls. If it was what percentage of sold units would be returned then that would be useful but what percentage of support calls (and I won't tell you how many support calls there are) relate to hardware is no use for anything.

Re:In other news (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555900)

sure, you're right - and imo the article shouldn't be posted on /. (stuff that matters, my ass)

the thing on pcmag looks like a ripped-off press release - I never heard of WDS but I'm quite sure one can buy the complete study for whatever absurd piles of dollars. In a way this is nice metatrolling: the author auf the pcmag-piece *knows* that such an incomplete information base will lead to huge amounts of flaming - and he won, even slashdot is part of the crowd :)

stats need another dimension (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555274)

Ok, look I'm an iphone user. Love it. Have the original and waiting to get the next one. But I'm not putting too much into this little survey.

I need to see the manufacturer listed here before I believe this is any more than propoganda. If it turns out that each manuf. has about the same average fault rate, then ok, there's a problem. But if it turns out that HTC comes out to 2% and Moto is at 25% then I'd say that it's not the OS, but the manuf. that's the problem.

And then going further, how does a manufacturer's android parts compare to their non android part. What if LG has a average fail of 15% on android smartphones but only 5% on dumbphones.

Then what about those who make win7 and android phones? How does THAT compare? Samsung? HTC? LG?

Re:stats need another dimension (2)

jmpeax (936370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555700)

But if it turns out that HTC comes out to 2% and Moto is at 25% then I'd say that it's not the OS, but the manuf. that's the problem.

How could it be the OS? This is about hardware faults, and in fact has nothing to do with Android.

Re:stats need another dimension (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556174)

It wouldn't be the OS causing hardware failures. The article is implying that in all cases android phones have more hardware failures. WE know they are not caused by the OS, but the unwashed masses don't.

Misleading (4, Insightful)

jonescb (1888008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555286)

Keep in mind that this is 14% of _support calls_. Using the same logic as the summary, you could say that Android phones have fewer software issues than other phones because only 86% of calls are related to software. That is assuming there isn't a third option in support calls.

The article even states this, they don't have shipment numbers for devices so they don't have data for the phones that don't require support. Their sample is only phones that people are having problems with in the first place.

Re:Misleading (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555422)

Excellent point, without a better metric including installed base, number of calls and then break down of call types then the numbers are ultimately meaningless.

Hmm... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555290)

I would be curious to know if the numbers break down along any other useful lines:

For instance, are all the phones(regardless of OS and smart/dumb status) manufactured by a given OEM comparable in reliability? How about all phones by company that designed them? or Smart vs. dumb devices? Are 'flagship' devices more or less reliable than random carrier-branded contract fodder?

Unless android has some magical hardware-killing powers, it seems very unlikely that the OS itself has anything to do with it; but it is probably the case that Android will be the choice of any manufacturer playing the race-to-the-bottom price-sensitive-market volume sales game, and that is also where you would expect the most corners cut in terms of hardware. It would be interesting to try to break down, though, what factors exactly cut the hardware reliability.

Do they go with the second-tier OEMs to save money, and suffer manufacturing issues? Does the culture of tech-specs one-upmanship lead to excessively short design cycles, and inadequate engineering on the designing company's part? Is unreliably spread fairly evenly, or does it disproportionately fall on devices attempting mechanically tricky stuff like slide-out keyboards and ignore the more conservative featureless-slab or embedded-keypad designs regardless of OS?

wtf ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555292)

windows phone 7 has been out for a year? huh?

Re:wtf ? (1)

SpaceGhost (23971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555390)

Exactly. Compare to Win6/6.5 and you'd get lots of mediocre phones. I've had about equally poor results with 2 Win6 phones and my G1, oddly enough all made by HTC. So who funded this study?

Nearly year long ? (3, Interesting)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555298)

I thought WP7 devices had only been available for about 6 months ?

Re:Nearly year long ? (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555464)

8 months now.

Re:Nearly year long ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36556090)

But the three people who actually bought one won't put much of a dent in this study.

Blackberry is not hardware reliable. (1)

Bearded Frog (1562519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555312)

Really? I've had to replace my Blackberry Storm2 about 7 times now in the last year or so. And everyone I know who has a storm or a storm 2 has had about the same exact situation. The only durable blackberries seem to be the older curves. I would think the storm and the storm2 alone would make their number much higher.

Translation (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555336)

"A nearly year-long study conducted by WDS on 600,000 support calls has found that some phones are more susceptible to hardware faults than other phones."

FTFY. If you take the flamebait out of it, that's all it's saying. Android phones are manufactured by a large number of manufacturers, and some of them are a bit cheap and nasty.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555590)

"A nearly year-long study conducted by WDS on 600,000 support calls has found that some phones are more susceptible to hardware faults than other phones."

FTFY. If you take the flamebait out of it, that's all it's saying. Android phones are manufactured by a large number of manufacturers, and some of them are a bit cheap and nasty.

yo mama is cheap and nasty. i fucked her. in the mouth. with my dick. because i was afraid of her beat up cooch. it was cheap and nasty. yo mama's a slut. huh huh.

Windows Phone 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555344)

It stikes me that the real headline should relate to WP7
If the 9% of total problems relate to WP7 which has very limited market penetration and has only been available for approx 6 months
then there is indeed a quite serious problem with the WP7 software/hardware combo.

MS should be worried. Very worried.

Did someone fail statistics? (5, Insightful)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555346)

TFA deson't make any sense. The ratio of technical support that ends up being hardware tells us nothing about the hardware fault rate. It could simply be that people are less likely to have other problems with the phone, or that the users are more technical on average and more likely to be able to solve a non-hardware problem on their own.

For instance, let's say:

Device A: 2 million sold, 1 million support calls, 100K hardware calls

Device B: 4 million sold, 1 million support calls, 150K hardware calls

Device A: "10%"
Device B: "15%"

But really, the failure rate for A would be 5% whereas the rate for B would be 3.75%.

In short, the article's author is an idiot.

Re:Did someone fail statistics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555808)

It could also be one or two devices bumping the average. You have one disaster device that sold good and it could really change things. Or even the other way around...

Lies, damn lies, and statistics....

But smooshing them all together makes for good headlines. And tables of failure rates is boring to look at.

Take the xbox 360 had a failure rate of 30% that was one device. But put it in with wii's and ps3's and the total failure rate would be very different.

Re:Did someone fail statistics? (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555948)

In short, the article's author is an idiot.

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Then you don't have to prove that author is idiot.

What is missing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555350)

WDS did not disclose how many support calls in general technicians fielded for each platform.

And let us read down a little more before I comment...

"In this study we have not been able to measure PTC for two reasons," Deluca-Smith said via email. "We would require shipment volumes from all of the carriers/OEMs that were part of the 600,000 calls sampled. Many do not share this information with us. [Second,] We sample only calls we take at our contact centers (principally based in the U.S. and Europe); end-users may have visited their carrier's Web care to resolve an issue. In which case, there was still a problem â" but we didn't get to see it."

Yes, but a) your numbers are already suspect because the customer could have gone to the carrier for any kind of problem, and b) you could have reported on what percentage of the devices under your direct control were of each type, and thus we would have at least some indication, but you neglected to share that information with us, suggesting at least to me (not implying, just suggesting) that perhaps the results would suggest that another platform had higher failure rates overall in spite of higher hardware failure rates for Android. Aside from wanting to damage Android directly, another reason to neglect such results would simply be to knowingly attempt to make the study look more conclusive than it actually is for financial gain, which seems to me to be a form of fraud.

Interesting (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555386)

RIM relative low number impresses me at first glance.

The iPhone and WP7 has me wondering if 7-9% is the standard, and I'll likely look to see if this is comparable for all cellphones.

Android's relative high number reminds me why I ditched my android phone for an iPhone. It was an early one, Eris. Wasn't a bad phone for the time, but six months after I bought the thing it was having trouble keeping up at Android 2.1 for the stuff I wanted to do with my phone. I liked the OS, but found my initial choice of hardware... lacking. Rooting it and removing HTC Sense made 2.1 fun, but with 2.2... *sighs*

I think it is also worth noting the two highest are more software on other people's hardware. RIM is hardware/software as is the iPhone.

Re:Interesting (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555788)

RIM I'm sure has a lot of software related support questions, that would probably be the reason for their low % of hardware based support calls.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555990)

I think it is also worth noting the two highest are more software on other people's hardware. RIM is hardware/software as is the iPhone.

Are you suggesting that running software on a single platform is likely to mean a greater proportion of software support calls hence the result for RIM and iPhone? That sounds... unexpected.

Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555408)

So, if I produce a phone that has only 1 support call related to hardware and 1 related to software my hardware must be crappy, because I have 50% support calls due to hardware issues.

Something I missed?

Re:Amazing (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555716)

This.

These stats do not say anything about how many handsets had hardware issues. The stats given relate to how many support calls there are.

Hmmm vague (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555418)

We sample only calls we take at our contact centers...end-users may have visited their carrier's Web care to resolve an issue. In which case, there was still a problem – but we didn't get to see it

So, alternatively, Android webcare/community help could resolve a greater number of software issues than with other devices, leaving hardware issues to make a higher proportion of the contact center cases. May not have been the case, but may have been, which clouds this claim a bit. Especially as they "did not disclose how many support calls in general technicians fielded for each platform".

So even if Android phones do have a higher proportion of hardware issues in support calls, the overall number could be a fraction of that seen with other devices.

Android bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555444)

Android bad. iPhone good.
Repeat wiht me: Android bad. iPhone good. Android bad. iPhone good.....

How come the world does not get it and the Android market share keeps rising and rising??

SSDD (1)

Dunega (901960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555468)

Hey look, Slashdot is shitting on Android again. What a freaking surprise.

Bitcoins? (1)

plsenjy (2104800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555476)

What about Bitcoins? We haven't heard about Bitcoins in over 24 hours and it worries me.

Android Phones Less Prone To Software Problems. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555490)

From TFA:

The study, conducted by WDS, found that 14 percent of all technical support calls for Android devices could be traced to a hardware fault, versus 3.7 percent for RIM BlackBerry, 8 percent for iPhones and 9 percent for Windows Phone 7 devices.

WDS did not disclose how many support calls in g
eneral technicians fielded for each platform.

And there you have it. If the platforms had, say, the same amount of hardware trouble calls as non-Android platforms but a far lower number of software trouble calls you'd get the same result.

Without additional data we can't tell if my headline or the one from PC magazine is more accurate.

I don't know of any reason the Android-platform hardware produced by several big-name companies using modern parts and fabs should be almost four times as flakey as the non-Android-platform hardware produced by several big-name companies using modern parts and fabs. Maybe a little from this being earlier in the product life cycle. But a factor of 3.8? So I'm betting at least some of the result is from Android SOFTware being less failure prone and the article's slant being anti-Android FUD.

Ruggedized phones ? (1)

Sam Nitzberg (242911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555500)

My Casio Commando is a ruggedized (water,shock,vibration,salt spray) resistant Android phone...

I wouldn't expect a hw fault with it. It's hw failure rate should be pretty low.......
Other companies also produce ruggedized android phones.

Did the other phones they discuss have ruggedized versions available?

-- Sam

Trolled again! (1, Insightful)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555558)

Hey Slashdotters, looks like we've been trolled again! After that story that just was released about Android having supposedly crappier apps a couple days ago. This is just garbage. And for the past few months, I can't seem to mod these stories down.

I think the Apple schills/PR machine is turning on their control of the tech media even more (releasing thinly veiled "news stories"), because they can't realize they can win on features/openness/technical merit. I mean geez, they knock android, but don't even mention that the iPhone 4 can't even make *simple calls* properly* (read: antennagate)?

I think my days of "Chips and Dip" are over. I'm thinking it's time to retire the old UID.

Re:Trolled again! (0)

Old Sparky (675061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555650)

Indoobifuckintoobly!

Anyone notice the sudden increase in Micro$crot/Apple FUD since the (so-called) US Justice Department dropped the antitrust investigation against Microscrot? And now they're starting in on google?

How much did THAT cost Ballmer?!?

Re:Trolled again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36556290)

...but don't even mention that the iPhone 4 can't even make *simple calls* properly* (read: antennagate)?

Or use Wi-Fi when other people are using it next to you.
Link [youtube.com]

Slanted (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555584)

I'm an Apple fanboy but even I can see through my Apple coloured glasses and recognize that this is entirely slanted. Comparing phones made by Apple (one manufacturer) and RIM (one manufacturer) to Android phones (how many manufacturers?...) is entirely unfair. I'd like to see how HTC does. How about Samsung. Compare manufacturers to manufacturers. Apples to apples, if you pardon the pun. The might as well compare Apple's and RIM's phones to American automobiles for all the value the information provides...

Hmmmm.... I can't verify this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555608)

I've had two Android phones - a G1 and now a Droid X. Both have had perfect hardware records and have survived falls, getting wet, and having a cat use them for a bed to sleep on occasionally. Of the people I know that have Android phones, not a single one of them has had a hardware failure.... As opposed to people that I know that have iPhones that have all (Except for one) had to return their phones because of battery/screen issues.

Not enough data (1)

Sniper98G (1078397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555710)

Without knowing any of the details of the study (Witch the study maker would not disclose). This is completely meaningless. For all we know, of the 600,000 calls only 7 were for android an only one of those for hardware problems.

I'm sure that this is not the case but unless we can see some hard data there is no way to determine the real hardware problem rate of these devices.

I call bullshit (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555714)

I have to call bullshit on this article. 14% of technical support calls were related to hardware faults, but it says nothing of the per capita rates of technical service calls. I find it far more likely that either a) android is far more easy to deal with issues yourself or b) used by a more technical user base. Either of these situations would result in less calls related to software issues, which would make the % of support calls that are hardware related go up significantly. Until they release information about the ratio of hardware calls to devices, this is nothing but a bullshit article.

My experience confirms it (1, Interesting)

cecom (698048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555758)

I love my Nexus One, but I have to say the statistics are probably true. I have to reboot it a couple of times per week - the touch screen stops working, or the screen just turns black when I am receiving or making a call. Sometimes I have to resort to removing the battery. A co-worker with a Nexus One is having similar problems, so it is not that my specific device is defective.

As much as I hate Apple, my wife's IPhone 3GS hasn't had any problems whatsoever and she's had it for longer.

Re:My experience confirms it (1)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556222)

Well, I am also using a Nexus One and I don't have any of the problems you mentioned (running CyanogenMod). So you probably have a software problem...

In other news. . . (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36555766)

When you include Yugos, Trabants, and Ladas, foreign cars have much worse reliability than Ford.

I really hate it when the media writes dumbassed articles like this. "Let's compare phones made by 30 different companies with a phone made by 1 company and see if there are quality variations." Abject stupidity.

Re:In other news. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36556034)

Why not bundle them together for android. Thats what you all do when talking about market share. Its always... Android versus iphone then. Oh never mind answering... i've heard it all before.

Must be new math (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36555892)

The original article and the slashdot story show a very questionable grasp of math.

It is as if I asserted 0% of elephants are naturally orange and Mark Hachman published an article asserting 100% of elepants are pink. One does not follow from the other.

It's probably a safer to assume that the hardware of all three phones is equivalent, but RIM and iOS get more support calls due to difficulties using the software. But I wouldn't publish that article either without some actual number to back up the assumption of equal hardware. Plus it doesn't really tell you much, are iOS and RIM phones that much harder to use, or do they attract an audience of users that need more assistance with using a phone, or something else?

Just anecdotally it seems that businesses hand out RIM phones and lately iPhones to their employees while people buy Android phones with their own money. That alone can describe a higher rate of support calls for RIM and iPhones, a user is probably more likely to call the support line for some device that was foisted on them vs. one they chose.

iOS vs. Android vs. Blackberry – Bakeoff (1)

jschmitz (607083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556178)

Some of you may be interested in this presentation that was recently given at Velocity - has some good stats about the big three smartphones - http://assets.en.oreilly.com/1/event/60/iOS%20vs_%20Android%20vs_%20Blackberry%20%E2%80%93%20Bakeoff%20Presentation.pdf [oreilly.com]

BS. (1)

afex (693734) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556260)

man, what a bunch of bullshit. Android is the software, and has NOTHING to do with the hardware problems they may have.

This is like saying "windows machines have more hardware problems than linux machines."

I am an iphone user, had a galaxy S previously, and I understand what they are saying - but don't throw mud on HTC's hardware when you're really talking about some shitty kyocera handset that happens to run android 1.1!

Is this surprising? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36556550)

More manufacturers, more handset models, more components = more faults.
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