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Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the almost-as-if-they-weren't-all-made-by-the-same-company dept.

Android 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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What are the range of failures? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:What are the range of failures? (3, Interesting)

txoof (553270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951288)

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 [theunderstatement.com] 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.

Re:What are the range of failures? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951496)

Ya but u can do more on any build of android than any ios build so the comparison isn't really that fair. Also apple makes one version of the upgrade for ALL phones, android makers have to make one per phone model. The real art starts coming into play with the unofficial ROMS such as myUI, etc...

Re:What are the range of failures? (2)

246o1 (914193) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951540)

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.

That's a reasonable expectation, but not a true statement about the iPhone line. My family has iPhones, still on the original contract, which didn't handle the rollout of iOS 4 very well and are never going to get iOS5.

On the other hand, Apple has always been good to me about replacing defective hardware fairly quickly, but with mobile OS development still happening very rapidly (read: demanding more resources as we try to cram 30 years of desktop development into our handsets), it's no surprise that long-term software support isn't as good as on equivalently priced desktop machines (my quite nice desktop cost me about the same as my wife's phone).

Re:What are the range of failures? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951580)

The iPhone line [theunderstatement.com] 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.

That link is a little bit misleading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_iOS_devices [wikipedia.org]

The original IPhone is only supported up to IOS 3.1.3

The IPhone 3G is only supported up to IOS 4.2.1

Re:What are the range of failures? (2)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951598)

Interesting, I never had a problem with my Nexus One. I only switched phones about a month ago when I got a Nexus S for the NFC support (I'm a developer writing an app against that functionality). I gave my NexOne to my wife who uses it to great success. My one-year old daughter even got it and chewed on it a bunch (very little cosmetic damage, but enough drool got inside to trip the moisture sensor - the trackball glows red). A night in a rice bowl later, and it's still going strong.

The closest thing I ever had to a problem with it was the car mount would cause the phone to get very hot (not sure if it's the phone or the mount which generates the heat, I tend to think it's the mount because my phone would not overheat at any other time), which of course is bad for battery life, and makes the screen less sensitive while it's overheated.

Re:What are the range of failures? (2)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951434)

I'm trying to think of what app might be causing more android users to accidentally drop their phones.

Re:what app might be causing users to drop phones (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951640)

Real Life Angry Birds!

Re:What are the range of failures? (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951680)

You gotta try the Hot Potato (tm) game. When the game makes a sizzling sound you have to drop it like it's hot. Good fun for the whole family.

Re:What are the range of failures? (0)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951448)

rtfa

2.6% of all technical support calls related to Android in the study were for hardware failures related to the touchscreen, buttons, speakers, microphones and battery performance. Just 9.3% of Windows Phone, 8% of iOS calls and 5.5% of BlackBerry calls were related to hardware failures. Read on for more.

Re:What are the range of failures? (2)

davewoods (2450314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951526)

Awkward... that first number is actually 12.6%, not 2.6%

Re:What are the range of failures? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951528)

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.

So, for sake of comparison, how many times did you drop your G1 in a puddle?

Re:What are the range of failures? (1, Interesting)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951594)

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.

Re:What are the range of failures? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951652)

Yep, that's right, your anecdote carries far more weight than properly researched stats.

I wonder who commissioned this study (1, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951166)

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

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (-1, Troll)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951238)

Yeah. It's against the-so-much-loved Google so it must be a conspiracy!

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951246)

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

The axe-grinding app is awesommer in iPhone than in android. Why, just last week for Halloween I needed to grind an axe to do some serial killing for more realistic blood spatters. The Android could not even get a two bars on the 3G network. Before it could even find and down load an app, iPhone had an axe grinding app going at full tilt. It was a close call, whether to use the iGrind to grind the axe or directly use iGrind itself on the victim. Anyway iGrind rules!

There is an app for it.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951254)

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

It has to be. Because something negative about Android couldn't possibly actually be true.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (0)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951340)

I agree, and then there's the fact that Google has no experience on developing mobile OS. They seem to assume they can just overuse the hardware and not limit it in any way, which obviously turns the hardware to scrap metal really soon. This is a combination of bad coding habits from Google and bad hardware decisions from manufacturers in the race to take the prices to bottom.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951392)

This is bullshit and you are clearly trolling.
If it was the case the batteries would fail from heat. That is not happening, thus you are just a troll.
Go back under your bridge.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951444)

Many other parts can fail too, it's not just batteries. You can't just ignore the fact that Google could have safe measurements in the OS and limit the hardware usage, but they do not. Combined with crappy hardware and crappy design this leads to failing parts. It's simple as that.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951524)

Batteries would die first though, numbnuts. They have the lowest heat tolerance. No mobile OS does what you are talking about.

Stop already, you are only making yourself sound dumber.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (0)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951562)

There's a physical wall between batteries and the other parts. Just admit it, Google starts something but they never finish or polish it. This is why Android is failing too.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951628)

Just admit it, you're just trolling. Not a very good one either.

Biggest chunk of the market is not failing.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951568)

"overuse the hardware"? wtf does that even mean in this context.
if they used less transitions by default do you really think the solders would be any better? would the screens be less prone to breaking if they used less colors?

why not just go and add yourself to the shills list.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951662)

You're so full of shit you squeak. Fucking iTards, I swear to God...

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (4, Informative)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951504)

You do know that LG is Korean, don't you?

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951588)

Indeed I do. They claim it means "Life's Good", but it really stands for "Lucky Goldstar" the old company name. They still make garbage low end phones.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951668)

Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but LG now makes excellent products. Check consumer reports. Their washing machines are some of the best and quite affordable. Also, very low failure rates.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951642)

LG isn't a "no name chinese flyby night" company, it's a major player in almost every electronics category and Samsung's primary competitor - not to mention it's Korean. I have used a few different Android phones made from LG and my primary handset is an LG Revolution. They made good hardware. Also name me a single phone - or piece of electronics for that matter - that isn't manufactured by some Chinese company most people haven't heard of, including the iPhone. Oh you can't? Shut the fuck up.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951296)

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

Contrary to troll belief, that is an excellent question; TFA states that the study was done by "WDS" - however, it never specifies what "WDS" stands for.

A Google search [google.com] yields no useful result.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951404)

A Google search [google.com] yields no useful result.

Scratch that [google.com] .

However, a Google search of "Wireless Dat Service" turns up nothing (so far) but reposts of the same article...

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951460)

Found the WhoIs entry [domaintools.com] .

Now it's someone else's turn.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951478)

Seems I'm better at the google search game!!!!

From TFA: "WDS vice president of Marketing Tim Deluca-Smith said"

That makes it easy to google up the company, WDS Global: http://www.wds.co/ [www.wds.co]

Heck, link to their original press release:
http://www.wds.co/news/archive/2011/20111103/20111103.asp [www.wds.co]

If not in the mood to go into the link, here is their company description:

Since 1995, WDS has been dedicated to helping both service providers and end-users get the most from their wireless products and services. Today, by optimizing the entire process of launching and managing wireless products and services, the company enlightens its customers with the knowledge and efficiency needed to deliver the best possible user experience.

To us, the wireless user experience is more than just the latest touchscreen or user interface; it's an appreciation of the device, network, service and the journey that the end-user passes through as they interact with their service provider.

By focusing attention away from 'managing' user experience problems and towards resolving the cause of an issue, and by sharing business critical intelligence through a common platform, WDS achieves the continued savings and improvements that naturally lower the support burden and improve end-user profitability. It's this ability to help customers identify preventable issues, improve future products and services and build long-term, profitable relationships with end-users that means many of the world's most recognizable mobile brands now trust the outsourcing of their user experience to WDS.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951348)

I'm guessing it is a result of the large adoption of Android. I'm guessing for every high grade device, there are probably three or four crappy ones out there. Probably more are hitting the market every day. It's definitely not a reflection of the quality of the os but rather the quality of manufacturers trying to vomit out anything android branded for a quick buck.

Timing is interesting (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951364)

Funny that a study like this would come out at the same time as Apple's battery problems were exposed. Finding out who sponsored the study could be significant.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (0)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951370)

Must be an Apple fanboi!!!

Cant be the fact that Android phones come in all production ranges, from the great Galaxy S to the horribly cheap and plasticky, nearly disposable Sanyo Zio.

Re:I wonder who commissioned this study (1)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951694)

I bet grinding your axe on the phone would definitely cause it to stop working.

Nostalgia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951176)

I miss the Slashdot from the late 90's and early 00's. It's a bunch of young ass punks now who couldn't tie their shoes due to their feeling of self entitlement.

Anyone born after about 1980 should have their internet privileges taken away so maybe we can cut down on all the crap that flows from their mouths. A quick and easy way to do that would be to block wireless signals on Wall Street right now so the poor little protesters can't bitch about being poor while twittering away on their iPhones and Macbooks with expensive data plans.

At least all those punks wearing skinny jeans (a.k.a. women's pants) have their tiny testicles wrapped up so tight that they won't be able to breed. Plus, we could also make sure anyone wearing a fedora is chemically castrated to eliminate that part of the overall human gene pool.

It's time to call the GNAA back into action so they can organize hit teams to make it happen. It would be super sneaky since those young retards have to have at least one black or gay person in their entourage so they can pretend they're diverse and cultured. BLAM! Next thing you know, the GNAA pull's out their giant gay nigger cocks and beats them all into oblivion and end this travesty once an for all.

Bah. What do I know. I'm just a poor troll who tries to take a little time out of my day to bring a little sense back into this world full of liberal arts majors who what a 6 figure job where all they do is contemplate their naval.

Grow a pair, move out of yours parent's house, get off their health insurance and learn how to be a contributing member of society through hard work. Maybe then you'll learn that life isn't fair, you're not special and being a vegan makes you smell funny.

Now to get off my soap box. Time to get back to work so I can earn my money to pay my bills since I don't expect anyone else to do it for me.

Re:Nostalgia (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951278)

I'm a contributing member of society. Hard work is over rated.

HIgher cost junk is still junk too.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951178)

How many Apple products had to have screens replaced, batteries, antennas, foul, filth, foul, crud...

Even though they're overly expensive, they're just as unreliable and in need of repair as the lower cost alternatives.

Would have been better to say that Android phones cost as much as iPhones and less than Blackberries to maintain/repair.

Of course, with more Android phones on the market than iPhones and Blackberries combined, it would probably skew the cost analysis.

You get what you pay for. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951180)

Cheap stuff breaks, who knew?

Re:You get what you pay for. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951270)

Cheap stuff breaks. Overpriced stuff is held wrong. Therein lies the difference.

Re:You get what you pay for. (1)

davewoods (2450314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951616)

And overpriced stuff has glass on the BACK, that is how you know you paid top dollar for your handheld (Highly droppable) device.

Re:You get what you pay for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951538)

Yeah, not like Apple products are made in China or anything.

Troll story is troll (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951184)

Seriously, WTF slashdot?

What do you expect? (5, Interesting)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951326)

I have a friend who does this.

When he gets tired of his phone, he starts slamming it against the shop floor (concrete) until it breaks.

He feels entitled to one because he pays the insurance and it means an updated phone.

Customers fight back against being nickel-and-dimed.

--
BMO

Re:What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951430)

Customers commit fraud in order to get cheap upgrades is what I think you meant to say.

When your friend does this, of whom do you think he takes advantage? The phone company? No. The insurance company? Not really. It's all the other shmoes who bought insurance with legitimate intentions.

Your friend is a freeloader.

Bogus study (5, Insightful)

moozh84 (919301) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Bogus study (1)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951268)

Google just makes the software. Apple and Blackberry make their own hardware.

Eh, Google makes hardware too. They did even before they bought Motorola, but now they're one of the largest Android manufacturers.

Re:Bogus study (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951304)

Google has never made hardware. They contract out the making of Nexus phone the latest of which are Samsung hardware. Google owns a manufacturer but is not one.

Re:Bogus study (2)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951544)

Google owns a manufacturer but is not one.

So in fact they are.

Re:Bogus study (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Bogus study (2)

epiphani (254981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951290)

I won't argue with your premise - but for some anicdotal comment: I don't know a single person who has a Samsung Galaxy phone (old version or new) that hasn't had to replace it at least once for DOA type problems (died out of the box or within 2 months). I know one who had to replace it three times.

Re:Bogus study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951362)

knowing one person that had to replace a phone "three times", and then constructing a sentence around that fact to imply there were more incidents is faulty logic. to reiterate, you don't know very many Samsung Galaxy phone users.

Re:Bogus study (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951366)

Had mine a year and a half, no problems. Only a few of the many people I've talked to with them have had major hardware problems, no more than any other decent phone. Perhaps you have uncareful friends? :P

Re:Bogus study (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951602)

I've had my SGS2 for about half a year now, and while it feels a bit light, thin and cheap, it has held up pretty well.

Two youtube vids:

First, battery cover, which is paper thin, and very many are afraid to break somehow when they get the phone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXqnQKs-tA [youtube.com]

Second is a drop test (vs iPhone 4S), where the light plastic seem to hold up pretty well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elKxgsrJFhw [youtube.com]

So.. This far, the only problem I've had is that the power button doesn't bounce back as much as it used to. Can't really complain about the build quality.

Re:Bogus study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951620)

Yes, and I know a few people with broken iPhones. Anecdote != data.

Re:Bogus study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951298)

My thoughts exactly. This has NOTHING to do with Android.

Re:Bogus study (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951308)

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.

By the same token how many of the BSoDs blamed on Microsoft was really Microsoft's fault and how many were due to crappy hardware bought to save money? (Lest some one accuse me of a being a microsoft shill, my anti-MS credentials [slashdot.org] (Sep 2007) have been well established. )

Re:Bogus study (1)

moozh84 (919301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951390)

That's fair to say. The same comparison can be made between PCs and Macs, due to the Macs only being sold in a limited choice of first-party hardware configurations.

But any Linux using Microsoft hater has plenty of justification to bash Microsoft for crashes when they have PCs at home that have run for years without crashing or rebooting.

Re:Bogus study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951310)

You used HTC and high-end in the same sentence--funny.

Re:Bogus study (2)

txoof (553270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951344)

Google doesn't make the hardware, but they certainly endorse some of it. In particular, the Nexus line. One would think that Google would choose to endorse only the best those manufacturers have to offer. It certainly doesn't do them any good to endorse crap. My N1 hasn't been too stellar so far having broken twice in the first year. While HTC did a pretty speedy job at replacing it, I wasn't super impressed with a device that craps out in less than a year of gentle ownership.

Motorola (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951410)

High-end Samsung or HTC Android phones are just as good as their Apple or Blackberry counterparts.

I do notice that you don't include Motorola in this, which probably makes the statement more accurate since IMHO (and experience) the quality of Moto phones leaves much to be desired.

Good points (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951420)

It's like saying that PC hardware running Linux breaks more often.

Re:Bogus study (3, Informative)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951546)

There is one problem with that: Google certifies every single Android phone.

They have the ability to prevent manufacturers from releasing disposable garbage, but instead they just certify it as long as the maker does not dare remove google tracking services.

So, although the manufacturer of the specific phones should be listed, Google is the one that opens the door for manufacturers to create and sell said garbage.

Re:Bogus study (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951610)

I agree. I'm a huge iOS fanboy but this is just unfair. By their logic WinMo 6 also has a higher failure rate just because ZTE, Huawei, etc shipped crummy WinMo devices.

Besides, RIM and Apple should be compared to HTC, Moto, etc. Not google.

You can't have it both ways. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951664)

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".

So that means an end to the stories and claims and general nerd mirth about how 'Android phones are now the largest market segment'?

Nothing by Manufacturer? (5, Insightful)

BStroms (1875462) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Nothing by Manufacturer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951374)

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.

Of course it would, but then the Apple zealots wouldn't go on a "nah nah" click-fest, shortly followed by Android fans pointing out the flaws in the article.

Name and shame the manufacturers should have been the case here, but that's not what this "news" outlet wants. They want click impressions for their ads. So stir it up for a flame-fest is the order of the day.

Many iPhone repairs are paid for by the User (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951214)

"Repairs to Android smartphones cost wireless carriers $2 billion per year"

many iPhone repairs are paid for by the User. Brittle screen, battery replacements etc.

Terrible Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951220)

The title implies Android is the problem, when the article states that this isn't an Android problem...its a crappy phone problem. Just another hater trying to get attention.

Why do they hate Android so much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951224)

What does this story have to do with Android? If someone sells a cheap phone, then it's a cheap phone regardless of what OS is on it. And just for the record, our company has a mix of Android and iPhones and we have had more issues with iPhones! And don't get me started with Black Berry, most people I know are glad they ditch their BB phones!

Lol repair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951248)

nobody repairs gadgets, when they break them they buy a new one, if its under warranty then it gets replaced for a new one, if its out of warranty then its too old

At least you can get it repaired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951264)

Your iPhone break? Your options are get a new one or get a new one.

Welcome to the Bazaar (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951266)

A wide variety of manufacturers will tend to include some of lower quality.

Buyer beware, or just pay extra and get the Apple. (Apple hardware ain't perfect either.)

Batten down the hatches!! (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951322)

Oh great, here come the AC trolls...and the resulting flame war.

Old news (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951324)

cheaper devices (designed cheaper) with otherwise similar performance specs fail more often.

What would be interesting would be how high-end android devices from brands with a brand image compare to the iphone.

Looking for the report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951334)

Look at http://www.wds.co/docs/controlling-the-android.pdf

This report is nuts (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951350)

>Repairs to Android smartphones cost wireless carriers $2 billion per year

Since when did wireless carriers repair smartphones? They just send them back in gross to the hardware maker for a refund on the next batch. $2 billion seems really high for mailing costs.

full picture? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951352)

I'm not seeing conclusive proof that either android or the phones are at fault here. Android phones are widely available, and low cost, but in particular they're introducing (more sensitive) touch screens to a market which probably hasn't traditionally taken good care of their phones. I'd guess nearly any inexpensive touch screen phone would have similar problems.

Repairing Apple hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951372)

Everyone knows you don't repair Apple hardware. You buy a new iThing.

Not Android issue (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951378)

From the article:

“One thing we must be absolutely clear on is that our analysis does not find any inherent fault with the Android platform,” WDS vice president of Marketing Tim Deluca-Smith said.

Yuh huh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951380)

Take all those devices that Android "breaks" on and install iPhone/Blackberry OS on 'em

OH YEAH, THAT WON'T WORK

The real reason why iPhone costs the carriers less (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951414)

From my experience, if anything happens to your precious iPhone, the carrier won't fix it. At best you can buy a new one for the customary discount. Standard carrier service and warranty (paid one) for other phones fixes much more issues and therefore costs the carriers money, much of which (if not all) they get from the subscribers.

Phone "breaks" & I get a free 1? Hammer pleas (1)

technosaurus (1704630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951424)

It the business model and slow/nonexistent updates. The hardware doesn't improve _that_ much, but droiders who are good about keeping their phones charged also see slowdowns over time from extra processes running backgrounded while idiots like me that let their phone go dead once in a while (ok, quite often) get the processes reset when the phone shuts down and end up without the sluggishness. These proactive users remember how fast their phone was when they bought it and think the must just need a new one. I call it the windows registry effect.

3 Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951438)

Made in China

Lower Cost Means Lower Quality..News at 11 (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951464)

Hardware running android? Isn't that a rather broad category? I mean Apple and RIM make their own hardware so comparing them makes sense. But comparing two hardware companies to a dozen or more companies that all use the same software? That seems like a rather useless statistic. Name brands vs generic brands, was there ever any doubt?

begs the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951468)

all other things being equal, would one expect the more useful tool to fail more or less quickly?

How many of these are failed flashings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951482)

I wonder how many of these "hardware failures" were due to users attempting to root the devices and install custom ROM's? Hardware makers may want to consider making their devices more accessible or providing the user an easier way to run custom ROM's on the devices. From a Vendor perspective it's pretty much impossible to determine a truly dead phone from one that's had a bad software flash on it. Many don't even care and just replace the phone rather than fight with the consumer.

It's kind of silly that Hardware vendors want to retain their "iron grip" on the hardware so firmly they are willing to pay out of their own pockets when users brick their phones trying to regain control of hardware that THEY OWN!

I'm smelling BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951508)

So let me get this straight.
They take a free OS, put it on shit hardware, charge through the nose for it, screw up the OS with their own "Image-engineering", load it down with subsidized crap apps, leave no room for the user to do much with their phone, and when their crap breaks....they blame the OS....

Did I get that right? Because I'm fairly sure HTC and others don't say, "Hey this new handset will be an Android, let's fuck it up so Apple and others look good."

This can be blamed solely on the carriers.

Android - your personal IED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37951554)

Give it to those you hate.

Why does this seem so eerily familiar? (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951564)

Does reading about a vast army of cheaply produced, fault-prone commodity hardware from multiple OEM vendors running an OS from a single software vendor competing against Apple's solely owned and closed product line give anyone else a sense of deja vu?

... I wonder how it will turn out.

No Surprise (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951570)

It's PC vs Mac all over again. PCs dominated because they were much cheaper than Macs. PCs failed more than Macs because they were much cheaper than Macs. PCs drove the massification of personal computing because they were much cheaper than Macs. The same dynamic will occur with Android and iDevices.

It's the manufacturers not the OS (1)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951578)

I heard hardware running Windows has a higher rate of failure than that of Apple machines. Point being, yeah.. android is a commodity OS, so why tie it to a story about hardware from a range of manufacturers who very likely offer a range of phones all of which run the same OS. In the days of eMachines and the like was Windows the focus of faulty hardware manufacturers?

Shit Summary (1)

CapnStank (1283176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951608)

Yay another flamebait article!

The article states that since low end "smartphones" are being installed with Android it is costing carriers more in warranty and repair costs. It has nothing to do with the Android platform and is more of a side effect where the cheap manufacturers elected to go with Android over another OS.

The variety of hardware available is a factor. (3, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37951676)

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 Cowboom.com instead)

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

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