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Wednesday, June 29

Android devices more susceptible to hardware faults

Android is leading the pack in global mobile phone sales for two quarters in a row -- roughly one in three smartphones sold in Q1 2011 were Android phones. Why shouldn't they be, allowing customers to buy handsets at virtually every price segment? But all isn't well, according to a study conducted by WDS: Android phones also have a higher tendency of hardware faults compared toBlackberry, iOS, and Windows Phone devices.

According to a WDS study conducted between June 2010 and May 2011, Android phones were in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Studying more than 600,000 technical support calls across Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, WDS found a higher tendency for hardware faults on Android devices in comparison to its competitors: 14% of all technical support calls were for Android smartphones, in contrast to just 3.7% for RIM Blackberry, 8% for iPhone (iOS) and 9% for Windows Phone 7 devices.

The range of reported Android hardware faults were mostly related to OEM deployments, said WDS. Some brands showed a propensity for keypad/button failures, others display failures and some highlighted battery issues.


The WDS study argues Android's Achilles' heel is inherently a factor contributing to its outstanding success: varying hardware quality levels leading to inconsistent user experience, across manufacturers. Where Apple and RIM both control their iPhone (iOS) and Blackberry ecosystem, and Microsoft has minimum specs for all Windows Phone 7 devices, no such norms dictate Android's proliferation under an open source license by over 35 global OEMs.

This is definitely a disconcerting trend for Google and Android's future as a platform.