Android handsets not as reliable as iPhone and BlackBerry

By Gary Johnson - Nov 4, 2011

Since it was first launched the Android operating has grown at a tremendous rate with a wide variety of handsets available for consumers. We recently told you that it remained the biggest player in the UK having almost half of the smartphone sales in the country. Today we have some not so good news as it has been found that Android handsets are not as reliable as the iPhone or BlackBerry devices.

Research carried out by WDS has found that Android devices break down more compared to other operating systems. The inquirer is reporting that the research covered a twelve month period, and more than 600,000 technical support calls to the company. It was found that calls relating to hardware on the Android platform had the most calls.

Of all the calls received fourteen percent were for Android hardware problems, while Windows Phone 7 made up eleven percent. Apple’s iOS platform fared better with only seven percent with BlackBerry devices making up six percent. Tim Deluca-Smith of WDS stressed the findings doesn’t mean there is “any inherent fault with the Android platform”.

He added that the platforms success was proving to be challenging, and the survey hints that the often lower cost of some Android handsets were often the cause of issues. Microsoft has minimum specifications for devices on its platform, and Apple and RIM have total control that can result in fewer problems.

The main problems found with Android handsets were often related to the display and charging, and a possible cost of returning and fixing the problems with Android devices could be up to $2 billion per year. It’s not surprising to hear lower cost devices causing problems, and it has to be remembered that there are far more Android handsets out in the wild to begin with.

Have you had any issues with your handset?

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  • Dan Hoyer

    I hate articles like this. First it says that Android is “the biggest player in the UK”, and then it says that of the 600,000 support calls the largest percentage of calls for hardware were for the the android handsets.

    So, where is this a problem? Doesn’t it make sense the player with the most handsets would have the most hardware calls? 

    These numbers are meaningless without the actual number of handsets in use for each vendor.

    These numbers should show something like “For every 1000 handsets in use, android had x% calls, apple had y% calls, windows…, rim… etc.” The footnote that there more android handsets out in the wild is insufficient to balance the claim.

    Dont make a dramatic headline unless you have the facts to back it up.

  • roman


    • Anonymous

      RIM is not an OS.  Blackberry OS is an OS.  RIM is a company. Apple is not an OS.  iOS is an OS. Apple is a company.  Just trying to help you out so in the future your comments have more weight with people.

      QNX (recently renamed BBX) is RIM’s next OS and it looks amazing.  Extremely consumer friendly and just a joy to use on the Playbook.  They also purchased one of the top UI design companies in the world.  They designed some of the apps in the Playbook.  And honestly they blow away a lot of the Android apps default in terms of design.  They are also nearly done with their Android emulator which should dramatically increase the size of their app store.  RIM just needs to put out hardware that is attractive to consumers.  Unfortunately, their track record for doing that though is pitiful.  I honestly don’t know if they will succeed but to dismiss them when they have all the pieces lining up in the right place would be a mistake at this point.  I own a Galaxy SII.  I love Android.  Not a Blackberry fanboy.  I am just a tech enthusiast.