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Study finds that iPhone performance is far less reliable than Android

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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2017 3:14 AM GMT

According to a new research report released by the Blancco Technology Group, the failure rate on Apple's iPhone is far greater than it is on competing Android devices. Not only that, but the failure rate experienced by iOS users has only increased with each passing quarter over the past year.

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For some quick context, a smartphone failure for purposes of the study refers to instances when a device, for any reason, doesn't operate as intended. This broad category, as a result, encompasses a wide variety of system issues, including camera problems, touchscreen malfunctions, battery charging issues and a number of other performance hiccups.

As for specific failure rates, the report indicates that iOS devices during the last quarter of 2016 experienced a failure rate of 62%. By way of contrast, Android smartphones during the same quarter saw a failure rate of 47%. Also of note is that Apple's iPhone 6 continues to be the worst offender among varying iPhone models.

“The iPhone 6 has been the worst performing iOS device consecutively for four quarters with the highest failure rate compared to other models,” the report notes, “25 percent in Q1 2016, 29 percent in Q2 2016, 13 percent in Q3 2016 and 15 percent in Q4 2016.”

Hardly a surprise, we've seen a number of significant issues impact iPhone 6 owners over the past few months, with Touch Disease being the most notable example. Late last year, a growing number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners began noticing that the touchscreen on their device either stopped working or only worked intermittently. Other users, meanwhile, found that the responsiveness of the iPhone's touchscreen display became temperamental and less responsive. Once the problem became too large to ignore, and perhaps motivated by a rash of bad press, Apple in November agreed to fix affected devices.

As for the root cause of the issue, Apple effectively blamed iPhone owners themselves. To wit, Apple's multi-touch repair program reads in part: “Apple has determined that some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit display flickering or Multi-Touch issues after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface and then incurring further stress on the device.”

iPhone 6 issues aside, the issues said to impact iPhone owners most frequently include overheating, crashing apps and “headphone malfunctions.”

On the Android side of the equation, Blancco found that Samsung devices were the worst of the bunch. “Samsung consistently had the highest failure rate among Android manufacturers for five quarters in a row,” the report notes, “at 27 percent in Q4 2015, 43 percent in Q1 2016, 26 percent in Q2 2016, 11 percent in Q3 2016 and 16 percent in Q4 2016.”

Most Android failures, meanwhile, centered on issues relating to camera performance, battery charging, and “USB glitches.”



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