A smartphone running Android software is more likely to suffer from faults than one running, Apple’s iOS, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry‘s OS, a study by “wireless experience management experts” WDS has found.
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The study reached the conclusion after analysing more than 600 000 technical support calls handled by WDS’ teams around the world in a 12-month period (July 2010-August 2011), the company explained in a press release on the study titled, Controlling the Android.
WDS found, that of all technical support calls it fielded, 14% related to Android hardware, while 11% of calls were for Windows Phone, seven percent for iOS, and six percent for BlackBerry OS. As a result of this hardware failure rate, WDC estimates that the return and repair of Android smartphones is costing mobile operators as much as US$2-billion worldwide.
The study’s findings, however, were quick to dispel any notions that this data indicated an inherent weakness in Android software. The study concludes that these figures are as a result of Android’s fragmentation across manufacturers. As the executive summary of the study explains:
Android’s gamble came in the form of openness. It’s a gamble that paid off, answering a very real demand in the industry for accessible smartphone products across a variety of price-points… Much of the cost comes not from any inherent failings in the platform itself but from the decentralized ecosystem that the platform is cultivating.
WDS’ Marketing head Tim Deluca-Smith further explained the findings saying in the press statement, “One thing we must be absolutely clear on, is that our analysis does not find any inherent fault with the Android platform. Its openness has enabled the ecosystem to grow to a phenomenal size, at a phenomenal rate, and it’s this success that is proving challenging”.
To beat this problem, WDS proposes that “the only way to truly combat both hardware and software version fragmentation would be to slow down the pace of development and/or mandate tighter deployment requirements”.
The full study, after registration, is available for download here.