Study: Android Smartphones Have a 47% Failure Rate

March 1, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

A new study by Blancco Technology Group finds that iOS devices were, on average, less reliable than their Android counterparts during the final quarter of 2016, but both have more than their fair share of hiccups, glitches, and outright crashes. For some points of interest, iOS users in the study experienced an overall 62% failure rate, versus 47% for Android devices. Among the Android ecosystem, Samsung phones consistently experienced the most glitches, in a pattern that continued for five quarters straight on back. iPhones’ errors and malfunctions tended to center around overheating, headphone issues, and app crashes. Android, meanwhile, was plagued by camera issues, charging problems, and USB hiccups, a notorious pain point among Android users who have had their phones for a while.

While this trend was turned on its head in at least one survey last year, this most recent study points out some interesting trends in reliability for both platforms to support its overall claims. For example, the study found that Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, three of the more popular social media apps out there, tend to crash more often on iOS devices than on Android devices. The notorious “Touch Disease”, random malfunctions and total cessation of function of touch screens for seemingly no reason, made its appearance on the charts, causing owners of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S families a lot of grief.

On the Android side of things, Google Play Services was once among the worst apps on the list, but has since cleaned up its act. In recent quarters, it has gone down to 10% of users experiencing issues of some sort, be it crashes or the app just not working as intended, and this quarter’s number is down to five. The three social media apps that were giving iOS users issues in the survey were behaving badly for Android users as well. Android’s overall reliability seems to be on an upswing, with the reliability of Samsung’s popular devices, as mentioned above, being a very notable exception. Given their position in the Android world, it’s not unthinkable that crashing and malfunctioning Galaxy devices sent many a would-be Android faithful to the iPhone section of their carrier store.