Android Devices More Likely to Develop Hardware Faults Than Competitor Smartphones Says WDS Study

By Wds, PRNE
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

POOLE, England, June 23, 2011 -


A year-long study by WDS of more than 600,000 technical support
calls has found that Android devices are more likely to develop a
hardware fault than many of their smartphone competitors. 14% of
all technical support calls for Android devices related to hardware
faults in contrast to just 3.7% for RIM BlackBerry, 8% for iPhones
(iOS) and 9% for Windows Phone 7 devices.

The greater propensity for hardware faults is, says WDS, a
symptom of the platform’s fragmentation across a broad range of
OEMs. Both Apple and RIM control their hardware ecosystems and
Microsoft mandates minimum hardware specifications for Windows
Phone deployments. In contrast, Android is widely deployed by more
than 35 OEMs globally under an open source license.

The study found that instances of hardware faults varied between
OEM deployments, with some brands showing a propensity to display
faults, others to keypad / button failures and some to microphone
and battery issues. The findings, says WDS, highlight the need for
mobile operators to consider the Total Cost of Ownership, including
support and potential reverse logistics costs, and not just the
unit price of the device when ranging product.

“Android has been instrumental in bringing smartphone technology
into the mass-market. The maturation of the industry, availability
of hardware components and a reduction in manufacturing costs has
seen some OEMs drop the price of Android smartphones below US$100,”
explains Craig Rich, Chief Marketing Officer at WDS. “However, many
of these factors are also driving varying levels of hardware
quality into the market, in turn delivering an inconsistent
customer experience.”

Unlike many support calls taken by mobile operators, such as
connectivity and service configuration, hardware failures cannot
typically be resolved by Customer Service Representatives. Instead
they add further cost by entering the returns and repair

“Mobile operators have to make important decisions when
selecting which smartphones to range on their networks,” adds Rich.
“They must balance the need to introduce low-cost smartphone
devices with the Total Cost of Ownership; a $100 smartphone might
not look so attractive if it drives x3 more support cost over its
lifetime or has an above-average return rate that impacts customer
loyalty,” finishes Rich.

The study took place between June 2010 and May 2011 and covered
600,000 technical support calls taken by WDS across Europe, North
, South Africa and Australia.

About WDS

WDS is the wireless industry’s only provider of specialist
managed services dedicated to improving the user experience across
the entire consumer lifecycle. With more than 15 years of
experience and a global footprint, WDS is the partner of choice for
wireless carriers, handset manufactures and service providers
looking to transform their relationships with consumers. The
company currently counts over 100 customers, including most of the
s largest handset manufacturer and mobile
operator brands.

Media Contact: Tim Deluca-Smith, tim.deluca.smith at, +44(0)1202-713-725

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