3 out of 4 returned smartphones have no problem except for "user behavior"

3 out of 4 returned smartphones have no problem except for "user behavior"
Blancco Technology Group has released its Q4 2015 State of Mobile Device Performance and Health. The report contained some interesting tidbits. For example, nearly 3 out of 4 phones returned to carriers and manufacturers in North America and Europe actually have no problems. According to the report, "user behavior" is the cause of many of the performance problems that lead to device returns. Some of the problems have to do with the failure to close open apps, especially in Asia where 40 or more apps could be open at the same time. The slowing performance is blamed on the hardware when it really is the user's own fault.

Of the issues found on handsets during the fourth quarter, 85% of them were on an Android handset, while just 15% were found on an iPhone. Speaking of Android, Samsung was responsible for delivering a leading 27% of the platform's failed phones in the quarter. That was followed by Lenovo (21%), Motorola (18%), Xiaomi (11%) and Asus (8%).

The features most likely to fail on a smartphone include the camera, touchscreen, battery charger, microphone and the overall performance of the phone. The report noted that in Asia, use of social-media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat and Line, are causing performance issues on certain phones. In Europe, use of emoji and productivity apps were a factor in failure rates seen during the second half of the year.


source: BlanccoTechnologyGroup

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47 Comments

31. Artio

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

I'm calling BS on this. That might be the official line they put in the report, but there's a reason so many "refurbished" and open box phones have issues. More than likely there are intermittent issues with a majority of these phones and they simply cannot (or don't even bother trying) replicating the problem before saying "nah, it's good, sell it to someone too cheap to buy new." There are horror stories from people all over the web about showing staff at their carrier's stores, them agreeing that it's an issue, then having the device returned saying there was never an issue.

30. Kary1

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

More likely half of all defects are not discovered after the phone is returned, in part because they don't look very hard, and then they ship the defective smartphone to someone else as a replacement phone.

28. fonslinger

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 06, 2015

It would be interesting to see more data, like of the returns what percentage are of "budget" phones versus "flagship"..... And how many returns were to move from one to the other etc etc. My current device is a Moto X (first gen) been working well for almost 2 years, from an issues perspective best phone I've ever had ( going back to 1996). But then again I have not been issue free, just not bad enough to make me want to swap the phone.

27. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

No wonder Samsung prefer non removable battery. People sometimes do something stupid to their phones.

26. gsearle

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

Android and iOS is designed to hold Apps in memory to allow quick access. They will automatically manage the "open" Apps to keep working memory available. The need to "close" Apps is a myth and is not the real issue. The underlying issue that causes devices to underperform is that many Apps like to install themselves as active services in the OS, many displaying notifications to get your attention. These Apps vie for device resources as they "call home" to check for any updates that they want you to be aware of. Eventually the device gets bogged down with too many background processes being active at one time. "Closing" Apps does not eliminate background processes. Instead, improving performance must be achieved by either culling installed Apps to keep the device lean, or rooting the device and installing an app-management App such as Greenify to make them play nice.

48. Esteban4u

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 15, 2013

Google needs to build-in more aggressive background process killing and / or some type of algorithmic background process killing into it's next version of Android by taking into account how often an app is actually used over time and maybe scheduling the apps requests to "call home" so that there is always enough available processing time for the foreground application / home screen UI keeping the user experience smooth and snappy. They should also impose better and more efficient behavior of third party apps in order for them to be allowed in the Google Play appstore / ecosystem.

24. acruzlu unregistered

Sounds like a lot of the id10t error.

23. Esteban4u

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 15, 2013

Let us all not forget that the majority of Android phones' OS and security updates are deliberately delayed by their manufactures, like Samsung who desecrate pure Android with their TouchWiz for no real added benefit for the end user, and the OS / security updates are also deliberately delayed by the wireless carriers who would rather have their customers / victims purchase new phones every year rather than extend the useful life of their phones' by allowing their software to be safe and current.

25. warrenellis93

Posts: 566; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

Esteban is right

29. Macready

Posts: 1832; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Let's not forget that a large chunk of features found in vanilla Android, originate from..... Touchwiz. Samsung is the major contributor to vanilla Android, to put that "for no apparent reason" into perspective. In fact, most user polls say that the average Samsung user likes Touchwiz. Those complaining are a minority. And don't give me the "techies know better" line, because I am one, I use most popular skins and OS versions and I prefer the functionality of Touchwiz over all other OEM versions. Not to be confused with perfection, because Touchwiz clearly isn't, but that's a different discussion.

47. Esteban4u

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 15, 2013

Supposing that you are correct that some of vanilla Android's features are inspired from TouchWiz, TouchWiz is still a major contributor to the delays in OS updates on Samsung devices. The overwhelming majority of Android smartphone users don't even know what TouchWiz is. But they know what a crappy smartphone experience is. With all of it's performance hindering, gimmicky features that hardly anyone uses, all TouchWiz does is drive more people to iPhones. With all the major Android OEMs "skinning" their Android devices in misguided attempts to differentiate themselves from other OEMs and Samsung being the biggest seller of Android devices, those people who have had enough crappy smartphone experiences to switch over to iPhones, will equate their experience with the Android OS to that poor experience on their last Android device and believe that is all Android has to offer when this is not what Google intended for the Android user experience. I can't tell you how many people I've come across at my job that have Android devices but use little if not none of Google's awesome services. Most of them don't even know they can have their contacts and photos in auto backed up in Google's cloud services.

16. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

This is why I school everyone in my family on how to properly use their devices.

14. Macready

Posts: 1832; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

The percentages are close to the respective market shares of Android, iOS/Apple and Samsung. Considering the fact that the lowest end phones are usually the most troublesome (limiting) AND on average end up in less "capable" hands too, I'm surprised that the Android and Samsung percentages (inlfuenced by tenths of millions of low end devices) aren't higher.

13. warrenellis93

Posts: 566; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

The devices need to be more intuative for the average user. I know how to keep my phone running smooth but most people are just unaware of the things that slow down their device, not everybody is tech savy. So if you look at it from that point of view then you would think these devices were designed to fail because left alone they will.

8. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Of the issues found on handsets during the fourth quarter, 85% of them were on an Android handset, while just 15% were found on an iPhone. Yeah but Android sell for over 80% of all the smartphone apple maybe 14 to 17% so its normal thats this be proportional to sales... ridiculous way to play with number as usual.

12. TerryTerius unregistered

It isn't playing with numbers to make a factual statement. What you just said is true, still doesn't change the reality. That just puts it in the broader context.

19. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I won't lie and say ios doesn't have problems but android is much more problematic. I've owned mostly android phones(Look at my profile) so trust me when I say there are indeed, less slowdowns, app crashing, and camera failures on ios than android. What you said is true but don't make the mistake of thinking ios and android are equals when it comes to average problems like, app crashing ect...

6. TyrionLannister unregistered

Makes a lot of sense. Most people keep NFC on the whole time while they don't even know what it means. Same with a lot of other features. 99% of users don't need location on all the time, but it is on and they don't even know it. That's how google gets all the live traffic data and stuff. And the worst part is that those users whine on forums/item review section. making their stupidity affect other person's buying decision for the worse. No wonder iphone sells so much.

11. TerryTerius unregistered

Then companies need to do a better job of communicating and explicitly telling their users how to use their devices and what it's limits are. Most people are not really all that tech savvy beyond the basics. Understanding that without being patronizing in the way you handle it is really up to google and the OEMs. I think frequenters of tech sites often forget personal computers, laptops and smartphones are relatively new in the grand scheme of time. I'm aware that information is online, but the reality is most will never seek it out or (more importantly) know how to separate solid advice from idiocy. Nor may they even know what the right questions to ask are in order to get the answer they need. We live in the age of misinformation.

17. warrenellis93

Posts: 566; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

Exactly right sir, thank you.

18. TyrionLannister unregistered

Can't argue with that.

44. Inotamira

Posts: 173; Member since: Feb 06, 2016

They do, it's called the instruction manual that NO ONE reads, not even myself because I don't have an Apple stuck up my butt and have a functional brain, so I simply don't need it.

5. DRS1977

Posts: 681; Member since: May 27, 2015

So, the general public are a bunch of morons? What else is new? The reason why the app drawer is now becoming optional? They are trying to dumb the phone down for Apple users...

10. TerryTerius unregistered

What? What does that have anything to do with.... How was it that no matter what happens and what the situation is it is somehow Apple's fault. That is the "blame Obama" line of the tech world. Apple doesn't own LG. LG made that stupid decision completely on their own. They own it.

15. quakan

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

They're trying to simplify it for their current users who don't know how to properly use their phones. That's the goal of consumer electronics anyways. Higher learning curves aren't something to be proud of. Consumers eventually just move on from your product.

21. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Android is being simplified for android users. Did you not read the article? Because it basicly says most people return their phones because they don't know how to use it properly. The only way to fix that problem is to make it easier for people to learn how navigate and use their devices better.

34. remtothemax

Posts: 260; Member since: May 02, 2012

also, that a lot of this happens in asia (also europe) would contradict this being because of apple, but all in all a good bit of trolling.

3. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Makes sense. Most of the time the user is to blame. If only they used a little common sense.

2. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Hmmm, well Samsung does have a large chunk of market share so the higher return rates are acceptable and they try to blast the market with smartphones to see which on sticks, which makes the statistics worse, anyway, I really want to see return rates of particular phones, because I am pretty sure a large part of the numbers would be "old" phones, at least 3 years old

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Well to be fair, I wouldn't hesitate to return anything with TouchWiz these days.

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