Thursday, June 27, 2013

FixYa: Smartphone reliability

Back in February, FixYa (a product-support web site) published a summary of smartphone reliability issues, summarized by manufacturer. The results should come as no surprise to anyone who has used several different brands:

  1. Apple - 3.47
  2. Samsung - 1.21
  3. Nokia - 0.68
  4. Motorola - 0.13

A higher score is better. Score calculated by taking manufacturer problem impressions divided by sample problem impressions (impression ratio), normalizing market share amongst competitors for comparison (sample market share, combined total is 100%), and dividing sample market share by impression ratio. Market share data courtesy of

These figures show Apple products to be the most reliable - almost 3x more reliable than Samsung, which ranks second. And Motorola ranks last.

As someone who has owned two Motorola smartphones (a Droid-1 and an Atrix) and an iPhone (4S), I can honestly say that I concur with these ratings.

According to their study, Apple's biggest problem is battery life and Wi-Fi issues. (They also list lack of customizability and lack of new features in new models, but I fail to understand what that has to do with reliability.)

Motorola's biggest problem is preinstalled (and non-removable) bloatware, touchscreen failures, speaker quality and camera quality. I can personally attest to these. My Droid 1 became very unstable over time due to Motorola, Verizon and Google pushing software updates that require more power than the hardware could handle. Jen's Droid 1 developed a flaky touch screen. My Atrix's ear-speaker died, forcing me to use a headset or speakerphone to place calls.

I would love to see how LG ranks up against the others. The only one I've had is still very new, so it's way too early to tell. Hopefully, FixYa or some other group will publish a more comprehensive reliability survey.

No comments: