WDS conducted a year-long study between June 2010 – May 2011of more than 600,000 technical support calls taken across Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia. The findings highlighted the higher tendency for hardware faults on Android devices in comparison to its competitors with 14% of all technical support calls for android devices relating to hardware faults in contract to just 3.7% for RIM Blackberry, 8% for iPhone (iOS) and 9% for Windows Phone 7 devices.
Unlike many technical support calls taken by mobile operators, such as network connectivity and service configuration, hardware failures cannot typically be resolved by Customer Service Representatives. Instead mobile operators, who have already faced increased customer care and subsidy costs as they look to meet consumer appetite for smartphone products, then face the additional cost of managing product returns and repairs.
The WDS study argues Android’s Achilles’ heel is inherently a factor contributing to its outstanding success: varying hardware quality levels leading to inconsistent user experience, across manufacturers. Where Apple and RIM both control their iPhone (iOS) and Blackberry ecosystem, and Microsoft has minimum specs for all Windows Phone 7 devices, no such norms dictate Android’s proliferation under an open source license by over 35 global OEMs.