Android smartphones have a failure problem that far exceeds that of iPhones, according to a new study.
Android-based smartphones failed 25 percent of the time worldwide during the second quarter, easily topping an average iOS failure rate around the globe of 12 percent, Blancco Technology Group reported on Wednesday (Sept. 13). According to the report, Apple's iOS failure rate was at 58 percent during the same period in 2016.
The Blancco report looks at a variety of problems that can cause handsets to fail, including crashing apps, Wi-Fi connectivity woes, and phone reboots. Blancco is a mobile diagnostics company that catalogs all sorts of errors with smartphones. But whether they're really "failures" and not just small annoyances is anyone's guess. Essentially, if the app you're using crashes once, it's a failure. But to you, it might be little more than needing to boot it back up and go about your day.
Still, both iOS and Android are measured against the same metric, making the vastly different performance between the platforms notable.
According to BGR, Blancco discovered that Android's problems are due in part to the large number of people that root their handsets, giving them the ability to run unauthorized apps with other marketplaces. Blancco also discovered that iPhone owners are increasingly turning on the Find My iPhone Activation Lock feature, which suggests they're thinking seriously about data protection and not allowing certain apps to run on their devices. That, the company said, might have brought down the failure rate.
Still, Apple is trailing Android when it comes to crashing apps. Apple's operating system had an app failure rate of 54 percent, up from 50 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Android, meanwhile, saw its app failure rate fall from 18 percent in the first quarter to 10 percent in the second quarter. According to BGR, Blancco said that Android's improvement was likely due to fewer operating system updates causing instability.
While Apple might have won this go-round against Android, it's worth noting that Blancco releases its report quarterly and results can swing widely from one platform to another.