By Jim Karpen on Mon, 03/11/2013
Who could be better suited to compare the reliability of various smartphones than a technical assistance website? FixYa has analyzed more than 720,000 requests for smartphone support to determine which one reigns supreme in terms of reliability. The iPhone came out undeniably on top.
According to FixYa's report, the iPhone (with a reliability score of 3.47) is nearly three times as reliable as Samsung phones, which came in second place (1.21). Samsung phones were nearly twice as reliable as phones from Nokia (0.68), and close to 10 times more reliable than Motorola phones (0.13).
FixYa's report not only presents the relative reliability, but also summarizes the reasons people reported issues with their phones.
For instance, about 35 percent of users’ complaints about the iPhone were in regards to battery life. Ever since the iPhone 4S, Apple has been promising a fix for battery drain that occurs on some phones, and the recent release of iOS 6.1.2 was supposed to have addressed it. However, the issue persists for some users.
The complaint in 20 percent of cases was a lack of new features. It's not clear to me how this relates to reliability. In fact, one of the reasons iPhones are so reliable is because Apple doesn't dump lots of new, untested features into its phone. Rather, it keeps its phones simple and dependable, with just enough intuitive features to make it powerful without adding features that interfere with usability and performance. That's Apple's genius.
FixYa says about 15 percent of complaints they received related to lack of customizability. Again, that's exactly why people have much fewer issues with the iPhone. It's simple. Frankly, when I got an Android table, I was confused by the interface. Sure, it's more customizable. But it took me awhile to feel oriented. I never had that problem with an iOS device.
In addition, 15 percent complained about an inability to connect to Wi-Fi, an issue Apple has since addressed with an update. The remaining 15 percent of the issues were varied.
I think we can deduce from this report that the iPhone is not only more reliable, but also that 35 percent of the complaints were due to the very facets of the iPhone that make it more usable and reliable.
In contrast, complaints about Motorola phones, which came in last in terms of reliability, were all very real: problems with apps, the touch screen, speaker quality, and with camera quality. Similarly, the issues with Samsung phones were the microphone, the speaker, battery life, and a device that's hot to the touch.
In summarizing the reliability of the iPhone, FixYa’s report said, “FixYa users lauded the reliability of the iPhone, stating that it is almost always working as intended in regards to core features and never hits a constant roadblock with one feature."
FixYa described the quintessential iPhone — and Apple. User experience has always been Apple's top priority, and its products almost always work as intended. It seems simple. Yet so many companies get it wrong.