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These phone models have highest failure rate: is your device on the list? (Update: Blancco responds)

The authors of the report have responded to several questions, covering failure rate statistics and more.

Published onJuly 16, 2018

The Xiaomi Redmi 4.

Update, July 20, 2018 (02:42AM EST): Blancco, the company behind a report covering smartphone repairs and failure rates, has responded to Android Authority regarding its study. The report found that devices from Samsung and Xiaomi had the highest failure rates.

The company’s report originally noted that the data was collected from devices that were “brought into hundreds of mobile carriers and device manufacturers” for diagnostics and erasure. The diagnostics tests and erasure process was completed using Blancco’s platform, according to the report.

A Blancco representative confirmed that the failure rate percentages were based on these tests. “Keep in mind that failure rate could stem from a number of things, including small performance issues,” the representative told us.

In other words, a slower phone that otherwise works well might be considered a “failure” in the eyes of Blancco. Slower performance is a common complaint, but does it mean the phone is actually defective? I’m sure plenty of people would be happy with a Galaxy S7 that’s not quite as nippy as it was back in 2016.

An LG smartphone with its rear cover removed.

We also noticed the absence of individual HUAWEI models on the list. The representative said there “weren’t enough HUAWEI devices to make a dent.” Does that mean there weren’t enough HUAWEI devices to test or that there weren’t enough defective devices to make the top ten? Either way, we’ve asked the company to clarify the answer.

Finally, we asked about the report’s failure rate statistics for iOS devices. Is it a case of them being defective or is it a case of people keeping iPhones for longer?

“We typically test a large number of iPhone and Samsung devices,” the representative explained. “This could impact the failure rate because there is a bigger pool to test. It doesn’t mean that there is necessarily anything wrong with iOS devices.”

So the company seems to be admitting that more popular devices will have a higher failure rate because more of these are available to test.

Original article, July 16, 2018 (05:54AM EST): A new report, covering mobile device repairs, has revealed the top phone models by failure rate. The Mobile Device Repair and Security Report for Q4 2017 found that the Xiaomi Redmi 4 was the worst-performing Android phone.

Xiaomi’s Redmi Y1 was also in the top ten list for device repairs, coming in at number eight. Samsung had more devices in the top ten though, such as the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S8 Plus, and Galaxy S7 Active. Other phone models in the top ten include the Nokia 6, Moto G5S Plus, and Lenovo K8 Note.

A chart showing failure rates for phones.

Samsung also topped the list of worst-performing phone brands in general (a 34 percent failure rate), although the report noted a sharp decrease compared to previous reports. Xiaomi was a distant second (13 percent), followed by Motorola (nine percent), and LG (seven percent).

Samsung and Xiaomi are two of the most popular phone brands around, so you’d expect their models to appear in the top ten. However, one rather interesting takeaway is that Huawei only came in at number eight for worst-performing brands. None of the company’s devices made the list of worst phone models, either.

Device repairs by platform

The iPhone 6s.

Moving to iOS device repairs, the report found the iPhone 6 to be the worst-performing phone model, followed by the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus respectively.

As reader feral_mudkip points out in the comments below (along with a chart), the iOS failure rates are significantly higher than the Android failure rates. The iPhone 6 stands out with a 26 percent failure rate, for one. It’s not immediately clear why the failure rate is so high, but the iPhone 6 is reaching the end of its life, first seeing a release in 2014. Newer iPhones are also highly sought after by budget-conscious users, be it brand new via stores or via the second-hand market.

A chart showing iPhone failure rates.

As for the reasons behind failure rates overall, the report found performance to be the number one issue on Android, followed by the camera and microphone. Meanwhile, iOS users reported Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity as their main problem, according to the report.

Performance didn’t make the top five for iOS users but there could be a number of reasons for this. The vast majority of Android phones are budget devices, lacking the sheer grunt to deliver excellent performance.

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Meanwhile, Apple only sells flagship phones with high-end internals. Unlike Android brands, Apple is also in firm control of the operating system, allowing the Cupertino company to optimize both the hardware and software departments.

We’ve emailed Blancco to enquire about the study and will update the article accordingly when we get a response.

Have you had any issues with a particular phone manufacturer? Let us know in the comments section below!

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