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The majority of mobile device issues and faults are caused by consumer behaviour and not hardware, according to a study by Blancco Technology Group, a supplier of device diagnostics, privacy and data protection systems.
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The State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report found 75% of devices returned to mobile network operators (MNOs) and manufacturers in mature markets had no trouble found (NTF) during the final three months of 2015. Device failures soared during the second half of 2015, rising from 14% to 29%.
The firm based its findings on data collected from millions of iOS and Android devices that underwent diagnostics testing using its SmartChk platform. It discovered that user behaviour was the cause of a substantial number of performance problems, failures and NTF returns.
“The quantity and types of apps being used, app notification settings, location services settings and battery charging habits are just some examples of how user behavior affects the day-to-day performance and long-term health of devices,” said Blancco CEO Pat Clawson.
“Take Asia, for example, where app adoption is high and the most frequently used apps are in the social networking and messaging categories.When these users fail to close the 40-plus apps installed on their devices, it eats into the performance, memory and battery life.
“All the while, users presume hardware is to blame when behaviour is the culprit. It’s a paradoxical situation and it happens often.”
Apps may have been the primary factor in user-caused faults in Asia, but in Europe, users downloading insecure emojis played a major role in the increase in device failures in 2015.
The majority of problems with devices tended to be on the more open and less secure Android platform at 85%, compared with 15% for devices running Apple’s iOS.
Blancco’s survey reported that Samsung devices had the highest failure rate – although given the number of user-caused problems, this merely indicates Samsung’s dominance of the sector – followed by Lenovo, Motorola, Xiaomi and Asus.
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Camera, touch, charging, microphone and overall performance were the top causes of device failures worldwide, said the report.
“Being able to detect with certainty the causes and types of device problems to determine if they are fixable is important,” said Clawson.
“For mobile network operators and manufacturers, it allows them to automate and scale the device diagnostics and repair process to deliver a consistent customer experience. It also helps enterprise businesses support the needs and increase the productivity of their mobile workforce.”