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With many iPhones beset by crashing apps, Wi-Fi connectivity issues and other problems, Apple has lost its usual leadership position when it comes to smartphone performance, with Android-based devices racing into the lead, according to a report from mobile diagnostics specialist Blancco Technology Group.
Blancco’s latest State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report said the failure rate of Apple iOS devices had more than doubled to 58% in the second quarter of 2016, contrasted with 25% sequentially.
The most failures were observed on iPhone 6 devices, at 29%, followed by the iPhone 6S at 23%, and the iPhone 6S Plus at 14%, the statistics revealed.
With iPhones representing around 15% of the total global smartphone market during the second quarter – according to Kantar Worldpanel Comtech figures – Blancco suggested that market share growth was a factor in the higher failure rates, alongside software bugs and hardware defects.
“Ever since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, Apple’s iOS has been a force to be reckoned with – launching new models every year and raking in strong sales and revenue quarter after quarter,” said Blancco’s chief strategy officer Richard Stiennon.
“But our data suggests that the performance battle between iOS, Android and other operating systems is constantly changing and is likely to be influenced by several factors.
“As industry experts, wireless carriers and consumers look ahead to the highly anticipated launch of the iPhone 7 in September, it will be interesting to see how the new model’s features may, or may not, affect the phone’s performance.”
Looking more deeply at the root causes of iPhone performance issues, Blancco found crashing applications (65%), Wi-Fi (11%) and headset problems (4%) were the main culprits. Looking at application bugs specifically, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook caused the most crashes.
Android devices, meanwhile, showed an overall failure rate of 35%, down from 44% in the previous quarter, with camera, battery charging and touch screen issues the main causes of device failure. Budget Android phones including LeTV’s Le 1S and Le 1S Eco, and Lenovo’s Vibe K5 Plus, were notable poor performers.
“As a customer, it’s frustrating when customer service and repair specialists can’t figure out why a device is lagging, crashing or failing altogether,” said Stiennon.
“If mobile users don’t have all of their post-sales customer experience needs met, they are more likely to ditch their existing carriers and manufacturers for different ones.”