Report suggests iOS failure rates have overtaken Android

Thomas Wellburn
August 25, 2016

A new report from Blancco Technology Group has shown that iOS failure rates have now surpassed Android.

Blancco Technology Group is an American global provider of mobile device diagnostics and secure data erasure solutions. Their clients consist of everything from financial institutions to mobile network operators.

The report is titled ‘Q2 2016 State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report’ and focuses primarily on operating system reliability.

It concluded that “Apple had lost the smartphone performance battle to Android,” due to “crashing apps, WiFi connectivity and other performance issues”.

iOS devices were more prone to failure in North America (59 percent) and Asia (52 percent) than their Android counterparts, with the latter having a failure rate of only 29 percent in North America and 41 percent in Asia during Q2 2016.

iOS failure rates have doubled in Q2 2016

ios failure rates

In the space of only two quarters, iOS failure rates have more than doubled from 25 percent to 58 percent. Blancco say that this is the first time they’ve ever seen iOS device performance drop below that of Android. The worst offending handset was the iPhone 6, taking 29 percent of the overall failure rate total according to handset model. Rather interestingly, the top 4 was exclusively taken up by iPhone 6 and 6S models, showing that the newest handsets are also the most unreliable.

Just this week, Apple came under criticism for reportedly brushing under the carpet a serious issue affecting iPhone 6 devices. The ‘touch disease’ defect effects the panel, leading to unresponsiveness and flickering of the display. It was first discovered by repair website iFixit and is caused by two chips that can detach from the circuit board over time.

Crashing apps a big issue in iOS failure rates

ios failure rates

As we already know, iOS 9 has been a bit of a disaster for Apple. Plagued with bugs and issues ranging from dodgy WI-FI connection to slow network speeds, the company has released numerous patches in an attempt to remedy them. The newest version, iOS 9.3.4, has gotten a lot better but is still far from perfect. A new bug was discovered just yesterday which interferes with the voice dictation feature, making it near unusable for blind people who rely on the function.

The most common issue for failure rates as shown in the Blancco report was crashed apps, taking 65 percent of the overall worldwide results. WI-FI was second with 11 percent, which is expected considering the issues surrounding iOS 9.3.2 and that notorious connection bug. Mobile data was the fourth most common problem at 4 percent, suggesting a correlation between the two.

Of the applications that do crash, the list was topped by big names such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Blancco commented on the findings, saying “It could be possible that as these social media apps increase in popularity and usage among iPhone users, their incidence rates of crashing are also likely to increase.”

Popular applications such as this have more users and thus crash rates are bound to be higher, so there’s nothing new here. That said, a few big names such as Twitter were completely absent from the top 10, which is a testament to their optimisation skills.

Android isn’t perfect either

android ios crash rates

Despite iOS taking most of the criticism in the report, Android still has some problems of it’s own. The operating system only had overall failure rates of 35 percent, but performance issues were much more varied than in iOS. Crashing applications was not even listed in the top 5, with camera, battery, touch, speaker and microphone issues making up the main performance woes. Percentages for each result were also much smaller, suggesting that Android bugs tend to be more generalised across the device hardware.

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