Apple's iPhones have the lowest failure rates among major smartphone models, according to a study from SquareTrade, a company that sells electronics warranties. The study compared iPhone, Android devices from Motorola and HTC, RIM BlackBerry handsets and "an aggregated pool of all other smartphones" by analyzing data from 50,000 failure reports.
According to the study, iPhone and BlackBerry malfunction rates have declined by more than 60 percent in the past two years. Owner accidents, not manufacturer problems, are now the No. 1 reason why most smartphones fail, accounting for 77 percent of all failures among the four manufacturers and nearly 90 percent for the iPhone 4 alone, according to the study.
iPhone 3GS and Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry handsets have the lowest overall failure rates, with 11.8 percent and 13 percent of users, respectively, reporting a failure during the first year of use, according to SquareTrade's report. "The major Android phone manufacturers and the iPhone 4 all failed at similar rates," states the report, "with 14.5 percent to 15.9 percent projected to fail over 12 months."
When it comes to surviving accidents, however, RIM's BlackBerry prevails. Accidents caused the device to fail in the first 12 months for only 6.7 percent of users, compared to 9.4 percent for the iPhone 3GS, 10.2 percent for the "other smartphones" and 12.2 percent each for Motorola and HTC. The iPhone 4, with its front and back glass panes, fared the worst in accidents, with 13.8 percent of users reporting failures due to accidents in the first 12 months.
For more, read the eWeek article Apple iPhone, RIM BlackBerry Smartphones Most Reliable: Study.