Apple's iPhone tops smartphone reliability ratings

Published March 10, 2013

If you are phone shopping and wonder about the reliability of various brands, you are in luck. FixYa, a volunteer technical assistance website, has analyzed more than 720,000 support requests to come up with complaint-per-phone ratios, which the company said represent reliability. • According to FixYa's complex methodology, iPhones were almost three times more reliable than the second-place Samsung phones. The iPhone scored a 3.47 on the FixYa scale (where the higher the number, the better), followed by Samsung at 1.21, Nokia at 0.68 and Motorola at 0.13.



That is not to say the iPhones were problem-free. Most complaints, 35 percent, concerned the battery life. Apple recently released a system update (6.1.2) to address battery drain, but it's too soon to know whether it has worked. That was followed by complaints over a lack of new features in later models.

What iPhone owners liked was the simplicity — it was easy to guess how to use the phone's main features. That was followed by the reliability of features like phone, data and text functions. And finally, they liked the vast number of apps in the iTunes store.



Samsung owners made 40 percent of their complaints about microphone problems and 20 percent over speaker problems. Owners of one specific model, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, complained about battery life. Conversely, owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III cited battery life as one of its best features.

Overall, owners liked the sharp screen quality and the Android operating system's on-screen controls.



Nokia owners, in 35 percent of complaints, said the phones responded slowly in comparison to competing phones. The next most common complaints, at 20 percent, were about a lack of available apps.

Owners liked the durability of the screen, performance of the touch screen and the Windows "Live Tiles" user interface.



In 30 percent of complaints about the Motorola phones, Droids and Razrs included, people wanted help with removing preinstalled apps, sometimes known as "bloatware." Next most common, in 25 percent of complaints, were problems with the touch screen, such as its refusing to unlock. That was followed, in 20 percent of the complaints, by dissatisfaction with speaker and camera quality.

Owners liked the design of the phones and their battery life.