For the second quarter in a row, there were far more device failures in Android phones (44 percent) than iOS phones (25 percent), according to Blancco Technology Group’s Q1 2016 State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report.
Samsung topped the list of Android manufacturers with the highest rate of device failures (43 percent) worldwide, while the Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 experienced the highest failure rates for Android and iOS models.
Crashing apps were diagnosed on 74 percent of Android devices tested and a significant portion of the top 10 Android crashing apps in the first quarter of the year were security-related, including Lookout, 360 Security, CM Security and AVG AntiVirus.
The report also found device failure rates were significantly higher in Asia (55 percent) than in North America (27 percent) and Europe (35 percent).
"The most surprising finding from the study was [that] the percentage of issues on Android devices dropped from 85 percent in Q4 2015 to 44 percent in Q1 2016. This could be the result of several factors," Blancco Technology Group’s CEO Pat Clawson told eWEEK. "For one, it’s possible that Android users have become more tech savvy and better equipped to be DIY fixers when their devices stop working properly."
He said another explanation is that Android device manufacturers are stepping up their game and building more sophisticated and stable smartphones.
"Of course, there’s also the possibility that users are becoming more aware of how their usage behavior affects device performance and health," he noted. "So they could be self-correcting and therefore seeing their devices running smoothly and having a longer life cycle overall."
Clawson said that while the failure rate has dropped from Q4, it’s still higher than iOS once again.
"I wouldn’t advise Android device manufacturers to get too comfortable—they should take these stats to heart and figure out where and how to strengthen the devices—from both a hardware and software perspective," he said.
In April of last year, Google issued an update to its Android System WebView, which is a core component that allows the platform to display Web content. While the intention was to improve users’ device performance, it ended up causing apps to crash frequently on Android devices.
The findings come off the heels of Kantar WorldPanel ComTech’s latest smartphone market share report, which shows that Android commanded the lion’s share of the mobile operating system market for the three-month period ending February 29, 2016.