Android Phones Are Pieces Of Crap Costing Telecoms $2 Billion A Year To Replace [Study]



Think Android phones are pieces of junk? Now you’ve got the data to prove it. A recent study has conclusively proven Android phones are much more prone to breaking than iPhones and even BlackBerries, and their cheapness is costing telecoms big: up to $2 billion a year, in fact.

The issue, says wireless services firm WDS, is the surfeit of cheap Android phones aimed at the low end of the market. These phones, which can cost as little as $100 to make, have helped Android increase its share of the global smartphone market to 57%, but have a tendency to break at the earliest possible opportunity.

When a device does break, it ends up being extremely expensive to replace. According to WDS, just returning a shitty Android phone to manufacturer can cost up to 127 dollars in service costs, transport fees and replacement costs.

On the other hand, there’s Apple. Sure, the iPhone is more expensive than the average Android phone, but because Apple keeps tight control over every aspect of the process, from materials used, to construction and replacement, not only are iPhones not as likely to break without the user being at fault, but they are cheaper for Apple to fix and repair if they do.

[via Reuters]

  • FriarNurgle

    Wah Wah

  • Erik Petersen

    Holy Link bait!

  • Guest

    I don’t agree with the article so it’s link bait.

  • Gereon

    Hmmm. When I broke the glass of my iPad2 <facepalm> I had to drive 70km to the next Apple Store to get (the cheapest) replacement. The cost for these kilometres won’t appear in any statistics because I paid for them myself.</facepalm>

  • cheese

    what a terrible article. Android is just software. It has nothing to do with the hardware. Lets not even get started with iP4S, and its terrible glass design. Accident rate has skyrocketed since the iP4 design back in 2010. iP4S doesn’t even use Gorilla Glass by Corning. The glass is more fragile on the iP4S than most other glass displays of Android phones, as many use Gorilla Glass.

  • oakdesk23

    Where does the $2 billion per year figure come from. The article does not say over which time period it costs $2 billion. 

    Article “could send” … “as much as”

    Brownlee “costing $2 billion per year”

    Who is WDS? Googling for WDS turns up myriad results. Which is the WDS claiming this?

    Where is this so-called data? What is the $2 billion being compared to? How much is it on rim? apple? how much per unit sold?

    oh wait, I see, it’s a MARKETING guy giving this vague info.

    Good on ya, Brownlee. You got me to click another one of your linkbait “stories.” You’re worse than Dilger, at least that guy tries to make it sound like he has a clue.

  • oakdesk23

    As a dedicated Android user I want to say I think you have the glass situation backwards. However this article isn’t poorly sourced, it’s not sourced at all. Someone made up something to make Android look bad and Brownlee embellished it and posted it. See my post (above or below depending on how you sort them)

  • MrEnglish

    What the hell does android have to do with a piece of hardware? This is a crap article written either as a joke or by a dyed in the wool fanboy. “Without the user being at fault”? I’ve never had a phone break, no matter what platform or manufacturer without it being my fault. This is the kind of drivel that makes the rift between users wider than it needs to be. Uninformed nonsense.

  • Applefan

    by an “android phone” they are referring to any phone that runs android. (Obvious)

  • WVMikeP

    Note the Reuters link at the bottom of the article.  That’s his source.

  • em el

    What an awful article. Comparing the low-end Android phones … And from what I know, fixing iPhones shattered glass (which breaks easily) costs more than 127 bucks anyway.

  • Bryan Henry

    The source is Reuters, its right at the bottom of the article. “[Via Reuters]”

  • Bryan Henry

    Whereas this article is at least sourced to Reuters (which unfortunately doesn’t like to the supposed study), your claims aren’t sourced by anything expect supposition. Is the iPhone 4 and 4S’s design more susceptible to accidental damage than, say, the 3GS? You’d need to provide some data to back that up.

  • Scammaj12

    The Reuters link doesn’t have any source for the study either tho. Linking to an article that provides the same baseless information as yourself isn’t providing a source. 

  • iDaBoss

    it’s link bait because the title is misleading and doesn’t reflect the actual source article

  • iDaBoss

    Correction: crappy low end phones are crappy and cost money to replace and stuff
    There, I fixed it

  • Bryan Henry

    Eh, the headline here is much more inflammatory here, but its not misrepresenting anything.

    “Android phone repair cost telcos billions” –> “Android Phones Are Pieces Of Crap Costing Telecoms $2 Billion A Year To Replace”

  • iDaBoss

    This is Brownlee’s bread-and-butter, don’t know you?

  • Patrick Taylor

    sounds more like Apple Fanboism more than an actual useful article…. Here is a much better article on teh same study….

  • WVMikeP

    Considering Reuters’ journalists are held to a higher standard, though.
    Fandroids are worse than Guy Kawasaki’s troops ever were.

  • An(ti)droid

    There not talking about how much it costs you, its talking about how much it costs the COMPANY that made the device.

  • Scammaj12

    “Considering Reuters’ journalists are held to a higher standard, though.”

    I think you forgot to finish your statement there. Are you saying that because it’s from Reuters they don’t need to provide sources? Oh, and I’m an apple user btw. That however doesn’t hinder my ability to call BS on baseless articles with no sources. 

  • iDaBoss

    CHEAP android phones. Selective omission of words is misrepresentation.

  • Scammaj12

    And since there’s no difference in the hardware of phones that run android, this article makes complete sense…

  • Scammaj12

    “Fitting older versions of Google’s Inc popular Android software to cheaper cellphones could send the repair costs of global telecoms operators up as much as $2 billion”

    I guess we should just ignore the fact that they are talking about a select group of cheap phones…

  • Robert Norris Hills

    a) No link to the source of these articles. 
    b) Of course it would cost them more in total to replace android phones…..Because there is in fact 3x more of them than apple products. So infact I wouldn’t be surprised if it cost them 3x more to support the android devices.

     I don’t know how you yanks handle it. But in Australia we get sold insurance with our phones to have them replaced if they fail on the spot so it doesn’t cost us or the people that sold us the phone anything to replace them.

  • Marcus Schoen

    John, I hate to say this, but EVERY time you write on CoM, it is biased, offensive and the post is short. Sure, this is a Apple news blog, but Android is not a piece of crap. It is the very REASON why iOS is getting better. Competition forces you to adapt or die. I read Cult Of Mac, but unlike many, I own an Android Smartphone. I am very satisfied with it and it has preformed admirably. Also, your claim has no proof. Also, your post is about 500 words. That is short for any newsblog with such a reputation. It should be at least 500 words for a hands on, 700 words for a product review and usual post, and 900 words for a major Apple release (like the iPhone). I hold you to a high standard because CoM is one of the 1st news sites I check in the morning. Do you want me to leave you and move on?

  • Trenton Hansen

    “not only are iPhones not as likely to break without the user being at fault”

    Are you implying that the glass on Android phones spontaneously breaks with the user having no responsibility for the breakage?

  • Goldie20

    Man, the quality of articles on CoM is getting crappier by the day.

    “not only are iPhones not as likely to break without the user being at
    fault, but they are cheaper for Apple to fix and repair if they do.”

    There is nothing to substantiate this claim. From my own experience, and that of every other person I know who has dealt with Apple for a damaged iPhone, Apple has always said the user was at fault. And they say the same thing for damaged iPods.

  • Brian

    3mins of googling.

  • csteddy

    “One thing we must be absolutely clear on,” says Tim Deluca-Smith, Vice President of Marketing at WDS, “is that our analysis does not find any inherent fault with the Android platform. Its openness has enabled the ecosystem to grow to a phenomenal size, at a phenomenal rate, and it’s this success that is proving challenging.”

  • csteddy… you might expect, the survey doesn’t say anything like this article implies

  • Marklathrop

    No they aren’t, they’re talking about telcoms, which typically refers to carriers.

  • victorsiqueira

    Oh now I get it… this is the cult of Mac…

  • Lazaro331

    Wow this article is so bad that Apple fanboys are disliking this article!

  • Dsplight

    This kind of articles never make an android down Im experiencing 3d android phones from two years its perfect and stable than any other phone I had nobody can say its a scrap. I think those who wroye this jelousy about androd’ s

  • Jason Allen

    Its a completely flawed statistic, for one it only covers carrier repairs where as most people who buy an iPhone and have a fault will just go directly to Apple.. . I know a few people that have had issues with their iPhones and have been told by their carrier to go directly to Apple, so I’d assume those statistics don’t make it into this cr*ppy study. 

    I usually quite like CoM but this is a really poor article.

  • Brian

    What a stupid article.  First off, android has nothing to do w/ the manufacturer of the phone.  Second, there are more android devices than apple devices so you are not comparing one to one.  Third, if you even look at an iPhone the glass breaks.  My company is all iPhone and we are replacing screens almost on a weekly basis due to drops.  Probably b/c the iPhone 4s is about 50lbs heavier than the samsung galaxy S2 which has gorilla glass.  Next time try to do an apples to apples comparison.  No pun intended.

  • Thomas Lee

    Yap. Obviously the writer does not know Android is the mobile operating system. Motorola has a few models running on Android which are made to last and even spill resistance unlike iphones. He should find out more before writing such baseless article.

  • gmcalpin

    …The iPhone 4S uses Gorilla Glass, too, as did the iPhone 4.

  • Squallkiercosa

    No, actually, it doesn’t.

  • gmcalpin

    Huh. For every source I’ve found that says it does, I’ve found another that says it doesn’t. But I’ve found nothing conclusive. (Even the New York Times isn’t conclusive about it:… — the one person quoted as saying Apple does use Gorilla Glass isn’t necessarily reliable.) So you’re probably right, and I just read an assumption (iFixit’s teardown report).Corning seems to be “coy” (… about what the iPhone uses in it, which leads me to believe that whether it’s Gorilla Glass or not, they make it.

  • Alex

    I immediately  knew who wrote this crappy article without even looking.  Its another John Brownlee classic  …. With a headline that sounds like it was written by a child.

    Leander when are you going to replace this clown ?

  • Alex

    No, I think most of what Brownlee “writes” and I use that term loosely on CoM is link bait,  written by writer with marginal skills … 

  • Brian

    4S uses aluminosilicate screen which is similar, but not quite the same as gorilla glass.  k thanx by.

  • Dan Hatermail

    What. A load. Of crap. ‘Android’ phones aren’t costing billions. Carriers that choose to stock MANUFACTURERS devices running android are costing carriers billions. Yes, Apple has an air-tight lock on the hardware as well as the software, where as many different companies build devices running the Android OS. That has nothing to do with the OS being “a piece of crap”. I am sure you are not as ill-informed as you come off, but the fact that you are trying to play this up to people that are so ill-informed is piss-poor.

  • gmcalpin

    I just happened to read this today: according to the Steve Jobs biography (or more precisely, Corning CEO Wendell Weeks IN the Steve Jobs bio — page 470–471), the first iPhone — and presumably the second and third ones — used gorilla glass.

    I can’t find anything reliable about what the 4 and 4S are using, other than that Apple claims it developed (or more likely helped Corning develop) a new aluminosilicate glass, possibly what they recently announced as Lotus glass.

  • Dipeshshrestha14

    Not true. I have an android an my wife had an iphone4. Both are good. Or I might say android is better in terms of many things, specially in usability. The phone does not break so easily as explained above. But I have seen heaps of iphones break, among my friends as I m the few ones who have like on android over iphone. My wife’s iphones freezes a lot while i never have any problems with my phone. I am not totally against apple products as I have almost everything from it, Iphone, Ipod touch, Ipad2, MACBOOK. But the point is you should not call sth a crap if you dont just like it. Otherwise, for me, this world would be full of craps… Think about it.

  • Nath

    I have an Android (which I hate, next will def be an iPhone again) but that’s  besides the point. Within days of owning this phone. It fell in the toilet whahahaha! I dried it as good as possible, (even with hair dryer) then let it lay for a few days to dry out completely. Once put back together it works fine…. (have not tried this with an iPhone yet). So for what it’s worth this is not too bad (been 6 months now)….

  • Quacks

    I’ve muted @cultofmac tweats twice before, hope there is no third time.

  • Alex Inaus

    Android phones are just shit. Full Stop.