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Group claims iPhone twice as reliable as BlackBerry

updated 09:50 am EST, Mon November 10, 2008

iPhone highly reliable?

The iPhone is an extremely reliable smartphone, a study from a warranty extension company claims. SquareTrade says that within one year of ownership, the failure rate for the iPhone is just 5.6 percent; this is half the rate for Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones, and almost three times less than the 16.2 percent for Palm's Treo line. While no iPhone has been available for two years, the projected failure rate in that timeline is only 9.2 percent, compared to proven rates of 14.3 percent for BlackBerries and 21 percent for Treos.

The iPhone is also said to suffer from fewer call quality and battery issues, with only 0.5 percent of iPhone batteries dying versus an approximate 1 percent rate for rivals. The phone is affected by significant touchscreen malfunctions however, comprising a third of all its reported issues, if affecting less than 2 percent of owners so far.

The largest cause of iPhone breakdowns is said to be accidents, at 12 percent. Treos and BlackBerries are listed as having only a 9 percent accident rate, though it is not known whether this implies extra fragility in the iPhone. The study is similarly limited in terms of information on the iPhone 3G, which has only been on sale since July.

By Electronista Staff


  1. dmsimmer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    What network?

    Are they on AT&T? Since the 3G, I can't keep a call for more than 60 seconds without losing signal.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: What network

    Um, this is from a warranty company, so they're talking breakages/returns on a product, not whether it can hold a signal or not crash when using the browser.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Works fine here in Canada

    The iPhone works great on Fido (my carrier) and Rogers in Canada. It also seems to work fine in Europe and the rest of the world. Maybe you should stop bitching about the iPhone and start bitching to AT&T to fix their damn network.

  1. MacnnChester

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    The battery ...

    I know having a battery that is twice as stable as the average cellphone battery is a good thing, But it does highlight the inability for the average person to change batteries at will with the iPhone. (I'm surprised testudo didn't jump on that.)

    I don't think this is going be problem as such, though. My experience with batteries is that they s**** up normal phones since most people won't buy extra ones until they need to anyway.

  1. dynsight

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005



    These have to do with the phones that die (for whatever reason), not performance reliability (network browsing).

    Interesting that if we heard about the iPhone failure rates, they seem high (compared to maybe a desktop or laptop). However, the day to day demands of a phone are more significant; I am not so much surprised at the iPhone's performance, but as the much higher defect rate (failure rate) of the Palms and Blackberries.

    Both companies are often cited as examples of high quality in design and manufacturing.

  1. winterspan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008


    easy replacement

    A few things to note...

    Even if the iPhone wasn't as reliable, the advantage of it is that you can take it back to an Apple store and have it replaced immediately with a new device if you are having problems, and with a basic AppleCare plan this extends to 2 or more years from the data of purchase!

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