Mobile is a way of life. That isn’t hyperbole; it’s a fact and the stats prove it. In 2015, worldwide smartphone shipments hit record levels, surpassing 1.4 billion for the year – up 10.1 percent from the 1.3 billion units shipped in 2014, according to IDC. But as valuable as these devices are, performance issues and failures pose roadblocks and cause a multitude of problems – for device manufacturers looking to grow market share, for mobile network operators selling services used by these devices and for enterprise organizations looking to empower their BYOD workforce to be more engaged and more efficient.
To help solve these problems, we’re excited to release our first ever State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report. The first-of-its-kind report provides an in-depth quarterly review of global mobile device trends from the fourth quarter of 2015, including: diagnostics testing, performance issues and failures. The report’s findings are based on data collected from millions of iOS and Android smartphones and tablets that underwent diagnostics testing on the Blancco Mobile Diagnostics platform.
Here are some key highlights from the report. But if you want to get them all plus bonus device optimization tips to reduce ‘NTF’ returns, download the full report.
Camera, touch, battery charging, microphone and performance were the top culprits of device failures worldwide.
When we looked at the top 5 issues found on mobile devices worldwide in Q4 2015, it reiterated a paradox we have known – and been educating mobile service providers on for years. Hardware is rarely the cause of device issues. User behavior, on the other hand, is more often the culprit of a substantial number of device issues.
Our CEO, Pat Clawson, provides some context to why this happens and how to spot it. “The quantity and types of apps being used, app notification settings, location services settings and battery charging habits are just some examples of how user behavior impacts the day-to-day performance and long-term health of devices,” said Pat Clawson, CEO of Blancco Technology Group. “Take Asia, for example, where app adoption is high and the most frequently used apps are in the social networking and messaging categories. When these users fail to close the 40+ apps installed on their devices, it eats into the performance, memory and battery life. And all the while, users presume hardware is to blame when behavior is actually the culprit. It’s a paradoxical situation and it happens very often.”
According to our device optimization experts, there are four reasons why user behavior maybe the culprit for these mobile device performance issues, rather than hardware.
Users tend to excessively charge devices more than they should. This reduces the battery’s shelf life.
Applications crash due to one of the following reasons:
- A user hasn’t updated the application to the latest software version.
- A user hasn’t updated the device to the latest operating system.
- The application is designed poorly.
But more often than not, customer service representatives for carriers and device manufacturers are unable to detect the actual causes of crashing applications.
Quantity of Applications Running
When too many applications are running in the background, it eats into the device’s resources – including the memory, performance and battery. A fairly unknown feature on a mobile device that can cause this is the GPS. When this feature is on for extended periods of time, it often drains the battery life on the device.
Microphone or audio issues are often application-specific. Apps have their own audio settings and have the ability to control the audio controls on a device. So if a user is experiencing problems with the device’s audio and microphone capabilities, it is not necessarily related to the hardware. Rather, the microphone may be malfunctioning due to a fault in an application itself.
The increasing usage of emoji and productivity apps in Europe played a contributing role in the increase in device failure rates during the second half of 2015.
As I mentioned earlier, user behavior is often the likely cause of device issues, not hardware. In the case of device failure rates and ‘NTF’ rates that our data revealed for Europe in Q4 2015, we found the same. In Europe, in particular, device failures soared during the second half of 2015 – rising from 14 percent during the third quarter to 29 percent during the fourth quarter. In order to understand this, we looked at device usage in the region during 2015 to see what types of user behavior could be leading to some of the region’s common performance issues.
To start, app usage in Europe increased 58 percent in 2015, with the majority of growth coming from productivity and emoji apps. Also, European teens and college students used their smartphones and tablets to access apps such as Google Docs, Quip, Slack and the Microsoft productivity suite. According to our device optimization experts, these two app categories may be causing the region’s device issues and here’s why.
While emojis have become a fun way to express emotions on mobile devices, they have been found to slow down – and in some cases, crash – a device. While productivity apps like Outlook for iOS and Android make accessing mobile email easier for employees, they can also create problems with device performance. These productivity apps often involve accessing, creating and sharing large volume/size files.
To learn how this data can help you reduce ‘NTF’ returns, reduce customer churn, improve your employees’ productivity and save millions of dollars, download the full report and learn about more of the benefits with our free mobile diagnostics demo.