Repairs to Android smartphones cost wireless carriers $2 billion per year according to a new year-long WDS study that tracked 600,000 support calls around the globe. Android’s popularity and the introduction of a number of low-cost smartphones has put a strain on the wireless business model, WDS noted in its report. “Deployment by more than 25 OEMs and lower-cost product coming to market is leading to higher than average rates of hardware failures and, in turn, return and repair costs.” 12.6% of all technical support calls related to Android in the study were for hardware failures related to the touchscreen, buttons, speakers, microphones and battery performance. Just 9.3% of Windows Phone, 8% of iOS calls and 5.5% of BlackBerry calls were related to hardware failures. Read on for more. More →
When Apple first launched its iPhone in 2007, the odds were against it. Pundits, bloggers and even competitors found countless faults in the iPhone’s design and in Apple’s strategy. A new report from Reuters notes that one such competitor was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. The report quotes an anonymous RIM employee as saying RIM thought the iPhone was “so badly flawed from day one,” and “users wanted great battery life, great security, great mail handling, minimal network use, and a great keyboard experience.” As it turns out, many users appear to have had different priorities. RIM wasn’t entirely wrong, of course, and the original iPhone was lacking in several key areas. While hindsight is 20-20 and the first-generation iPhone could have been better in countless ways, it was enough to propel Apple to its current position as the leader in smartphone profit share by a staggering margin. More →
After last year’s embarrassment at SXSW, AT&T is going overboard to ensure a similar wireless network meltdown does not happen again this year at the annual technology conference in Austin, Texas. To avoid a second such disaster, AT&T is throwing a ton of cash and bringing in an equal amount of equipment for the SXSW conference including:
- Installing a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at the Austin Convention Center. The DAS is comprised of 50 antenna nodes that provide the equivalent coverage of eight cell sites.
- Improving the cell sites in the surrounding area by utilizing 30MHz of spectrum for 3G instead of the standard 10MHz and upgrading the system to include the 850MHz band and HSPA.
- Bringing in three temporary cell sites that are positioned in areas expected to see high traffic.
- Improving the backhaul by beefing up the fiber optic connections that serve the eight cell sites of the DAS and the three temporary sites. According to sources within AT&T, the backhaul capacity has seen a fourfold increase.
The stakes are high for AT&T as a network failure could wipe away any gains in consumer confidence AT&T saw following its favorable review from PC World last week. With its reputation on the line, will AT&T and its 3G network rise to the occasion or will it crumble to its knees under the strain of a mob of iPhone-toting geeks? Predictions are welcome in the comments. More →
Yep, looks like it’s that time of the month again. Comments and emails are pouring in about another BlackBerry network outage, this time apparently affecting all carriers across the US and Canada. BIS appears to be dead while BES users seem to be rolling along just fine. From what we can gather using our time line of “good lord, BIS is *&%!@#* again!” emails, it looks like problems were intermittent at first — delays and such — and now we’ve moved on to a full-on outage with no emails coming through at all. So tell us, if you can manage to stop pulling your hair out for a few seconds, where are you and how’s your Berry?
Thanks to everyone who sent this in
Here we go again, people — you know the drill. Tips are flooding our inboxes from users across the US and Canada reporting some major BIS issues. Namely, it’s not working. We’ve heard from several Rogers users up in Canada as well as tons of AT&T and Verizon customers here in the US. Claims range from intermittent service interruptions to full-on “all is lost, my ‘Berry is dead” reports. Roll call… Is your ‘Berry alive?
The past month or so have not been kind to AT&T’s wireless networks. Constant and often major network outages have been rolling across the country for the better part of a month now and these mounting issues come on top of ongoing complaints regarding AT&T’s ever-slowing 3G network. Not good. An anonymous tipster brings news of this latest major network issue, affecting Philadelphia and the surrounding area. The symptoms this time around include the inability to hear the party on the other end of the line during outbound and inbound calls. We’re going to go out on a limb here and say it’s pretty important to, you know, hear the person you’re talking to. The good news for those affected: AT&T is well aware of the problem and hopefully it will be resolved in a timely manner. Hit the jump for the full AT&T ticket.
Just one short week after AT&T suffered a major network outage across much of the northeast and beyond, reports are flooding our inbox yet again complaining of problems. This time, only data seems to be affected but reports are coming in from up and down the east coast. We’re still sitting pretty in the NYC area with no problems connecting via 3G, but plenty of readers are complaining of repeated error messages when attempting to connect. Voice seems to be unaffected but if you live on the east coast and you were planning to stay on top of Apple’s keynote at Macworld later today, AT&T may have other plans for you. Unless you have a buddy you can call to keep you on top of the reports, you may want to find a computer until the issues are resolved. We wonder if a power outage will be to blame, as was reported last week. So, east coasters, how you holding up? Drop us a line below in the comments if you’ve been affected.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Yesterday we broke the news of a massive AT&T network outage that came at one of the worst possible times – right smack in the middle of Wal-Mart’s iPhone 3G launch. Users from various regions throughout the eastern United States were reporting communication interruptions ranging from dropped calls to the complete inability to send/receive any voice or data. According to a later report from Chicago’s Sun Times, the cause of the massive network trauma was a power outage originating in Bloomfield, Michigan. The explanation seems a bit curious however, as some users in affected areas were reporting that their service was working fine – the Sun Times even quoted a couple as saying that while driving together in the same car, the husband’s phone was completely dead while the wife had no service problems at all.
While the bulk of comments were from areas that would certainly be affected such as Michigan, Wisconsin Illinois and the surrounding areas, we also received plenty of reports from up and down the east coast. AT&T customers from as far north as Rochester, NY to as far south as Florida were commenting and sending emails about their inability to make data and/or voice connections. A spokeswoman from AT&T later stated that “virtually all service traffic” was back up and running around 9:00 pm local time, yet we were still getting reports of network troubles well beyond midnight. Whatever the case may be however, AT&T seems to be back in business this morning as reports of connection issues have slowed to a halt.
Word is out on the T-Mobile forums that POP3/IMAP email on the G1 is a big fail. People are reporting that they experience connection errors 95% of the time they check their email, email is not sending or sending as null, and forget about receiving — not happening. The problem looks to be across the board and is not tied any single email provider. Some people report that resetting the phone will re-establish the email connection for a single time before it fails again. Not surprisingly, Gmail is reported to be working just fine. A T-Mobile representative has responded on the forum and said that “This is being reported” and “will be researched with a high priority.” He also noted that this is not the first time they have seen a similar problem,
“We used to see similar errors and symptoms with the old MyEmail service and the new Consumer Email Client. Those are found on regular phones, but do encounter issues when there are more than 100 e-mails on the POP server or when there are emails with relatively large attachments.”
He asked any G1 user with email issues for additional information to help T-Mobile troubleshoot this problem. Starting off with glitches in a major feature like email is not good and a lot of hate will be poured upon T-Mobile is they don’t resolve this issue quickly. We know that several BGR readers out there are rocking G1’s, so what’s the deal with your email? Does it work or is it major fail? Chime in and let us know. Ours is as shady as a dark alley in Pakistan…