Androids Open App-Store Affecting End-Users?

03 June, 2011 09:34PM · 2 minute read

An interesting comment shows a slightly less biased than usual perspective of how Android is affecting end-users when Sanjay Jha (CEO Motorola Mobility) mentioned during a webcast at the “Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Technology” Conference earlier this week that 70% of the returned Android units were returned due to bad application performance.  Of course let’s take our grains of salt here: the applications on the phones are not likely to be Motorolas own skins/apps but could be those of their carriers or those from the Android Market or from side-loaded applications. The next point is that the 70% refers to only Motorolas Android phone models that are returned. For all we know the return rate could be incredibly small - say <1%. If you believe this Boy Genius Reports article then it may well be that the number of returns is very small but there are no concrete figures.

That said, it is still interesting that Motorola are blaming Android applications for the majority of their phone returns. Very interested in how this data is collected and by whom and whether Sanjay Jha is speaking based on personal opinion or on quantified internal memos and reports.

If we take it at face value then it would seem the Open App-Store is affecting end user experience through poorly coded applications. I just find it hard to believe that if the store was curated it would catch that many more applications that were problematic (crashing, background use of system resources). From personal experience Apple lets through applications that are buggy all the time. If that were the point perhaps then one could say a curated App Market would cut the number back from 70% to something less. Perhaps so.

Then again (if we take the number given at face value) one could argue that the architecture of Android allows developers to create problems like those Jha reported.  iOS handles memory and resources very differently to Android and it has been long established that Apple don’t allow “true” multitasking - only certain specific functions that Apple provide with a well documented API. One could say that Androids core architecture is more to blame than the App Market being open for these perceived problems.  Again, if you believe the numbers. Not really sure I do.