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iPads rule tabs as Android dominates smartphone ownership and failures

by Howard Wolinsky

Apple’s iPad rules the market and online traffic as tabs using Google’s Android have failed to catch fire.

“Apple's iPad is overwhelmingly dominating tablet traffic, a new report from comScore Inc. has found. According to the market researcher, Apple's iPad accounted for 89 percent of worldwide tablet traffic on the Internet in May, easily besting Android-based tablets and other slates,” Don Reisinger reported at CNET.

In the U.S., iPad represented 21.8 percent of all non-computer traffic, while Android represented 0.6 percent.

The Apple tablets dominance is not surprising considering how well it has sold. More than 25 million iPads have sold, as Apple captured is expected by Gartner to own than two-thirds of the market this year while Android tabs will have less than 20 percent.

Meanwhile, in other news, British researchers are reporting hardware issues in Android phones compared with its rivals.

Researchers from WDS in UK came to this conclusion after analyzing 600,000 support calls over the past year in Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia.

Mark Hachman reported in PC Magazine that WDS found that 14 percent of all technical support calls for Android devices could be traced to a hardware fault versus 3.7 percent for RIM’s BlackBerry, 8 percent for iPhones and 9 percent for devices on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of marketing for WDS, said that the overall percentages of support calls by platform were difficult to measure. The company refers to this as the "propensity to call," the percentage of devices that would display a problem in any given batch over a 12-month period.

"In this study we have not been able to measure PTC (propensity to call) for two reasons," Deluca-Smith told PC Magazine. "We would require shipment volumes from all of the carriers/OEMs that were part of the 600,000 calls sampled. Many do not share this information with us. [Second,] We sample only calls we take at our contact centers (principally based in the U.S. and Europe); end-users may have visited their carrier's web care to resolve an issue. In which case, there was still a problem – but we didn't get to see it."

Hachman said WDS attributed the gap in hardware faults to the disparity in 35 OEMs that manufacture Android devices. Android is licensed to OEMs under an open-source license. Microsoft also licenses its Windows Phone OS to other OEMs, while Apple and RIM build their own phones.

Android faults, including failing keypads and buttons and issues with microphones and batteries, were more common on certain undisclosed brands.