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Is your smartphone too smart?

As the user base of smartphones becomes more mature, expectations from the device increase. Market exposure also reveals hitherto unknown problems on almost all smartphone platforms.

Although smartphones are glamorous possessions that are meant to make life easier, anybody who has owned one for long realises that these devices don’t come without their share of problems. Even popular handsets that have sold in millions such as Apple’s iPhone have faced numerous consumer complaints. In the 2010 Reliability and Service Survey conducted by PCWorld, it was noted that problems surface once the novelty of a smartphone wears off and a mature subscriber base starts using these devices. For example, users of the iPhone in the United States of America have time and again complained of AT&T’s network. In terms of data speed and voice quality, AT&T has been ranked last in PCWorld’s survey.

BlackBerry users too find at least one significant problem with their phone. BlackBerrys are rated below average in terms of usability and reliability by those who took part in the survey. Meanwhile Windows Phone 7 users have reported issues regarding unaccountable data usage, presumably by a third party. If this problem is genuine, these users would face financial repercussions reflected in their data bills.

Notwithstanding these usage related issues, there are problems at the level of the operating system such as there being no copy-paste function in WP7; and sending SMSs to unintended targets.

Going forward, there are fears that mobiles infected by viruses might increase exponentially as people exchange more data with their smartphones instead of through their computers. It is likely that smartphones have now become mini-computers, and the possibility that things may go wrong with one’s smartphone will continue to increase as these devices and their software get more complex.

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