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'Dodgy Android apps are breaking our phones' - Motorola

Claim 70% of duff handset returns caused by crapps

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Motorola's CEO reckons 70 per cent of smartphone returns are caused by third-party applications dragging down their devices, thanks to the openness of the Android platform.

Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Technology Conference, Sanjay Jha, who heads up Motorola Mobility, said that the lack of quality control in the Android Marketplace was behind the high number of handset returns – along with the multitasking nature of Android, which permits background apps to eat into the battery and processor time.

"Anyone can put an application on the Android Marketplace ... without any testing process," Jha told delegates, explaining that the ability to multitask is a blessing and a curse. "Seventy per cent of devices are coming back because they have downloaded a third-party application, and the effect that has on performance."

During the presentation, which was staged as an interview and is available on the conference site, Jha also spoke extensively about Motoblur. Motoblur is often seen as a simple UI skin for Android, but is really about customer ownership and identity aggregation.

Motorola would like its users to consider themselves customers of Motorola, rather than customers of their mobile network operator, or Google, and so it is pleased to have 10 million subscribers signed in with Motoblur, and has plans to increase that number significantly.

As well as hooking customers, Jha talks about Motoblur being able to help manage third-party apps by warning the user when something is consuming excessive power or processor cycles, but the company told Fierce Wireless that its current approach was based on better developer support though its Motodev programme. ®

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