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Android support chaos is the reason I'm sticking to my iPhone

Yes, device support is a problem. A massive problem.

A lot of people wonder why I use an iPhone as opposed to an Android smartphone as my daily driver. While it's true that I do use Android handsets -- I'm particularly fond of the Blackview smartphones with the built-in IR cameras -- I can't see myself making a switch to them.

So why is that?

Am I being paid by Apple to say that? Pffft, no. The flow of money there goes in one direction, and one direction only.

And it's not like I don't have Android manufacturers trying to throw phones at me pretty much daily.

I could literally have a dozen new Android handsets every month to play with if I so desired.

The problem, as my esteemed ZDNet colleague Jason Perlow pointed out, is support.

Manufacturer support for Android devices is abysmal.

Over the past year or so, I've handled a lot of Android handsets, review items, stuff I've bought, and the stuff that other people have bought to me because they were having support issues.

So, I've seen a lot.

And what I've seen makes me never want to have to rely on an Android handset for day-to-day use.

My experience of support for Android hardware ranges from endless "try this, try that," support just giving up, being told something that is clearly a problem isn't a problem, poor quality resolutions, an eternity on hold, to even being offered parts to fix a phone under warranty.

Manufacturer support for Android devices is a mess. You can waste hours and get nowhere.

And I don't want to badmouth support agents. They're not to blame. They seem overstretched and don't seem to be getting proper training. 

I can't even say that there's a manufacturer that stands out as being much better than the crowd. I used to think that it would be Google, but no. Google is too big, too sprawling, and doesn't seem to devote enough resources to support.

Fortunately, here in the UK, we have pretty strong consumer protection laws, with the seller ultimately being responsible for making good when things go wrong.

Compare this to Apple, where I can usually get problems solved in a matter of minutes, or a couple of calls at worst. Even living a good couple of hours away from the nearest Apple Store, the process works.

It just works. And it works well. I complain on a regular basis about the quality of Apple firmware, but hardware support has been, and continues to be, a very strong point for the company.

The problem with Android hardware is that as soon as a product has been sold, it feels like the manufacturer doesn't want to have to think about it again. It's a variation on the same problem that plagued Android updates for so many years -- the margins are so tight that there's little breathing room for things like good support and timely updates.

But I don't want to make this sound like the problems are unique to budget hardware.

In my experience, and the experience of countless people who have contacted me, price doesn't make much difference.

It's just all bad.

And it's a major factor that's kept me from switching to Android for years.

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