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One in seven new mobile phones a dud

One in seven handsets prove faulty within the first year, with most of those going bad in the first six months, says an independent consumer magazine report.

If your new mobile phone's gone on the blink, you're not alone. One in seven handsets prove faulty within the first year, with most of those going bad in the first six months, a new report from Which? magazine shows.

The mobile operator and the manufacturer's brand both have an impact on handset quality. Mobiles on the 3 network proved the most likely to have problems, according to the research. Thirty per cent of individuals with faulty handsets surveyed by Which? said theirs came from 3. That's nearly twice as bad as the next operators on the list - BT Mobile, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone - each of which accounted for about 15 percent of faulty handsets.

Meanwhile, mobiles from Tesco and Virgin had the least problems, most likely because they tend to offer older, proven models.

By brand, Motorola and Sony Ericsson mobiles had the most difficulties, while Nokia and Samsung had the least.

The problem is compounded by the fact many people have trouble getting help with broken handsets from retailers, said Which?.

Insurance could go some way to improving matters but only 27 percent of survey respondents thought buying insurance was worth it - probably because of the high cost and the fact it often doesn't cover common problems such as water damage, according to the report.

Malcolm Coles, editor at Which?, called the rate of handset failure "way too high".

By comparison, the report pointed to separate research from the magazine which shows only four percent of digital cameras prove faulty in the first six years.

The survey included interviews with 5,085 individuals, 2,339 of whom had purchased a mobile phone within the last year.



Silicon.com's Sylvia Carr reported from London.