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Apple Watch, Samsung Edge glitches anger users, but no outright revolt

Matt Hamblen | May 4, 2015
Problems with the new Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone have infuriated some early adopters, but they still stay loyal to their favorite brand.

Problems with the new Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone have infuriated some early adopters, but they still stay loyal to their favorite brand.

Some have taken to user forums and tweets with expletive-deleted missives. This post Wednesday on an Android Central forum by Edge smartphone user Ajay Rivera seemed to summarize recent sentiment: "This was my second device to crap out and [a support rep] still treated me like an *****"

Despite such anger, many in the industry dismiss glitches — and subsequent user furor — as par for the course with most new products.

"I don't expect this dynamic to change any time soon," lamented Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. "There have been a lot of false starts over the years, even from Apple ... and certainly others too that have ticked-off consumers."

It's surprising that there aren't more glitches and complaints given the growing complexity, number of working parts and lines of code in wearables and mobile devices, analysts noted.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge onboard diagnostic screen in landscape modeMatt HamblenThis photo shows how the onboard diagnostic screen should rotate into landscape mode — unlike the faulty units.

The issues at hand

Most recently with the Apple Watch, which shipped April 24, customers this week tweeted concerns under the hashtag #tattoogate about the heart-rate monitor not working on tattooed skin.

There was also a report in the Wall Street Journal overall Watch production was slowed because of a faulty taptic engine, used to gently tap the wrist for alerts, made by one of two manufacturers. That report was a disappointment to some customers on waiting lists.

An Apple spokeswoman refused to comment on the taptic engine report. On the tattoo matter, she pointed to an Apple support website that states, "Apple Watch may not be able to get a reliable heart rate reading every time for everybody."

The Watch's heart rate sensor uses photoplethysmography technology with LED lights on the back to detect the amount of blood flowing through the user's wrist. The website adds: "Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."

A separate concern with the Samsung Edge goes back to when the smartphone started shipping April 10. Three weeks later, customers are still complaining on user forums about a screen rotation problem from portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) that Samsung has said affects a "very limited" number of Edge devices.

User responses

With the new Samsung Edge smartphone, some users seem willing to go to a store or use a delivery service to get a second, third, or even fourth copy of the same device if the first one goes flunky.

 

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