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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.

"Vendors don't admit any problems until they absolutely have to," Gold said. "That sometimes leaves consumers in the dark and potentially unable to fix some problems with their devices."

When vendors do make an admission, the problem may be waved away as an "issue" or a "glitch" or something "easily fixed" by a software update or a supposedly simple return to the store.

Customers who love a certain vendor — Apple is a prime example — seem to be willing to put up with a lot of headaches. "If you are in love with Apple, you are more accepting of any faults that come along, but this applies to other vendors too," Gold said.

"Consumers have gotten spoiled over the years in expecting all products released to be great upfront, when in reality many vendors take significant risks with new technology that doesn't work as planned," Gold said.

With smartphones, it has become easier to switch carriers or smartphone platforms, which poses a problem for vendors that need customers to remain loyal to maintain profits. "It's a big problem for vendors in a hyper-competitive market like phones to even admit there is a problem, with the fear it will dramatically affect sales," Gold said.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel, said Samsung did well in acknowledging the screen rotation issue and then in saying there was a fix. "Possibly that second step could have been a bit more specific, so if that problem persisted with some users, they would know what to do," she said.

Several analysts said the Samsung Edge problem does appear to affect a limited number of phones, an indication of a possible hardware problem with the phone's accelerometer or the software directly related to it.

Because the extent of the problem seems limited, it probably won't affect Edge sales dramatically. "It is probably a faulty batch, which will eventually all be replaced," said Boris Metodiev, an analyst at 451 Research. Samsung has predicted overall sales of 70 million combined for the Edge and its cousin the Galaxy S6.

Meanwhile, the reported Apple Watch problem with the taptic engine could slow down production although demand still seems sky high.

As for problems reading heart rates through tattoos, Apple's website makes it fairly clear the issue is something that users with tattoos will have to live with, or connect to an external heart rate monitor wirelessly. That, or seek a refund.


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