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  • Are iPhone 4s Too Easy to Break?


    Much digital ink has been shed about the report from a third-party insurer indicating more broken iPhone 4s than 3GSes in the first four months. The accident rate for iPhone 4 is 68% higher that the iPhone 3GS, according to an analysis done by SquareTrade, with as many as 82% of them having glass damage. While the numbers seem large, it's important to remember that the actual number of iPhone 4s with scratched, cracked or broken glass was 771: just 3.9% (which includes scratches from dirt inside slide cases). Despite the usual suspects hyping this as "Glassgate," the reality - as is often the case - seems to be a bit less dramatic than that.

    SquareTrade offers insurance for new and used iPhones (including mine) and other electronic devices. They wanted to see how the iPhone was holding up after four months, so they looked at accident claims reported by over 20,000 SquareTrade iPhone 4 warranty owners [PDF] and compared them to the same number of claims by iPhone 3GS owners. 4.7% of iPhone 4 owners reported an accident to SquareTrade in the first 4 months, as compared to 2.8% of 3GS owners who made a claim in the same amount of time. As with the 3GS, screen damage was the number one reported problem with the iPhone 4: 82% of iPhone 4 warranty claims involved a cracked or broken screen, as compared slightly fewer (76%) of iPhone 3GS claims. So despite all the histrionics about this issue, the numbers don't seem all that far apart; especially when you remember that the iPhone 4 has 100% more glass than the iPhone 3GS.

    Kyle Wiens from iFixit, who probably knows more about how the iPhone is built than pretty much anyone outside Apple - talked to CIO magazine about the issue. He noted that there are other differences from the 3GS, such as the fact that the iPhone 4 glass goes all the way to the edges of the phone. Impacts on the edge can shatter the glass, Kyle explained, because the force goes directly into the glass rather than beige buffered by the bezel. Also, the "ultradurable" engineered aluminosilicate glass on the iPhone 4 - touted by Apple as being "chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic" - is actually a liability in this regard. The stiffness makes it more scratch resistant than plastic, but also more likely to shatter than to bend, as plastic would. "Yes, the [iPhone 4 screens] are 30 times harder and so they're going to break more," Kyle said.

    As it turns out, though, screen protectors do more than just avoid scratching, actually increasing the shatter resistance of the glass. Another third-party insurer, Worth Ave. Group, had a booth at MacWorld where they had passersby whack protected and unprotected iPhones with hammers. Screens without a screen protector were easily broken, but iPhones that did have a screen protector were less likely to break.

    Source: Gizmodo
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Are iPhone 4s Too Easy to Break? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 77 Comments
    1. kickerman65's Avatar
      kickerman65 -
      Hmmm...let me get a hammer and try.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      I guess people haven't though of using a good case. Come on guys, you get em free and they're not only for signal problems
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Gee, like nobody saw this coming.
    1. rajsukul's Avatar
      rajsukul -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      I guess people haven't though of using a good case. Come on guys, you get em free and they're not only for signal problems
      that's ended now.
    1. Mookest's Avatar
      Mookest -
      Go get one of those rubber rugged Motorola phones if you are just gonna throw it around. Else Take care of your $500 (retail) idevice that you only occasionally use to talk to people. The rest of the time you run the world on. Don't use it as a door stop, hacky sack, or butt warmer. IMO
    1. Hondamaker's Avatar
      Hondamaker -
      I can't believe people seem surprised about it. C'mon, it's front and back are nothing but glass.......duh. Protect it or be very careful.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Helicopter glass my a**! If I took a section of glass off of an Apache and dropped it on the ground from shoulder level, would it break to?

      Anyway....those of you who have an Apple Retail Store nearby, are you aware that if you break or crack your front glass that you can just bring it into the store, pay $200 and they will give you a brand new service replacement? Because you can....at least that's what I was told by the Apple Store rep.
    1. bagek's Avatar
      bagek -
      bv
    1. umkthxbye's Avatar
      umkthxbye -
      I don't know why Apple doesn't just incorporate plastic screens. There wouldn't be any of this shattering screen issue from dropping your iDevice. I actually have a plastic one that came to hold my new housing and bezzel together and it transmits the electric signal from body to digitizer without any problems. I would be using it now if I could buy just a spare digitizer. With the plastics that are made today they are just as clear as class and allot more durable.
    1. unlockingsky's Avatar
      unlockingsky -
      IPhone in the washer did not work and now hammer on the iPhone did not work. I guess iPhone is for general use only... Lol
    1. globol's Avatar
      globol -
      103% more glass. You have to take in consideration of the home button, it's plastic. So the back has more glass.
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      I think the glass on the i4 is more fragile. Cause within the first few days the back of my i4 had a scratch on it already when I thought it was stronger.
      So right away a got an all around screen protector slapped it on and place my i4 inside a carbon fiber case I ordered off case-mate... So I don't think I'll be getting any more scratches any tie soon... The case is very durable when it comes down to getting dropped... I4 still in mint condition besides the lil
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      Well what would expect if you drop something made with glass?????? And if you don't use a case or cover, you're just tempting fate aren't you???
    1. zeroskater61's Avatar
      zeroskater61 -
      I think the glass on the i4 is more fragile. Cause within the first few days the back of my i4 had a scratch on it already when I thought it was stronger.
      So right away a got an all around screen protector slapped it on and place my i4 inside a carbon fiber case I ordered off case-mate... So I don't think I'll be getting any more scratches any tie soon... The case is very durable when it comes down to getting dropped... I4 still in mint condition besides the lil scratch on the back of corse.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Apple TOLD everyone that it was stronger. Noone asked Apple to prove it, before you bought it. So IMO, you did exactly what Apple wanted you to do. Apple could sell ice to eskimo's, and you people would still jump on the band wagon with them. Retina display is the ONLY thing an Iphone 4 has thats worth keeping. Put that display on the 3GS "old bootrom"and it would be a bad mofo.
    1. RoryPiper's Avatar
      RoryPiper -
      You're holding it wrong.
    1. Browning151's Avatar
      Browning151 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RoryPiper View Post
      You're holding it wrong.
      lol

      I dunno about the whole stronger thing. I had my 3g for 2 years, dropped it countless times and only just before I got my iPhone 4 it cracked the glass just a little in one corner of the black area, so it wasn't even noticeable. I've already dropped my 4 a bunch of times on asphalt, concrete, wood and carpet and still dont even have a scratch on it, all I have it in is a belt clip I got from amzer.
    1. the french bum's Avatar
      the french bum -
      I've had my iPhone since the day it was released. I have not broken it or even scratched it. Maybe some people need to simply stop abusing their ******* phones.
    1. vindutch's Avatar
      vindutch -
      Of course they can sell ice to eskimos. When they tell them its the most revolutionary ice you can't get anywhere else.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Take care of them! Do you think Apple is your mother, careless people?