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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. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Short of dropping your phone off a 20th floor balcony...........PROBLEM SOLVED!

      Attachment 475104
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hondamaker View Post
      I think he has seizures of some sort. That's the only thing I can think of cause no one can be that clumsy or careless!
      Should see how many phones my GF has broken.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by thevmax View Post
      HEY IPhone4 Users: Who's laughing now?!?
      Us Iphone 3GS and 3G users....

      Keep laughing.....and next year when the 5th gen phone comes out and Apple starts leaving 3G and 3GS owners completely in the dark with new features and updates....WE'LL be the ones laughing.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Keep laughing.....and next year when the 5th gen phone comes out and Apple starts leaving 3G and 3GS owners completely in the dark with new features and updates....WE'LL be the ones laughing.
      Until the next year when iPhone 4 is left in the dark.


      We can keep going with this cycle lol.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      Until the next year when iPhone 4 is left in the dark.


      We can keep going with this cycle lol.
      By then I'll be upgrade eligible again and laughing at everyone underneath. I'll sell my jailbroken iP4 probably for exactly as much as i'll pay for the new one just like I did when I upgraded to the iP4. Maybe an extra $30 on top so I can get a case as well.

      You were saying..............
    1. zmanforever's Avatar
      zmanforever -
      Quote Originally Posted by JLick View Post
      Because last time I dropped something made out of glass, it stayed intact...
      End of story. ^
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      By then I'll be upgrade eligible again and laughing at everyone underneath. I'll sell my jailbroken iP4 probably for exactly as much as i'll pay for the new one just like I did when I upgraded to the iP4. Maybe an extra $30 on top so I can get a case as well.

      You were saying..............
      I do that every year anyway. Except for this year as because I was waiting for the white one. But since it is already this far in the year I will just skip this gen.
    1. CaptBojank's Avatar
      CaptBojank -
      What the hell people. Get a good case.

      I'm sporting an Otterbox Commuter series. It covers up most of the phone so you can't see it's true "beauty', but if you care about that then I don't know what to tell you. I'm just not that vain and don't care if other people know I have an iPhone or not.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      I do that every year anyway. Except for this year as because I was waiting for the white one. But since it is already this far in the year I will just skip this gen.
      :: points and laughs ::

      j/k.

      Yeah Apple really pulled a d*ck move on us with that one. They'll release it close to the Holidays so they can regain whatever momentum they will lose on the black iPhone 4 sales slowing down.
    1. svolam's Avatar
      svolam -
      I bought my iPhone 4 from Apple.Com which they shipped after 20 days. The moment I received, I ordered for a case (which arrived after one month). Within a week I got my phone, it slipped off my hand and the glass was shattered. Apple charged $200 for replacement. After repeated requests, they don't want to replace the glass - they just want me to buy the whole piece. This is absurd! I have been using iPhone since 2G, but never had any issues. Apple should have tested the glass thoroughly. Who ever claims that the glass is tough is just lieing.
    1. MXCO's Avatar
      MXCO -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      By then I'll be upgrade eligible again and laughing at everyone underneath. I'll sell my jailbroken iP4 probably for exactly as much as i'll pay for the new one just like I did when I upgraded to the iP4. Maybe an extra $30 on top so I can get a case as well.

      You were saying..............
      Exact thing I'm doing bought my ip4 for $218 from AT&T and by the time the new iPhone comes out upgrade sell ip4 and we keep on going haha.
    1. that_girl's Avatar
      that_girl -
      Quote Originally Posted by wirehedd View Post
      Uh, what about the A4, The 512MB ram, the bigger battery?

      They tend to make the iP4 a bit better than the 3Gs on a few more points than just the Retina Display, yes?
      You forgot about the front facing camera, which is wonderful for taking self photos. I also love the thinner design. I haven't broke the glass on my phone yet, thank goodness. Broke the screen glass on my 3gs and decided to buy the iPhone 4 instead of getting it fixed.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      +10 on the Otterbox Defender!

      Go to YouTube and search 'iPhone 4 drop test' and you can find variations of 'it survived X feet being dropped with/without a bumper/case/etc.'

      I bought the griffin vue (?) and it's the best everyday case for me: it goes on & off easy (try putting your iPhone 4 in the TomTom car kit with a case on) for daily home-use.

      I bought the Otterbox Defender (Best Buy only had red, so I call it 'Iron Man' when in it, and 'Tony' or 'Stark' when out) for long-haul trips (I frequently make trips 'round the corner to Bangalore, Prague, Frankfurt, Bratislava, London and Newark, NJ since it's more needed and I am less likely to need to take it out of the case. I have had people spill sh!t on it, tossed around in carry-on bags and dropped in 3 continents at various altitudes and heights and the case protects it awesomely. I'm certain it would have broke on at least two occasions by now.

      I would have waited had I known about the antenna and glass issues: who would have thought Apple would have put out something so problematic---nothing like the other Apple stuff I own (2 Macs, 2 iPhones, an iPod, and 3 routers). I was a little iffy on the glass, but Apple said it was 'miracle glass' and I'm no expert so when I heard that, I said, 'well, must be some pretty hi-tech stuff'. Heck, I was skeptical of the iPad, BMW iDrive, Ford-MS SYNC, FaceTime and direct representative elections and most of those have turned out alright so I know I'm not a total sucker.
    1. rampagebegins's Avatar
      rampagebegins -
      Ppl who break their iPhones don't deserve em anyway
    1. DevouredDreams's Avatar
      DevouredDreams -
      Quote Originally Posted by that_girl View Post
      You forgot about the front facing camera, which is wonderful for taking self photos. I also love the thinner design. I haven't broke the glass on my phone yet, thank goodness. Broke the screen glass on my 3gs and decided to buy the iPhone 4 instead of getting it fixed.
      Now if only it was a 5mp front facing camera
    1. Mista Brothason's Avatar
      Mista Brothason -
      Get an Otter Box Defender. It's the best and comes with a belt clip that doubles as a stand.
    1. Ikemann888's Avatar
      Ikemann888 -
      Helicopter Glass is not working right?
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      I would love to be on AT&T with new iPhone 4 no more unlock expectations and what glass issue?
    1. madczech's Avatar
      madczech -
      i dropped mine already a few times... Not like I'm throwing it around or something, sometimes you can't do anything about it when it falls of the table

      And it seriously looks like new.. can't complain
    1. ndproductions's Avatar
      ndproductions -

      This is what happened to my iP4 after it slipped and dropped less than 20cm height, and I COULD NOT believe it, as I also thought that they are touch. yes ofcourse I do agree the case does protect it, but what do you do when all the Providers when iP4 came out did NOT have the Bumpers at their store and they BLUNTLY said we cannot say when they will arrive?


      Yes very disappointing, but I was lucky enough that Pelephone, my provider replaced it after over 45min of negotiations on if they would or not after it being only 1.5 weeks old...!!