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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. Xtremeiphone's Avatar
      Xtremeiphone -
      its called a case mate case.
    1. ReggieSmith's Avatar
      ReggieSmith -
      Yeah... No sympathy here. Put a case on the phone folks. Both the front and back are made of glass!! Glass has a tendency to crack when dropped. Stop carrying it in your back pocket!! You put stress on it when you sit down (I don't care how soft your butt cheeks are ladies.)
    1. Rob_Quads's Avatar
      Rob_Quads -
      Quote Originally Posted by ReggieSmith View Post
      Yeah... No sympathy here. Put a case on the phone folks. Both the front and back are made of glass!! Glass has a tendency to crack when dropped. Stop carrying it in your back pocket!! You put stress on it when you sit down (I don't care how soft your butt cheeks are ladies.)
      So why make it with glass on the back if you have to have it in a case all time to protect the glass from smashing? Why not make it of plastic and then if you don't to have a case fine it will be OK, if you want to have a case thats also fine.

      Why design something that looks soo good but to use it you need to cover it up
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeroskater61 View Post
      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.
      The glass is actually stronger, it's just even thiner than the 3gS so it cracks and shatters easier.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by ndproductions View Post

      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...!!
      Just for fun,
      I tried dropping my iPod from 20cm (linoleum tile)
      a moment ago and I couldn't find any discernible damage. I tried carpet, and it BOUNCED.
      I think your problem isn't so much the iPhone design as it is the fact that your floor is too hard.

      Upgrade.
    1. Browning151's Avatar
      Browning151 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Go Gators View Post
      What in the hell is your problem man? Why do you drop it so much? Are you retarded or something? Jeez!




      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
      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!
      I'm not retarded, nor do I have seizures. It's a piece of electronic equipment, not a fragile infant. Sorry, I don't coddle my phone and protect it like a small child, I use it. It's not a museum piece, it's just a phone.
    1. irbe9's Avatar
      irbe9 -
      Srsly.. Either u take a good care of ur device or just by a case/screen protector. When I got my i4 I put on zagg invisible shield on it immediately. It was kinda hard to apply it and I screwed up the front but totally worth the protection. Haven't dropped it so far hard to tell of it would protect much against shattering. The only thing that has happened to is random scratches to the shield itself which I believe would be on the glass if no protector was there.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Bottom line is that Apple has made something that can't be used under ordinary circumstances. Anything that has a 1:10 chance of breaking every time you pull it out to use it is rediculous. If you carry around a laptop, you drop it and it breaks, no one is too surprised since it is expected to be used in a stationary environment, sitting on a surface designed for it's use. Something that is expected to be used in a mobile environment, holding it against your head, with one hand presumes it may be dropped and it's reasonable to presume it will survive undamaged.

      Those of you that keep posting stuff about pockets and walls, while correct, are raising non sequiturs: I don't recall a single complaint of a broken phone due to the negligent action of sitting on it or physically abusing it so stop posting as if that's the only reason a phone breaks. We all know that accidents happen and there's a huge difference between an accidental drop and sitting on it or dropping it in the pool since the latter two wouldn't come as a result of normal usage but an accidental drop would. And, as such, there's a reasonable expectation it won't have. 1:10 chance of shattering.

      Aaaaaaack!
    1. Conner's Avatar
      Conner -
      My iPhone had a bumper on it. I dropped it getting out of a vehicle from my lap to the concrete and it chipped the metal edge through the bumper. I also dropped it no less than two feet from the pavement and a nick came out from the back glass, similar to that of a dot. Needless to say, I bought an otterbox case immediately. I would take durability over elegance for my $200 cell phone any day.
    1. fredmandam's Avatar
      fredmandam -
      I think the iPhones are of strong as any other phone even though the iPhone 4 has glass on both sides. I dropped mine twice on it's face on concrete and not even a scratch.
    1. robogobo's Avatar
      robogobo -
      Quote Originally Posted by KartRacer View Post
      Luckily I have a lowered truck so it didn't fall far.
      All my friends know the low rider
      The low rider is a little higher
    1. mattdonut's Avatar
      mattdonut -
      i work with toughened glass
      which is what the IP4 is made of
      and yes toughened glass is very strong and will withstand hammers and bricks etc thrown at it
      BUT toughened glasses weak point are the edges
      you can have a toughed unit the size of a door and it wont break
      but touch it on its bare corner and it will shatter without any effort..
    1. HeavyD4's Avatar
      HeavyD4 -
      nobody forced u to buy an iPhone so stop crying, get a rubber nextel if u don't like what u bought!
    1. flaffiii's Avatar
      flaffiii -
      Quote Originally Posted by fredmandam View Post
      I think the iPhones are of strong as any other phone even though the iPhone 4 has glass on both sides. I dropped mine twice on it's face on concrete and not even a scratch.
      can you throw your iphone about 40 meters without it breaks ? :P i can do that with my normal mobile phone..
      i think an iphone 4 would break... maybye with a protection cover it can survive (:

      sorry for my very bad english :P
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by flaffiii View Post
      can you throw your iphone about 40 meters without it breaks ? :P i can do that with my normal mobile phone..
      i think an iphone 4 would break... maybye with a protection cover it can survive (:

      sorry for my very bad english :P
      Have you tried dropping your "normal" phone from 30 kilometers?

      iPhone in Space!
    1. robertr1's Avatar
      robertr1 -
      Better question. Is the iphone 4 otterbox as strong as the 3g/3gs otterbox?


      Quote Originally Posted by raduga View Post
      Have you tried dropping your "normal" phone from 30 kilometers?

      iPhone in Space!
      It parachuted inside a cushioned styrofoam box. Hardly dropped.
    1. Lovertoever's Avatar
      Lovertoever -
      Hi
      I dropped the I phone 4 from the table to floor like 1 meter hi and without case nothing happen no scratch but the floor it's laminate wood so maybe that help I love the all amazing thing come with new I phone 4 and now I have use leather case hand made.