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iPhone 4 Screens Break 82% More Than 3GS

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the not-that-kind-of-crack dept.

Iphone 348

A surprising number of readers have submitted linkage to a story discussing a recently released study that proclaims that iPhone 4 glass breaks way more often than the 3GS's. Although the chart that I found more surprising was the one that said almost 9% of iPhone 3GS screens crack after a year.

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Gimme a break! (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 4 years ago | (#33876866)

People who live in glass houses... :-)

Re:Gimme a break! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33876912)

This is good unbiased, peer reviewed, wholesome and all-American goodness coming from a company that sells warrantees.
Good times

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33876968)

And who else would have any statistics that you would trust better? The manufacturer?

Re:Gimme a break! (3, Insightful)

zn0k (1082797) | about 4 years ago | (#33877066)

Preferably someone who isn't standing to make a buck from the claim, which rules out the insurance company AND the manufacturer. Maybe someone like Consumer Reports?

Re:Gimme a break! (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33877232)

And they get their information from?
Is there a place to report breakage on their site?

Square Trade loses money for every screen break.

Nobody has better stats than Square Trade, because Apple takes one look at it and says user abuse, and does not bother counting it. Same for the carriers.

Nobody is keeping statistics EXCEPT the third party insurance providers. This is largely true in medicine as well. Unless there is a contagious factor, the only nationwide stats you will find on injuries (broken arms) is from insurance carriers. Why you choose to denigrate that fact when Apple is involved but not for heart attacks is sort of, well, suspicious.

Re:Gimme a break! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877290)

Square Trade loses money for every screen break.

Right, which gives them all the incentive in the world to get money from as many of the other 91% as they can.

Re:Gimme a break! (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about 4 years ago | (#33877360)

Yep, it was insurance adjusters that linked the location of waterworks inlet pipes to cholera epidemics in London.

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33877450)

What part of "Unless there is a contagious factor" don't you understand?

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 4 years ago | (#33877606)

Are you really trying to link an event that happened 150 years ago to modern epidemiology? Doctors in the 1850's still practiced trepanation to cure a variety of ills...I think a lot has changed since then, including the role of doctors in collecting medical statistics.

Like the grandparent poster said, a lot of today's injury statistics come from the insurance companies.

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 4 years ago | (#33877288)

I do not trust Consumer Reports. They have already been proven to lie when it suits them.

Re:Gimme a break! (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | about 4 years ago | (#33877298)

Proof of that claim? If you're talking about the Suzuki Samurai case then no, that isn't proof.

Re:Gimme a break! (2, Funny)

TDyl (862130) | about 4 years ago | (#33877014)

If my spec's weren't cracked I might have seen what you did there.

Statistics FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33876894)

Note the complete statistical fail: the iPhone 4 has *two* glass screens - that means that all the fucktards that used to just scuff the hell out of the metal back are now dropping and breaking their back glass.

One also wonders about the validity of numbers from an "accidental damage" insurance service; only people who can't keep gadgets in reasonable shape are likely to buy such a thing...

Re:Statistics FAIL (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#33877084)

Note the complete statistical fail: the iPhone 4 has *two* glass screens - that means that all the fucktards that used to just scuff the hell out of the metal back are now dropping and breaking their back glass.

How is that a "statistical" fail?

Re:Statistics FAIL (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33877130)

The iPhone 4 only has one screen. The glass back is not a screen. The article is quite specific about this.

As to you other point, that may be true, because I've noticed over the years that only people who eventually die buy life insurance. &_&

Re:Statistics FAIL (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#33877280)

We USED to understand that things meant to be hand held and carried with you everywhere needed to be more durable than that. It's bad enough the screen is so fragile, but adding extra fragile glass just because is just plain stupid. Why don't they just add some nitrogen tri-iodide to make sure the device is destroyed if it's ever jostled off of the velvet pillow it's apparently supposed to be kept on?

Causality? (4, Funny)

BigJClark (1226554) | about 4 years ago | (#33876902)


Probably due to the fact that people slam the phone down 82% more of the time, because of the antenna reception issue.

Just saying.. :)

Re:Causality? (2, Funny)

Nikker (749551) | about 4 years ago | (#33877552)

Just don't slam it like that!

9% after a year? (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33876910)

What the fuck do iPhone owners do with their phones? Crack open coconuts with them? I've been using cellular phones since they came in bags and ran off nicads and lead-acid batteries, and I have never managed to break a screen. I mean, sure, cell phones are portable electronics and thus delicate to a degree, but exercise a modicum of care and they should last a while.

I think iPhone owners are one or more of the following: a. careless individuals who regularly drop their phones onto concrete, b. people who frequently beat on their phones out of frustration with Market policies and/or AT&T's network, or c. suckers that got sold an mechanically inferior product.

There are other pigeonholes, but that'll get you started.

Re:9% after a year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33876926)

I've had the same cellphone for at least 5 years, but the screen, she is tiny.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 4 years ago | (#33876990)

...suckers that got sold an mechanically inferior product.

Not to mention an grammatically dubious sentence ;)

Re:9% after a year? (4, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33877036)

9% annual accident rate implies one accident requiring an insurance claim in 11 years. Doesn't sound particularly high for an item that is so easily dropped.

(Actually CmdrTaco can't read charts. That chart is nearly 8%, not nearly 9%. Which implies 13 years between claims.)

Re:9% after a year? (3, Informative)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 4 years ago | (#33877120)

9% annual accident rate implies one accident requiring an insurance claim in 11 years.

(1 - 0.09)^11 = 0.35...I think it implies that after 11 years, about 65% require insurance claims.

Re:9% after a year? (2, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 4 years ago | (#33877042)

Could it have something to do with the fact your nicad-powered monster only had a screen ~1 sq. inch, coupled with the fact that it was (probably) some kind of impact-resistant plastic?

iPhones - how I hate typing that - and newer phones have, big glass screens. Toughened or not it's a lot easier to crack a piece of glass than it is plastic that's 1/10th the size.

For my two-penneth I'd say it's because we're used to them now; the novelty has worn off and we just aren't taking as much care of them as we used to.

Re:9% after a year? (1, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877338)

Could it have something to do with the fact your nicad-powered monster only had a screen ~1 sq. inch, coupled with the fact that it was (probably) some kind of impact-resistant plastic?

iPhones - how I hate typing that - and newer phones have, big glass screens. Toughened or not it's a lot easier to crack a piece of glass than it is plastic that's 1/10th the size.

For my two-penneth I'd say it's because we're used to them now; the novelty has worn off and we just aren't taking as much care of them as we used to.

I tend to think that Apple just doesn't care about durability as much as some other makers. HTC, for one, seems to do a damn fine job of making phones that are very hard to kill, especially when compared to the likes of an iPhone. Jobs & Co., on the other hand, know that their clientele will buy iPhones no matter what. That's mainly, I believe, because they are so shiny.

Something people forget about glass (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33877440)

In particular the toughened stuff is that it is fairly brittle. So yes, it may well be stronger than plastic, but when it fails, it does so in a more catastrophic fashion.

You can see this with knives. Most knives are steel, of course. However with a little research you discover you can buy more advanced, harder knives. Ceramic knives that more or less never go dull. They are the real deal too, I own a couple. You can't believe their sharpness, the hold their edge forever, food washes right off them, etc. Brilliant things. So why then are they not used all over? I mean they are pricey, but not much more than a forged steel knife.

Reason is they are brittle. They are indeed much harder than steel, however they don't flex. So you apply pressure to them and they are unmoving until a certain point, when they shatter. A steel knife can bend and flex a bit, and be just fine. Mean that ultimately, a steel knife is much more resilient. They may lose their edge easier and so on, but they can do tough jobs ceramics can't (ceramic knives are for slicing, not for something lick carving meat on the bone).

Same sort of shit here. A good polycarbonate will scratch easier than a toughened glass, and is less strong, you can flex it just by pushing hard enough. However it has a lot of give. It can take some reasonably hard impacts and survive, whereas the glass will hold strong up to a given point, and then fail badly.

Max strength isn't always the most desirable characteristic. Surviving stresses can be as much about moving with them as resisting them.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

adairw (1338775) | about 4 years ago | (#33877582)

I've carried a phone with a big glass screen for about four years now. I'm pretty rough with my phones and I've yet to break one.

Re:9% after a year? (4, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 4 years ago | (#33877054)

sitting next to someone that is on his 3rd iphone due to screen breakage it is more how incredibly fragile they are rather than what they do with them. I saw him drop his once here at work onto the vinyl floor in the work kitchen and glass shattered, I have dropped my current HTC phone dozens of times, even on concrete a few times and besides the outer casing having a few scratches it is still perfect.

Re:9% after a year? (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#33877596)

sitting next to someone that is on his 3rd iphone

There seem to be a lot of people who are on their 3rd or 4th iPhone. Some return them for various defects, where the guy at the Genius Bar just gives them a new phone instead of trying to trouble-shoot the problem, or there was some hardware issue.

For a product that's only been out a few years, you wouldn't expect to see so many people go through 4 of them. On the other hand, my iPad Touch has been remarkably sturdy, though in its second year the battery capacity seemed to drop off. But now the new ones have cameras so maybe it'll work out.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

sottitron (923868) | about 4 years ago | (#33877074)

You do realize that the entire face of every single model of iPhone is one plate of glass, right? Its not like a flip phone or candybar where the screen is embedded and behind a bezel that is 25% of the width/height of the phone on all sides.

Re:9% after a year? (0, Flamebait)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877250)

You do realize that the entire face of every single model of iPhone is one plate of glass, right? Its not like a flip phone or candybar where the screen is embedded and behind a bezel that is 25% of the width/height of the phone on all sides.

I will refer you to option "c" of my original missive: suckers that got sold a mechanically inferior product. .

Re:9% after a year? (1, Offtopic)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 years ago | (#33877356)

My Samsung Moment Android phone also has one piece of glass. I recently dropped it on an asphalt parking lot while getting in my car, directly on the face at least 3-4 feet. It didn't break. It wasn't even scratched.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877426)

My Samsung Moment Android phone also has one piece of glass. I recently dropped it on an asphalt parking lot while getting in my car, directly on the face at least 3-4 feet. It didn't break. It wasn't even scratched.

That may be, but I'm betting you went "oooohhhh ssshhhiiiittttt!!!!!!!!" in slooowwwww motion as the phone spun through the air and landed flat on its face. You were lucky there, I think: if it had hit on an angle you might have done more damage. But yeah, I don't consider Apple products to be particularly durable when compared to some, maybe even most, other smartphone makers. Don't know why: considering what they charge for the things you'd think they could use sturdier materials.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

gagol (583737) | about 4 years ago | (#33877548)

My one year old HTC Hero has only one scratch, been dropped on concrete at least three time, drop from my bed at least every two weeks... What make the Hero so resistant, I believe it is related to the plastic enclosure that can absorb shocks and the "chin" design that protect the glass from being in contact with any flat surfaces. I never owned an iPhone, nor plan to buy one ever. I only heard horror stories from Apple's consumer electronics. From wrong model being shipped to dead on arrival electronics. Plus, most iPhone/iPod/iPad owners I know are clueless idiotic pedantic snob jerks who only knows to show off trendy items to compensate for lack of actual personnality.

Re:9% after a year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877568)

I thought iPhones were in the candybar style of phones?

Re:9% after a year? (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#33877100)

What the fuck do iPhone owners do with their phones? Crack open coconuts with them?

There's an app for that, yes.

Re:9% after a year? (4, Funny)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | about 4 years ago | (#33877276)

What the fuck do iPhone owners do with their phones? Crack open coconuts with them?

Try REALLY hard to shove their iPhone into their incredibly tight hipster jeans? ;)

I actually own one, but I just couldn't resist.

Re:9% after a year? (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877390)

What the fuck do iPhone owners do with their phones? Crack open coconuts with them?

Try REALLY hard to shove their iPhone into their incredibly tight hipster jeans? ;)

I actually own one, but I just couldn't resist.

Yes, and I appreciate that rarity of rarities ... an Apple owner with a sense of humor. Keep up the good work.

Mom, I had an accident (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 4 years ago | (#33877386)

I don't even know what this "study" is trying to conclude.

Our data shows that iPhone 4 owners are reporting accidents 68% more frequently than iPhone 3gs owners. 4.7% of iPhone 4 owners reported an accident to SquareTrade in the first 4 months of ownership, almost 70% higher than iPhone 3gs owners, 2.8% of whom had an accident over the same time period.

OK, so what does that data mean? It looks like all the data shows is that, for whatever reason, there are a lot of "accidents" involving iPhone 4s. So, what does that mean? Does that mean people drop them more often? Would that be considered a "design flaw"? Are people dropping them just as often, but this model breaks more easily?

I don't see any conclusions that can be drawn about this device just given the percentage of people who manage to screw it up. Maybe the conclusion to draw is that iPhone 4 owners are more careless or stupid than owners of previous models, makes as much sense as any other conclusion.

Re:Mom, I had an accident (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877462)

I don't even know what this "study" is trying to conclude.

Me neither.

Re:9% after a year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877432)

Sit on them (back pocket)? I ruined a flip phone this way some many years ago.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

Pop69 (700500) | about 4 years ago | (#33877452)

I broke the screen on my HTC Tytn 2

I had it in my front pocket when I was out paintballing and it took one to the screen, can't think of any way I could break it in normal use.

New screen cost me £35, cheaper than the insurance would have been if I'd taken it out

Re:9% after a year? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877504)

I broke the screen on my HTC Tytn 2 I had it in my front pocket when I was out paintballing and it took one to the screen, can't think of any way I could break it in normal use. New screen cost me £35, cheaper than the insurance would have been if I'd taken it out

I'm waiting for the hero in some action movie to get shot and fall to the ground, only to pull out his smartphone to find the round stuck in it.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 4 years ago | (#33877512)

My iphone screen is much harder than my other cell phone screen (samsung). The samsung is scratching - the iphone is still glossy.

So being harder, it may shatter when the phone is dropped the wrong way.

Re:9% after a year? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33877530)

My iphone screen is much harder than my other cell phone screen (samsung). The samsung is scratching - the iphone is still glossy.

So being harder, it may shatter when the phone is dropped the wrong way.

Engineering tradeoff. I'd rather have a slightly less brittle screen and put a protector over it, personally.

You're not holding it right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33876930)

... so says faux Steve

100% more glass (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33876942)

86% more glass damage given 100% more glass.

Re:100% more glass (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33877076)

But according to the linked article:

Our data shows that iPhone 4 owners are reporting accidents 68% more frequently than iPhone 3gs owners.

iPhone 4 owners reported 82% more damaged screens in the first 4 months compared to iPhone 3gs owners.

The back is not a screen. There is 68% more accidents, probably attributable to that glass back.

But when just screen damage is compared, its much worse, 82%.

It almost appears if the front screen breaks more than the back glass.

Re:100% more glass (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33877198)

It also says:

"While our data doesn't identify which broken screens resulted from dirt trapped behind a slide case, at least a quarter of the broken glass claims involved the back screen. With 82% more cracked screens reported, the evidence suggests that the iPhone 4 is more vulnerable to physical damage than its predecessor."

and

"With just 4 months of data, it's clear that the iPhone 4 is significantly more prone to physical damage than its predecessor. The aluminosilicate glass seem to crack at least as often as the old glass, and there is now twice as much surface area to break."

Whilst to you and I screen implies only the front, I see no evidence that the report is being that rigourous. Particularly as, if they aren't including the back glass in "screens", then back glass breakages would have to be part of "other", which is only 1% for the iPhone. Which wouldn't make sense.

It looks to me like they have 86% more breakages because there is 100% more glass. ...If indeed this report has any value at all and isn't just an insurance sales gimmick.

Re:100% more glass (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 years ago | (#33877424)

But they really only were saying that they couldn't tell if trapped dirt behind the slide case was to blame. (Reference is to previous stories about trapped dirt triggering back glass breakage).

When reference is made to 82%, its always specific to screens.

But lets go with your theory, and assume out that a "quarter" of all breakage is attributable to the back glass. Lets further assume that breakage was ONLY Front OR Back.

That still leaves 52% more breakage than the iPhone 3G. That in itself is rather significant. Further is demolishes the suggestion that the increased breakage is ONLY the result of having twice the glass.

However it seems to me that back breakage is likely to occur in a significant percentage of front screen break events, as crushing accidents or edge drops put both glass pieces at risk. So that 25% seems unlikely to be an exclusive subset that you can separate out.

Re:100% more glass (1)

drcheap (1897540) | about 4 years ago | (#33877496)

Wait, the iPhone 4 has TWO screens? Damn I am going have to get one now. Who cares if it has bad antennae, I want moar screens!

Re:100% more glass (1)

v1 (525388) | about 4 years ago | (#33877238)

the other thing I was wondering is does it have anything to do with the mounting of the glass? I haven't seen an iphone4 closeup yet, but the previous models all had the glass inside a metal rim. The 4 looks a lot like the new imacs, where the glass extends all the way to the edge of the machine. For the imacs, it means if something hits the edge of the machine it's hitting the glass, making the glass a lot more vulnerable to damage. Does the glass come to the edge on the 4?

Re:100% more glass (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 4 years ago | (#33877430)

Good point. Having the glass provide structural support increases the chance that the glass will crack due to torsion.

My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (0)

jbeach (852844) | about 4 years ago | (#33876948)

So, perhaps this is user error - for not putting an adequate case on 'em. The charts don't show whether or not the user has put a transparent adhesive screen protector on, AND uses a good case.

Two things that I will always do for any smart phone.

Another friend of mine just never keeps any coins, keys or other sharp objects in the same pocket. He's had no problems either.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33876976)

You take it the wrong way. iPhone screen break reports are underestimated because of people like you who buys screen protector and cases. The average user shouldn't need to buy anything extra so that its phone continue to work after 1 year with regular usage.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (0, Troll)

gatzby3jr (809590) | about 4 years ago | (#33876992)

I think the fact that you need to put more crap on your phone in order to not have it break is bullshit, personally.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (0, Offtopic)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33877072)

So, you don't put glasses in a case; carry violins in a case; transport laptops in a case?

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (1)

moogied (1175879) | about 4 years ago | (#33877164)

No. I wear my glasses on my face and the other two objects are not meant to be ON your persons 24/7 and in near constant use.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (1)

shellbeach (610559) | about 4 years ago | (#33877172)

So, you don't put glasses in a case; carry violins in a case; transport laptops in a case?

If I was wanting to hold my laptop up to my ear half the time, I wouldn't want to be constantly putting it in and out of a case!

Phones need to be used quickly and easily at a moment's notice. They should be designed such that they don't need cases.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 4 years ago | (#33877328)

That's why most phone cases don't require you to take them off to use the phone.

What you say about being designed not to need a case (basically to come with a rugged case already enclosing it) is a fine ideal. But fundamentally, phone manufacturer's design what will sell. And thinness, lightness and shininess are selling points for all phones.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877518)

violins and good glasses come with a case. And no, I don't put my glasses in a case.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877024)

Or perhaps it is because they are using a case to deal with the reception issue and the case is trapping dirt and whatnot, causing the rear glass to crack...

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33877192)

If it needs a case the design is poor. My Droid goes naked.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877364)

Well it's a poor design because I have a big ass scratch across the bottom left of the screen on my Droid.

Re:My 3g iPhone hasn't cracked yet (2, Informative)

EEPROMS (889169) | about 4 years ago | (#33877254)

So, perhaps this is user error - for not putting an adequate case on 'em.

The problem is Apple recently removed full cover cases [engadget.com] for the iphone 4 as apple engineers recently discovered if dirt or grit gets stuck between the protective case and the back of the phone the glass on the back has an increased probability of cracking [appleiphonereview.com] . So with antenna-gate [theregister.co.uk] just starting to cool we now have case-gate were it doesn't matter how you hold the iphone 4 it breaks [jetlib.com] . You would think Apple would use gorilla glass [corning.com] like many brands including dell with do with their recent full screen mobile handsets. Well I am sorry to inform you Apple just used generic hardened glass on the back and the front to save a few bucks having to pay Dow Corning a license fee.

um, so basically.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33876954)

Apple is teh evilz incrnate, no?

That's funny (3, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33877002)

I just read an article that states warranty companies are 82% more likely to write biased reviews about products they sell warranties for. Coincidence? Nah, it couldn't be.

Re:That's funny (2, Interesting)

Trip6 (1184883) | about 4 years ago | (#33877062)

Mod parent up. They're just trying to peddle warranties. Surprised nobody followed the money on this submission.

Re:That's funny (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 4 years ago | (#33877266)

And Apple is 100% likely to get free press every single day, regardless of what they have or have not done with their products recently.

I'd swear they give kickbacks to the tech press, but I think it's more due to simple journalist laziness.

Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33877006)

Unless the glass is breaking all by itself, I'm going to go with "people who spent too much money on a phone don't know how to take proper care of them."

Fact is, I spent like $100 (and renewed my contract with tmobile) to get a samsung vibrant. The first thing I did was slap a protective case around it and put on a screen protector. Following that, a visit to eBay showed me some nicer things to protect the phone and I also got one of those belt holders for the phone. Why?

1. I spend what I consider to be a lot of money for a phone.
2. Things I spend money on, I try to take care of
3. Keeping a phone in your pocket will cause problems starting with dust and ending with who knows what else
4. In spite of all the care I want to give it, things fall, slide off, whatever.

If I had an iPhone (and people who know me know the LOOONG list of reasons why I will never own an iPhone) I would do the same thing to it -- protect the shit out of it. It's frikken expensive and needs to be protected.

People need to get over complaining about how durable something is or isn't and start simply being careful for a change.

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (5, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33877168)

...and I also got one of those belt holders for the phone. Why?

Lemme guess, to look like a tool?

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33877308)

No, because bad things happen to phones kept in pockets.

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (5, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 4 years ago | (#33877196)

But if it's wrapped in a protector how are you supposed to enjoy the beauty of the industrial design?

Of course, my feeling is that if you can't design an attractive product that is also durable then you're not a particularly good designer.

Been an unfortunate thing with Apple (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33877536)

They've been very big on form over function for some time now. Doesn't mean their devices aren't functional, it just means that they worry about how they look more than anything else and they don't give much thought to if it interferes with working. For example if you look you discover time capsules have a bad habit of dying early, all around the same time. Further research shows this is because they overheat. They cannot take the heat of the integrated powersupply. Well external power would be perfectly doable, most devices have it. However Apple just had to have the sleek, all in one, unit. A fan was not acceptable either, of course. Thus form took precedence over good design and there were functional problems in the end.

Same shit on the iPhone 4. It isn't like they didn't put function in the device. It is a high end smart phone, no question. However they had to make it pretty, that was requirement #1, and some functionality suffered because of it.

I really dislike that way of doing things. I'm fine with good looking electronics, things shouldn't have to be ugly but function need to be primary. Make sure everything works first and if the design interferes with that, change it. Make shit work first, look good second.

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33877210)

If it needs a case the design is flawed. My Droid goes naked. It has a raised metal edge that protects the screen.

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (4, Insightful)

akume325 (1397865) | about 4 years ago | (#33877224)

I gotta agree. I owned a 3G. Never put a case on it but I did have a belt holster. Never dropped it, and it remained intact. I now own a Iphone 4 and I expect the same behavior will allow me to have a crack free screen. It as simple as taking care of your stuff. The other day one of my co workers placed a glass of wine next to her new Macbook Pro. Her 2 yr old was pretending to a major league pitcher through a sock right at the glass splashing the entire glass onto the keyboard. Any idiot who leaves a beverage next to a computer deserves whatever disasters that may strike. Similarly, not taking care of your phone deserves the same. Even the toughest phones can break. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqPGtJUzUx0&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 years ago | (#33877394)

Yet another reason I won't buy an Apple... in this case, a laptop. Dell offers "accidental damage" coverage. Normally, I skip all warranties as they are typically wasted money. Not so on laptops and they MUST have accidental damage because that is just about the only damage they get! And yes... my sympathy for the wine-spiller woman... within two weeks of getting my new Latitude D830, I spilled apple juice all over it. Broke my heart. Even a day of down time was too much, but I did it on a Friday!! A whole weekend! Well, it was taken care of the following Monday at no cost to me. It's what I paid for. Has a few other things here and there. My machine is still in perfect condition because the warranty keeps it that way... and if there is a problem, I call on it immediately.

Apple offers no such warranty coverage. Their laptops are EXPENSIVE. And accidents are EXPENSIVE. Why Apple won't compete with Dell on this service is beyond me. Despite all measures taken "things happen" anyway. I'll take the accidental damage warranty for the win.

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (1)

akume325 (1397865) | about 4 years ago | (#33877566)

I bought my Macbook Pro 3 years ago and it's just as powerful today as it was back then. You get what you pay for. I foresee me using my laptop at least another 2 years before I'll need another one. I'm tired of people complaining about how expensive Apple is. If you can't afford it, then don't buy it, and don't complain about it either, just enjoy what you got. Btw, Apple doesn't make the most expensive laptops. Here's an article posted a while back that did a breakdown of the Mac tax, HP tax, Dell Tax, http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/09/03/31/1744204/Mac-Tax-Dell-Tax-HP-Tax [slashdot.org]

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877584)

Acer gave me the same accidental damage coverage on my laptop, plus they threw in traveller's coverage. Not that I would ever check-in my laptop at the airport or leave it unattended in a place foreign or local, but it's nice that they they provided it.

Also, the laptop cost about a thousand dollars less than the best Macbook Pro and has a better CPU, better GPU, a Blu-Ray drive and a larger screen.

Re:Taking Apple's side on this one... mostly (1)

colinnwn (677715) | about 4 years ago | (#33877460)

Where are you getting a Vibrant for $100? Right now if you purchase it on a new 2 year contract or eligible upgrade, it is $200 after instant and mail in rebates. Even if you are a Costco member, the lowest contract price is $130.

As a guy, I prefer to carry my phone in my pocket to be sure it doesn't get knocked out of a holster, and because seeing middle aged overweight balding men with Blackberries holstered to their side and a Bluetooth headset hanging out of their ear always seemed slightly toolish, like wearing a pocket protector as a kid. Anything that makes the phone bigger (like a case) isn't welcome. Though I am also carrying a used G1, so my investment isn't as great, and it is pretty big already. Perhaps I'd change my mind if I had a new and smaller $400 phone.

Water damage too (5, Insightful)

Jaime2 (824950) | about 4 years ago | (#33877068)

The data from the study shows a 42% increase in water damage for the iPhone 4 over the 3GS. From this data we can conclude, with some certainty, that the two bodies of data are fundamentally different and any conclusions drawn on simple differences are only partially caused by differences in the devices themselves.

Re:Water damage too (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 years ago | (#33877182)

...42% increase in water damage for the iPhone 4 over the 3GS

Tears from frustration at all the dropped calls?

Re:Water damage too (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33877226)

Or that the iPhone 4 is slipperier, or any manner of other things.

BB Pearl (0, Offtopic)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#33877070)

My Blackberry Pearl came with a nice little leather carry case. The phone even knows if it's in it or not so that it can use different ringer profiles. Fits nice in the pocket and I never pocket dial. One of the best phone designs I've ever had.

http://www.blogcdn.com/mobile.engadget.com/media/2008/03/att-blackberry-pearl-8120-review-pcmag.jpg [blogcdn.com]

Re:BB Pearl (1)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | about 4 years ago | (#33877344)

Yeah. It also crashes/reboots often when you try to use it with a microsd card in it, or attempt to use it as a mass storage device. Bluetooth tethering only works once per powercycle. The clit mouse likes to stop moving sometimes. I *hate* my pearl, but I also refuse to pay $300+ for another locked down handset from Verizon.

Re:BB Pearl (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#33877544)

I've got the T-Mobile version and it will lock-up once a month or so. I've not had the problem with Bluetooth or the mem card. Maybe I'm lucky. I do hate the long boot time. It makes XP seem quick.

9% actually 6% - Math is hard, let's go editing! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877082)

"Although to me the chart that I found more surprising was the one that said almost 9% of iPhone 3GS screens crack after a year."

Try ~6%.

First, the graph I believe this statement is citing is the "Reported iPhone Accident Rate" Which has an end data point of just under 8%. This is perhaps "almost 8%", but is not close to 9%.

Second, that graph is all accidents. The chart just down from that labeled "iPhone 3gs" (in a ring-style pie chart) shows the accident breakdown. 76% of the accidents are a cracked screen.

If we combine these: 8% * 76% = 8 * .76 = 6.08% or about 6% of the overall iPhone 3gs accidents were cracked case accidents. (Probably a little less from the initial data point).

It's still an interesting number, but it's 50% different from the statement in the article. That's roughly 1 in 20 screens cracked in a year. That doesn't seem too bad to me, considering how some people treat their phone.

Also, the double rate on the new phone merely suggests that twice as much glass (front and back) breaks twice as often? Or did they only count screen and not case damage?

Math is hard, let's go editing!

Almost 6% of 3GS screens break, not 9% (1)

addikt10 (461932) | about 4 years ago | (#33877156)

The only information re: screen breakage on that page is that 76% of accidents are screen breakage, and that 7.8% of 3GS owners report accidents during their first year.

By my math, that means about 5.9% of screens are breaking on the 3GS.

Interesting properties of "Gorilla Glass" (3, Interesting)

Thagg (9904) | about 4 years ago | (#33877200)

Glass is really remarkably strong when it comes out of the furnace. The tensile strength is amazing, it can bend enough to absorb some shocks. It's a great material before it gets to the real world.

But, once it does, it immediately develops microcracks in the surface, and each of these could be the beginning of a fracture that goes through the bulk of the glass. So, what to do?

I don't know if they've taken the hint from the semiconductor industry (look up 'strained silicon' [wikipedia.org] ) but they did a similar thing with glass. By bombarding the surface of the glass with larger atoms, they create significant stress in the surface, so that any microcracks are immediately pushed shut. But, this is only true down to the level that these atoms diffuse into the surface...not far at all!

So, if you create a significant scratch (and this might just be 100 microns) you are through this surface, and have a potentially catastrophic failure waiting to happen.

A screen-protecting film of plastic would be a good investment.

How to not break your screen (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 4 years ago | (#33877212)

Q. How do I keep my iPhone screen from breaking?

A. Stop throwing your phone at your cat.

Q. What if I don't have a cat?

A. Then stop throwing it at your bf/gf.

Q. What if I don't have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?

A. Get an iPhone 4.

Check the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33877220)

This research is "sponsored" by an extended warranty company. I'm sure they don't have any interest in showing people their precious new phone is more likely to break.

iPhones are poor quality (0, Troll)

ickleberry (864871) | about 4 years ago | (#33877222)

Is this really news? you're dealing with a device that doesn't have an easily removable battery or even screws to take the cover off. These phones are definitely not meant to last - they're a fashion accessory. When the new one comes out next year the one you have now is supposed to be in rough shape, come the year after and it should be either dead or on it's last legs.

I don't see many iPhone 2G around anymore, presumably most have perished by now. The Nokia 6310(i) on the other hand, we won't see the end of those till the last GSM network closes down and even then people will run their own using OpenBTS just so they can continue using it

Because there are two planes of glass (1)

fermion (181285) | about 4 years ago | (#33877242)

Let us work though the numbers. At four months, the iPhone 4 has a return rate of 47 phones per thousand. According to the graph, 82% of this was due to broken glass, so this is 39 phones per thousand whose glass broke. The iPhone 3GS had a return rate of 28 phones per thousand at that time, 76% were broken screen, or may 21 phones.

Of course the iPhone has two pieces of glass to break instead of one, so, for the careless consumer who has insurance because they want to break the phone and get a new one every few months, this provides twice the opportunity to break the phone.

My orginal iPhone suffered a couple traumatic events, and the back is dented. This may in fact have broken the iPhone 4. Many of us are not used to protecting the back of our devices. Therefore initial breakage is bound to be much more.

From the insurance industry point fo view such numbers are literal gold. Make the phone sound less reliable, more people buy their $99 dollar insurance. Make the phone sound less reliable, and you can charge $99 for a $200 phone, that, according to their own numbers, only have a 8 in one hundred chance of breaking, probably much less if all iPhone owners are included. From a hones person point of view, there is probably the iPhone 4 is probably no more like to break than the other phones, when used carefully. In particular the extrapolation sound like pure and simple markting hyperbole.

Before this I did not realize what squaretrade did, and now that I see this deceptive report, I certainly will do everything I can to not use them. Not to say that some people don't need insurance. But if one didn't need for the old iPhone, one likely does not need it now.

Used More? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 years ago | (#33877284)

What if iPhones are simply used more because iPhone is a more mature device with better and/or more services. I know my kids love to play with my wife's iPhone because they can easily find all kinds of uses and apps for it. (Hell will come when the bill does, though.)

Self-Selecting Group (1)

ksr (207427) | about 4 years ago | (#33877340)

These numbers are being reported by an insurance company whose product is (relatively) expensive, and must be actively sought out by iPhone purchasers. This is likely to be a group self-selecting for increased probability of breaking their phones, so the stats are probably higher than for the iPhone-owning public at large.

This Gorilla Glass stuff... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | about 4 years ago | (#33877406)

... Is this the same Gorilla Glass that's in my Cowon S9? Because I *sat* on it once (oops) and it broke the AMOLED screen (cry) but not the gorilla glass on top. I've seen the videos of someone attacking it with forks and coins and stuff too. That shit is seriously tough. So did Apple buy the generic brand of it or what? How the hell are people cracking it without destroying the rest of the damn phone?

social lives (0, Troll)

Tsiangkun (746511) | about 4 years ago | (#33877602)

People with iPhones are more likely to have social friends, as opposed to people that seek out the most open, developer friendly phone. People with friends are more likely to party and drink. People with developer friendly phones are likely to sit in a padded chair in their home. Drunk people drop phones a lot, even in traffic. Developer people drop phones too, but on couches, tables, and carpeted floors. That is my theory.

The bottom line with all this? (2, Informative)

mrsnak (1818464) | about 4 years ago | (#33877456)

"In SquareTrade's previous study comparing smart phone reliability from November 2008, we found iPhones to be far more reliable than Blackberrys and Palm Treos. We will be updating this report soon, and we'll have data on the latest Android phone models. It may yet be seen that even with the double glass, the iPhone has an overall failure rate that is still better than the competition."

You mean... (1)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about 4 years ago | (#33877484)

They really were holding it wrong?

Crazy! (1)

adairw (1338775) | about 4 years ago | (#33877550)

I saw a friend day who had a new iPhone 4 and I noticed his screen was broke... He said he had not had it three days before he broke it and it was gonna cost $200 to fix.... Now I read this and it makes total sense.
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