Study: Glass On The iPhone 4 Breaks 82 Percent More Than On The 3GS

Thought the iPhone 4’s reception problems were its Achilles Heel? A new study invites you to think again. An analysis by SquareTrade suggests that the glass on the iPhone 4 is more fragile than on the last-generation iPhone 3GS, breaking 82 percent more often.

After analyzing an impressive 20,000 iPhone accidents that took place within the first four months of ownership, the firm also found that 4.7 percent of iPhone 4 owners report an accident within the first four months of ownership, compared to 2.8 percent of 3GS owners, which amounts to a 68 percent increase in accident claims.

Moreover, SquareTrade estimates that 15.5 percent of iPhone 4 owners will have an accident within the first year of buying their phone, compared to 7.8 percent of 3GS owners. It’s unclear how the firm arrived at this figure.

To be clear, it’s not Apple’s fault if someone has an accident– say, knocking his or her iPhone off a table. Still, the implication that the iPhone 4 is more fragile, that it’s more likely to break as a result of these accidents, is interesting. SquareTrade isn’t the first, though, to suggest the iPhone 4’s glass front and back are impractical. Ryan Block with gdgt, for instance, recently wondered if Apple’s refusal to sell third-party cases in its retail stores is an acknowledgment that the iPhone is delicate, and that less snug cases could reveal how easily they can break.

It’s true that anecdotes aren’t science, but they are telling. Readers, how have your iPhone 4s held up?

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  1. Jay Peitzer Says:

    I have had an iPhone 3G which I absolutely loved. I switched to the IPhone 4 when it first came out and have had no trouble with it at all. I certainly like it as much if not more then my original phone. I have dropped it etc no breakage. I have had no reception problems either. It seems to me that the people who have the biggest problems with iPhones in general are people who don’t have them.

  2. Jake Chen Says:

    There isn’t one complaint in this article, Jay, – intentionally derogatory or not, all figures stated here are rock-hard facts.

  3. Tom Says:

    I believe Gorilla Glass as used on the iPhone 4 is supposed to be thinner (and hence lighter) and more scratch-resistant than the glass used on the iPhone 3. Well, if it’s thinner glass, then it suggests to me that it’s also more likely to break. The iPhone’s screen may indeed be more scratch-resistant, but it seems it’s more prone to breakage. I guess you can’t have it all.

  4. candyer Says:

    iPhone 4’s glass is easier to scratch too. I’ve never scratched my previous iPhone’s screens yet without even trying, I already have a couple of mysterious scratches on my new iPhone’s screen.
    PS: I have some other good APPS from aneesoft want to recommend. Maybe someone will like it.

  5. Titanium Says:

    “It seems to me that the people who have the biggest problems with iPhones in general are people who don’t have them.”

    Don’t be so ignorant. Just because you claim you haven’t had problems or noticed antenna issues doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem.

    I like that my iPhone 4 LOOKS more upscale than the 3GS I had, but I get nervous using it without a case because it’s a glass phone. It has glass on the front and the back, as all of you know. I am not confident that it would survive multiple drops without a case. I have dropped it with a clear plastic case and had no problems yet, but the thing is slippery because of the metal band on the outside. The iPhone 3GS was easier to hold and I dropped it a lot less.

    I’ve had the antenna problem on two iPhone 4s that I’ve used. I’m on my second because my first iPhone 4 was replaced by Apple because of the antenna issue (still persists on this phone), a proximity sensor issue (still persists on this phone), and the vibrating mechanism went out after only two weeks of owning the first phone.

    To imply that people are imagining the problem is an insult to everyone who has experienced and/or is still experiencing the problem, including me. It’s a flawed design and I guarantee the iPhone 5 will not be anything like the iPhone 4. The “gorilla glass” will not be on the back of the phone, the external antenna will either be gone or completely redesigned, and the proximity sensor will be functional on all the phones.

    On a positive note, the camera is amazing, call quality seems slightly clearer but it drops more calls than my 3GS did. The phone feels strong, even though it obviously isn’t and it looks expensive (which it is, off contract). The screen is so clear words can’t even describe, compared to the 3GS and any other phone I’ve used prior to this. Games and movies are more enjoyable. My gripe is that the design is flawed, it seems defective, and Apple refused to issue a recall. Giving me a replacement phone that fixed one of the three problems is not what I deem acceptable.

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