Report: 82% increase in reported broken screens compared to 3GS

Kate O'Brien

October 12, 2010 11:40 am


The iPhone 4 has and still is going through a wild ride – a PR nightmare on some levels but amidst all the bashing the smartphone is still a massive success. There’s been “Antennagate” and even up to last week a new issue called “Glassgate” was coined for 3rd party cases causing the back of the iPhone to scratch, fracture and crack.

A new report has been released by cellphone warranty provider SquareTrade that states that “iPhone 4 Glass Breaks 82 Percent More Than 3GS”. The findings were based on 20,000 iPhone 4’s over the first 4 months the device went on sale. Their report boldly states “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.”

Other findings by SquareTrade shows the “accident rate for iPhone 4s was 68% higher than for the iPhone 3gs” and “An estimated 15.5% of iPhone 4 owners will have an accident within a year of buying their phone”. Physical damage aside, SquareTrade says that “non-accident related malfunctions” such as “hardware problems beyond the glass screen” resulted in “fewer than 0.5% of iPhone 4 owners reported a non-accident claim, roughly the same as the iPhone 3gs.”

Have you had any issues with your iPhone 4? Cracked screen, liquid damage?
(A few more graphs after the break)

Source: SquareTrade
Via: MarketWire

  • Cadet

    can only say… poor built… (shake head)

  • ErikN

    Aaaaand that’s why I don’t buy in to Apple consumerism and buy any of their “first time” products. They switched from the classic Iphone design and instant fail…they’ll get it spot on in the 2nd/3rd generation….hopefully!

  • Wtv

    Uh? I fail to see how 82% – 76% gives 82% more….

    • KC

      Read it again.

      iPhone 4’s are breaking almost twice as much after four months as the 3gs, and the percentage of glass breakages has increase within that number.

  • zorxd

    Who made the 2nd graph? Where does this projection come from? It should be about 10%, not 15%.

    • KC

      After four months, the fail rate was about 4.8%.

      After 12 months, this would be 14.4%. (Assuming linear relation with time)

      Adding in some aging-delayed failures such as bad solder joints etc, this could easily be up at 15.5%

  • Lance

    How can this be? Putting glass on the back of the phone should make it more sturdy! lol

  • Andrew

    The rumour is apple’s next iPhone will be again a totally different design. I don’t think apple is as happy with this phone as it is with the others. Between the antenna and the glass on the phone, this iPhone seems to have the poorest design so far. The awesome screen resolution is it’s only saving grace.

  • Rene

    Your title is misleading. The iPhone 4 doesn’t break “82% more than the 3GS”. Based on the ratings, it should state “breaks 6% more often than 3GS”.

    Also, wherever you got the graphs from, they’re also misleading. Projection lines shouldn’t get worse (in graph 2) for the iPhone, after they’ve already started scaling more horizontally.

    I read the link to the article where you got your information, and since the “issues” are through 20 000 reported cases of their warranty claims, one can automatically deduce that customers are careless, and taking advantage of being reckless with their phones because they have additional insurance coverage for neglect.

    VERY MISINFORMED argument, let alone very misleading.

    • Michael R

      Actually (4.7%/2.8%%) = 1.68 which is 68% more.

      The projection lines in the second graph are made using regression analysis which explains why there is a change in slope

    • Rene

      Michael

      According to the way the second graph projects, it shows an INCREASE in defects, which is generally inaccurate, especially since there was a decrease in the month prior.

  • KC

    It would be interesting to see these numbers compared with a non-apple phone, like an HTC Desire or something.

    It is a well known fact that apple hardware leaves alot to be desired. (weather it is overheating issues (3gs) glass breakage (i4) etc)

  • boink

    wasn’t there some saying about living in glass houses? does this apply to glass phones too?;)

  • Dustin

    that title is misleading

  • Jim

    Your headline appears to be misleading. The graph seems to be saying that the glass breakage is up from 76% in the 3G to 82% in the iPhone 4. That would be 6% more, not “82% more”.

  • Nate

    Very misleading title. No where in the graphs is there data showing an %82 increase in anything.

    The source of the data is also questionable. As a firm that handles phone warranties, they want as many people as possible to worry about phone damage, and therefore buy warranties. It’s ESPECIALLY questionable if ““iPhone 4 Glass Breaks 82 Percent More Than 3GS” is actually a verbatim quote from the firm, considering none of their data supports this.

    Journalism fail.

  • Android User

    So much for “chemically strengthened” glass!

  • Appleornot

    Is glass crack/breakage as a result from a case covered by Apple warranty?

  • cody

    Them stating that the glass is so tough is bull.
    It’s built to be sexy, not tough.

  • Gere

    I love my iPhone 4 and use the Speck Pixelskin HD case on it, but it’s definitely not a smart idea to use glass as the entire body of a phone. Mine has been perfect so far, but I hope Apple will start doing more real-life testing of their future products. People break phones all the time (cracking screens, broken buttons, etc.), but unfortunately for Apple (and fortunately for the end-user!) the iPhone is a much more high profile device than most phones out there, meaning the flaws will have to be identified and fixed for the next generation.

  • EJ

    From personally experience, I’ve seen more than my fair share of shattered iphone4s. I’ve actually seen more broken ones than intact ones. This is my personal experience though and its enough to persuad me to wait for the next gen. And I will only buy it then if android and wm7 games don’t get better in quality.

  • Larry

    My brother-inlaw has a Blackbery provided by his employer its a little over a year old he has dropped it more times than he can remember yet it still works fine.Apple iphones are fragile but they almost never freeze up crash or get a vireas.Similar to Blackbery.

  • Andy C

    i’ve dropped every cell phone i’ve ever owned at least once.

    glass on the front AND back of a phone? unless it’s been tested by the military i’ll pass.

    the toughest cell phones i’ve owned was a Razr and a Nokia E61i. both were mostly made of metal

  • Amanda

    Yeah, a friend of mine broke his screen within the first week of owning it. Another friend had pretty severe scratches within the first couple of days.

    The 4 isn’t as easy to hold as the old iPhone, so it’s no wonder people are dropping and breaking the glass more.

    Buy a rubber case, put a screen protector on. It’s common sense when you spend $300+ dollars for something that needs to last you two years until your contract is up.

  • Simon

    Once again, thank goodness I did not get an iPhone.

  • Dino

    Funny, my Desire has been dropped once onto tile, and kept in my pocket with nothing more on it than and invisible shield on only the screen and it looks brand new.

  • snapper

    Ha ha… what a bunch of liars on here. Just make up s**t to try to bash the best phone on the market (iPhone).
    Tough luck Android fanboys, your stuck with that junk you bought and your made up stories.

  • Galaga

    Just another point where kids should not have nice things.
    Kids should just be limited to Android type phones, not fine items like the iPhone4’s.

  • xixidjoe

    ugh, reports like this piss me off…if you break your iPhone, it’s YOUR fault, NOT APPLES! if you can’t take care of your tech, then you shouldn’t own any and just get over it!
    Hope you can love you deive and like watching movies as me, and Even I need the help of iFunia ipad video converter. worthing…

  • xixidjoe

    ugh, reports like this piss me off…if you break your iPhone, it’s YOUR fault, NOT APPLES! if you can’t take care of your tech, then you shouldn’t own any and just get over it!
    Hope you can love you deive and like watching movies as me, and Even I need the help of iFunia ipad video converter. worthing…

  • Jordan Richardson

    This isn’t a “journalism fail.” Read the graphs. None of them in this article posted here refer to the glass breaking. They reference, instead, projected and reported accident rates with the iPhone 4. And in that respect, the article’s analysis is accurate.

    The SquareTrade findings are available on the link provided with the article. I know a lot of people are eager to defend Apple, but that’s no reason to start hallucinating.

  • clark

    my iphone4 overheated when i was talking to my wife and than it happen the back got hot and i heard a crackle and looked at the back and it looked like a windshield in a accident.Called apple and what a nightmare! ! ! ! what a joke better off ordering a coffee from starbucks

  • clark

    wow you guys suck amazing you guys haven’t been sued