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  (Source: SquareTrade)

  (Source: SquareTrade)
Double the breakable area = double the breaks

A recent study conducted by SquareTrade Warranties found that glass breaking on iPhone 4's increased by 82% compared to iPhone 3GS models.

The study surveyed 20,000 iPhone 4 accidents covered by SquareTrade, the largest independent warranty provider, and compared it to the iPhone 3GS. Not only are iPhone 4 screens almost twice as likely to crack as their predecessors, but owners' accident rate for the device is 68% higher than for the previous device. Almost 5% of iPhone 4 users report an accident within the first four months of owning the device.

Screen damage makes up a vast majority of iPhone 4 accidents, the study said, accounting for more than 4/5's of all reported accidents. The study also noted that at least a quarter of all accidents involved the glass covering the back of the device.

The reason for all the glass breaking? SquareTrade explains: "Not only has the scratchable surface area doubled, the new aluminosilicate Gorilla glass used in the iPhone 4 doesn't seem any less likely to break than previous models."

As far as non-accident related hardware malfunctions, fewer than 0.5% of claims make up that category -- in line with the 3GS.

"It's important to take the accident rate into perspective," SquareTrade said. "Overall, the iPhone is still a very well constructed device, with a non-accident malfunction rate much lower than most other consumer electronics."

It's also important to take the study itself into perspective. SquareTrade is in the business of selling warranties on consumer electronic devices. It is certainly in its best interest to publish a study that shows these types of results, scaring consumers into purchasing more of its products. Its goal is not to make Apple aware of the defects (they'd likely just tell consumers, "You're dropping it wrong.")

The SquareTrade study should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. What it does warrant, though, is further independent investigation into the matter.





"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki













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