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Shattered iPhone 4 photographed to challenge Apple's durability claims

post #1 of 210
Thread Starter 
A third-party solutions provider catering to customers of Apple's mobile devices claims to have recently acquired an authentic iPhone 4 enclosure whose glass panel failed to withstand a fall from just a few feet, creating an opportunity for the firm to question Apple's heightened durability claims.

Without explaining how, iFixYouri says it came into possession of a complete iPhone 4 shell with its glass face in tact, but minus its internal componentry. It then performed several drop tests of the device from 3 and a half feet above ground, which shattered the glass panel on the third attempt, as can be seen below.

The firm did not disclose the surface onto which the unit was dropped, nor did it perform any investigation into whether the device was more susceptible to damage sans its internal components and the added density and structural resistance they may provide.

Nevertheless, the firm is using the experiment to generate attention and challenge Apple's stated claim that the iPhone 4's all-new design and build quality are "like no other mobile device." The iPhone maker said earlier this week that the device's aluminosilcate glass front and back are "chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic, more scratch resistant and more durable than ever."

iFixYouri contends that while the glass may be 30 times stronger than plastic and able to withstand bending, its durability still falls short on sudden impact, which is "what causes 95% of glass shattering. Not because you bent the glass in your pocket, not because you dropped it and it bent, but really because of sudden impact."

The firm also argues that the iPhone 4 sports a design flaw that "will bite [Apple] in the future." Is says that in the new device, the glass sits on top of the unit's aluminum frame, where on previous models it was recessed and protected by a chrome bezel.



While iFixYouri's one-off test should be considered anything but conclusive, Apple similarly appears to be veering on the side of caution with its announcement that it will sell its very first set of iPhone protectors alongside the iPhone 4, dubbed Bumpers.

To be made available in 6 colors for $29.99 a piece, the accessories don't obscure the front or back of the handset, but instead wrap its edges in a shock-absorbing, rubberized material.



"With metal buttons for volume and power, two-tone colors, and a combination of rubber and molded plastic, Bumpers add a touch of style to any iPhone 4," Apple says. Several third-parties are also racing to market with similar protective casing designs which are likely to fetch a bit less than Apple's first-party offerings.
post #2 of 210
I don't understand how those cracks are on the surface, but not on the edges of the glass...?

On the other hand... $30 for a small piece of rubber does seem a bit excessive, no? Oh wait. It does have color options. Do you at least get all 6 colors for that price? Or could people actually spend up to $180 on getting their iPhone to match their outfit?
post #3 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe View Post

I don't understand how those cracks are on the surface, but not on the edges of the glass...?

On the other hand... $30 for a small piece of rubber does seem a bit excessive, no? Oh wait. It does have color options. Do you at least get all 6 colors for that price? Or could people actually spend up to $180 on getting their iPhone to match their outfit?

Yeah, I was shocked at the cost of those. Should be $5.99. At least it isn't a sock.
post #4 of 210
This has already been talked about. The test was junk. The moron who did it does know how to perform a real product test. I can't believe that Appleinsider is posting the article. Wow...Appleinsider, kind of embarrassing !!!
post #5 of 210
Let me guess, they found it in a bar?

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post #6 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe View Post

o you at least get all 6 colors for that price? Or could people actually spend up to $180 on getting their iPhone to match their outfit?

Found the description:
http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
and it appears that they are indeed selling each individual color for $30.

Gotta hand it to Apple. They sure have no shame.
post #7 of 210
Wait a second, we saw with our own eyes Apple BENDING THE GLASS to a point where you expected it to shatter, now we're being told it shatters after a fall of a few feet?

I don't buy it. I think this is bs, but the people know when everyone gets their iphone, they won't be attempting to prove them wrong.

(yes, I'm very pessimistic when it comes to anything a company says to sell more shit.)
post #8 of 210
I have owned an iPod Touch and currently have an iPhone 3GS. In all the time that I have owned them, I have only dropped my phone once and that was on a carpeted floor. I treat my devices like I treat anything that I care about and have spent good money for. Some people just don't care.
post #9 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe View Post

Found the description:
http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
and it appears that they are indeed selling each individual color for $30.

Gotta hand it to Apple. They sure have no shame.

So I assume you're going to buy one so that you can continue to bitch, right?
post #10 of 210
Umm, the unit has no buttons so this suggests it wasn't a fully assembled unit.

It may be therefore possible, that the screen was damaged prior to fitting and was put together to suggest that this has been a real test.

Phil
post #11 of 210
Sure would be nice if people were able to differentiate between "30 times harder than plastic" and "30 times stronger than plastic". Doesn't take much to be harder than plastic - hell, plate glass is harder than most (unhardened) steel! The PCWorld articles quotes Apple as saying, "20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic." They didn't use the word "stronger". If someone has a link to where Apple calls the glass "30 times stronger than plastic," I'd like to read that directly.
post #12 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by donarb View Post

I have owned an iPod Touch and currently have an iPhone 3GS. In all the time that I have owned them, I have only dropped my phone once and that was on a carpeted floor. I treat my devices like I treat anything that I care about and have spent good money for. Some people just don't care.

lol they're called accidents for a reason. When someone drops their phone by accident, they don't call it an "on purpose"
post #13 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Without explaining how, iFixYouri says it came into possession of a complete iPhone 4 shell with its glass face in tact, but minus its internal componentry. It then performed several drop tests of the device from 3 and a half feet above ground, which shattered the glass panel on the third attempt, as can be seen below.

The sum of its parts is often greater than...

Yea, something like that. My point being this test was ENTIRELY USELES without having a FULL iPhone to test. Those 'silly' internal components will likely have an affect on drop test that was performed. Don't believe me?

Take out all the 'stuff' from INSIDE an automobile, the seats, engine, steering, transmission, cooling, exhaust, etc etc, and then have another car crash into it. Wanna take any bets that the damage done would be 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x as bad?

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post #14 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Wait a second, we saw with our own eyes Apple BENDING THE GLASS to a point where you expected it to shatter, now we're being told it shatters after a fall of a few feet?

I don't buy it. I think this is bs, but the people know when everyone gets their iphone, they won't be attempting to prove them wrong.

(yes, I'm very pessimistic when it comes to anything a company says to sell more shit.)

Where did you see the glass being bent by Apple?
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post #15 of 210
Let's face it...
The full-court media press is on against Apple.
Its the 'theme' of the month, now that the old one about the 'anti-incumbent' wave is getting harder to sell.
All one can do is use it as a buying opportunity.
post #16 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

lol they're called accidents for a reason. When someone drops their phone by accident, they don't call it an "on purpose"

Which is why you get a case, so you can replace that later if the case breaks, rather than replacing your phone
post #17 of 210
Does anyone ACTUALLY believe this amount damage was caused by a 3 foot drop?? I'm not saying it's ENTIRELY possible that Apple is overplaying how durable the phone is.. but come on, you can drop a $2 juice glass from Ikea on the ground and it won't cause that much damage.

Maybe they want to clarify some details.. such as, was dropped or thrown. And was it dropped on the ground or a steel pipe.. like seriously..
post #18 of 210
My 3G S fell out of my shorts pocket onto a concrete floor as I stood up once. Couple of scratches on the case and bevel as it bounced (and let me tell you, those things can bounce!), and the SIM card holder popped out, but the glass stayed intact. I was quite impressed.
post #19 of 210
I was all smiles until the price of the rubber ring was revealed. Is Macfixit going to do an analysis on that and find it costs Apple 1.7 cents? I agree that Apple is basically offering this as breakage insurance. Had they designed a rubber ring around the iPhone, it wouldn't have been nearly as sexy. But then again, neither are a million scratches.

They did mention that the glass was as hard as sapphire crystal, which is what Rolex uses. And you simply cannot scratch it.

Overall, I was really pumped watching the presentation. So much innovation. But once again, rubber has found a way to slightly deaden my joy.
post #20 of 210
If you wanted to promote your iPhone repair website and you weren't particularly constrained by ethics... could you think of a way to get that done?

Hm.
post #21 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Without explaining how, iFixYouri says it came into possession of a complete iPhone 4 shell with its glass face in tact, but minus its internal componentry. It then performed several drop tests of the device from 3 and a half feet above ground, which shattered the glass panel on the third attempt, as can be seen below.

Do you suppose maybe not having the internal componentry intact has anything to do with it?

Try crumpling a full can of food compared to an empty one.
post #22 of 210
The glass doesn't just "sit" on top of the frame.....there's a bit of plastic that wraps around the edge of the glass and is a bit higher than the glass itself....thus protecting the glass from surface scratches when setting it on a flat surface.
post #23 of 210
This post is bogus. Notice that the unit does not have volume buttons, nor does it have a mute button. This leads me to believe that the unit is hollow, and therefore had no real display behind the glass when it was dropped. Also, the shatter pattern indicates that the unit was struck multiple times in different locations. Find the cracks and trace them back to the central points. There are at least 3 separate strikes on the screen which tells me it was not dropped, but beaten intentionally at the attempt to break the screen. This could also, in theory, have been the reason the side buttons fell out.
Bogus post. Embarrassing for AppleInsider.
post #24 of 210
I wonder if Apple QA forgot to drop the phone from a few feet? Yea, I'm sure that was overlooked.

Also, the lack of internal components really renders this test useless. Without the internal components, the entire case reverberates and flexes. It's not as solid.

It's like dropping a marble and a Christmas ornament.
post #25 of 210
This is scraping rock bottom in the news barrel.
post #26 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheToe View Post

If you wanted to promote your iPhone repair website and you weren't particularly constrained by ethics... could you think of a way to get that done?

Hm.

nah....
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post #27 of 210
cannot believe you guys posted this...gizmodo posted this as well

showing a hollowed out iphone 4 with a broken cover is supposed to mean anything? come on...
post #28 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Where did you see the glass being bent by Apple?

In the design video you can view on Apples website. They shot the glass resting on 2 bars, with a plunger slowly depressing and deforming the glass until it's bent to around 30 degrees. Interesting. I imagine this is actually very useful in those non-impact "I just sat down with the phone in my pocket" moments.

Of course, without the rest of the components as mentioned above, the test means little. All the other components will have a damping affect when dropped, and there will be other components for the energy to dissipate through.

I'm just guessing here, but I think that the R&D that they went through before deciding on the design, the materials, and the construction of this phone are probably a bit more rugged and well thought out than just grabbing an incomplete model and throwing it on the floor in order to prove how bad it is.

I for one would like to see the back. That's glass too, and should also be broken...

Edit: PS:how do you make toughened glass? You laminate 2 pieces or ordinary glass together. What's in a real phone? A screen, laminated to the glass underneath...
post #29 of 210
Guys -- this thing was empty from the inside. Any mechanical/structural engineer will know that makes a huge difference. This test is useless.

I have a hard time to believe Apple will release an iPhone worse than the one I have.

Moreover, bending a material is different than directly hitting it (in this case dropped on the face of the phone).
post #30 of 210
when i get my new iPhone 4, i don't plan on dropping it.
post #31 of 210
Article did not say how hard the phone was dropped.

Shame there is no video. \
post #32 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper View Post

This has already been talked about. The test was junk. The moron who did it does know how to perform a real product test. I can't believe that Appleinsider is posting the article. Wow...Appleinsider, kind of embarrassing !!!

What the heck does that mean? How do you perform a real product test to see what would happen if the phone were to fall out of your hand from a height? Unless they took a hammer to it, it seems like a legitimate test to me. As someone said, it means that you need to be careful with it and probably still need a case.
post #33 of 210
dupe...
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post #34 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

I was all smiles until the price of the rubber ring was revealed. Is Macfixit going to do an analysis on that and find it costs Apple 1.7 cents? I agree that Apple is basically offering this as breakage insurance. Had they designed a rubber ring around the iPhone, it wouldn't have been nearly as sexy. But then again, neither are a million scratches.

They did mention that the glass was as hard as sapphire crystal, which is what Rolex uses. And you simply cannot scratch it.

Overall, I was really pumped watching the presentation. So much innovation. But once again, rubber has found a way to slightly deaden my joy.

This is a great point man.. but Id have to say I think considering its just a rubber band with color, I think apple's main purpose for the bumper is asthetics.

People like to personalize they're phones and these did look pretty good wrapped around iPhone 4.. even if they didn't really cover anything :P.

Even if its a little to girly for you.. You have to admit the pink bumper wrapped around the white phone looked really fantastic.. I think it will be really popular.
post #35 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by albeik View Post

Guys -- this thing was empty from the inside. Any mechanical/structural engineer will know that makes a huge difference. This test is useless..

THANK YOU! You said it far better than I.
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post #36 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

IT WAS AN EMPTY CASE!

Try this...

Do 2 automobile crash tests on identical cars, 1st a normal crash test.

The on car #2 rip out the engine, transmission, radiator, exhaust, steering column, dash, front seats, back seats, spare tire, roll cage, etc.

Anyone wanna guess which car would look worse?

Yeah, but this was a real world test. The first thing I do when I get a new piece of electronics is gut it. That way I don't have to worry about the sensitive innards getting damaged or stolen.

And to address your analogy, I do the same thing with new cars. I always remove the engine (etc.) so it doesn't get excessive wear. The resale value is much better that way.
post #37 of 210
My first gen iPod Touch was run over by a Toyota 4Runner and a Ford Mustang. The glass did not shatter at all, maybe two tiny scratches that don't bother me at all. The metal casing on the back however has a lot of dents and heavy scratches. (I slipped on driveway ice at night and did not notice the iPod had fallen off my jacket pocket). My iPod has also fallen off another jacket's pocket onto hard concrete from about 5 feet, and all it got was a scratch on the upper left corner of the metal casing. If the new iPhone's glass is any stronger than this, than I'm not worried at all.
post #38 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... recently acquired an authentic iPhone 4 enclosure whose glass panel failed to withstand a fall from just a few feet, ... It ... performed several drop tests of the device from 3 and a half feet above ground, which shattered the glass panel on the third attempt, as can be seen below. ...

This is pretty irresponsible reporting isn't it?

A website that practically no one has ever heard of publishes a two paragraph *translated* statement that iPhone 4 screens are crap, and you print it here as fact? How about a few "alleged's" and some "they say's"?

We have no idea if this actually even happened, and you are promoting it as some kind of factual report? WTF? You don't know this thing broke, you don't even know if the test was carried out. Whereas on the other side there are books full of information on how this glass is made and how strong it is. It's used in attack helicopters for cripes sake.
post #39 of 210
Another thing. Take a VERY CLOSE look at the photo. It doesn't look like there is even a back side of the case attached to the frame.
post #40 of 210
I guess no one is complaining about the 30 dollar dock either. Should be 10 bucks max. As for this test? Fail. I want to see realworld tests using a fully assembled phone. I've dropped mine plenty of times with no issues, although 99% on carpet.
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