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Study says Apple's iPhone 4 most reliable, most fragile smartphone

post #1 of 51
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A recent study of over 50,000 smartphones has concluded that Apple's iPhone has the fewest malfunctions, but is particularly at risk to accidental drop-related damage.

Third-party warranty provider SquareTrade analyzed data from more than 50,000 smartphones covered by its warranty plans. Among the smartphones included in the study were the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS from Apple; the Droid, Droid X, Cliq from Motorola; the Nexus One, Evo, Droid Incredible from HTC; and the BlackBerry Curve, Bold, Storm from Research in Motion. Handsets from other manufacturers, such as Samsung, LG, Palm, Nokia and Sony-Ericsson were also included.

The study found that the iPhone 4 was the most reliable phone of the group with just 2.1 percent of owners projected to have a non-accident malfunction in the first 12 months. The iPhone 3GS and Motorola came in just behind the iPhone 4 tied at 2.3 percent.

Though the iPhone 4 performed well with regard to reliability, it also appeared to be more accident-prone. Apple's newest smartphone is projected to have the highest accidental damage rate after 12 months: 13.8 percent. According to the study, the iPhone 4 has a higher rate of drop damage than other smartphones, possibly due to the iPhone 4's two sides of glass.



"The data seems to suggest that the likelihood of drop damage is directly proportional to the amount of glass on the device," the report noted. As the main cause of accidents, drops make up 77 percent of accident claims, according to the report.



In more good news for Apple, the iPhone 3GS had the lowest overall failure rates, which included malfunctions and accidents. Just 11.8 percent of iPhone 3GS owners reported a failure in the first 12 months of use.

BlackBerry devices posted a higher malfunction rate of 6.3 percent after 12 months, but made up for it with a lower than average accident rate of 6.7 percent. Android phones from HTC and Motorola had a matching accident rate of 12.2 percent, although Motorola's malfunction rate of 2.3 percent bested HTC's rate of 3.7 percent.

Overall, smartphone reliability has improved significantly since SquareTrade's 2008 Cell Phone Comparison Study. For example, Apple has cut its malfunction rates for the iPhone by roughly 60 percent since 2008.

In October, SquareTrade reported that iPhone 4 owners were submitting accident claims 68 percent more often than iPhone 3GS owners, with the majority of claims involving a cracked screen. According to the report, approximately a quarter of the broken glass claims involved the back screen.

Apple has reportedly suspended sales of slide-on iPhone 4 cases at its stores because of potential scratches and cracks.
post #2 of 51
Beauty costs.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 51
Given the perception of antennae and durability issues in the media I guess Apple will aim for a complete redesign rather than increment some of the features.

From an aesthetic standpoint I think the iPhone 4 is the most beautiful consumer product of the last decade.

A model with 64GB storage wouldn't go astray though.
post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Beauty costs.

Agreed.
post #5 of 51
50K? That's a lot of junk non-smart phones in the last 10 years. Or did they go all the way back to WW2 field radios?
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Given the perception of antennae and durability issues in the media I guess Apple will aim for a complete redesign rather than increment some of the features.

From an aesthetic standpoint I think the iPhone 4 is the most beautiful consumer product of the last decade.

A model with 64GB storage wouldn't go astray though.

Not likely. The antenna issue was overblown FUD and the iPhone 4 is as durable as the 3 series if not more. The rear glass panel can be replaced fairly easily so as long as the front glass isn't cracked most people are going to be fine IMO.
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post #7 of 51
IPHONE4 may be fragile but its dependability, design and functional superiority make up for it.
post #8 of 51
Pretty obvious that if you compare failure rates for a device that has only been available for 5 months with others that have been available for 12, the numbers will flatter the newcomer.

Will have to wait until next June for a meaningful comparison IMO.
post #9 of 51
Most fragile? That surprises me because Apple (appears at least) to do significant research in to new building materials and construction techniques. I wonder what a plain old physics strength test would reveal (as against insurance company records).
post #10 of 51
Says: "Just 11.8 percent of iPhone 3GS owners reported a failure in the first 12 months of use."

JUST one in eight fails? And you call that "good news"? God you people are unobjective tools.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Says: "Just 11.8 percent of iPhone 3GS owners reported a failure in the first 12 months of use."

JUST one in eight fails? And you call that "good news"? God you people are unobjective tools.

Nope. The tool is YOU. It's comparative fool.

You might find the failure rate of other phones to be considerably higher. So the word 'just' is quite justified.

As a rule I find Mac/iPhone users to be considerably more 'objective' than your average PC/Android toting media puppet who is incapable of thinking for himself.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Says: "Just 11.8 percent of iPhone 3GS owners reported a failure in the first 12 months of use."

JUST one in eight fails? And you call that "good news"? God you people are unobjective tools.

Who cares how much it fails. It's just gorgeous, sexy, magical, and oh so elegant!

You obviously don't understand the things that's really important to us TRUE Apple fans. Didn't you listen to Steve? He said it has the Sex!!!

Let's not let a few minor things like high failure rates, a defective antenna, and being fragile blind us from how truly revolutionary this game changer is!!!
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post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Nope. The tool is YOU. It's comparative fool.

You might find the failure rate of other phones to be considerably higher. So the word 'just' is quite justified.

As a rule I find Mac/iPhone users to be considerably more 'objective' than your average PC/Android toting media puppet who is incapable of thinking for himself.

***

Anybody who thinks a product category with such lousy products that a 1/8 failure rate is somehow good is an idiot. You should really look at what you wrote and think about how stupid that comment really is. Those who think for themselves look for excellence. We don't compare lousy choices and crow about selecting the best of the worst.
post #14 of 51
Looks like my ignore list is going to get a real workout with this one.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Not likely. The antenna issue was overblown FUD and the iPhone 4 is as durable as the 3 series if not more. The rear glass panel can be replaced fairly easily so as long as the front glass isn't cracked most people are going to be fine IMO.

Err since when were things ok because you could replace the bit that breaks. That's like saying it would be fine buying a car where the wheels keep breaking because you can just replace them. I tend to think when I spend a few hundred pounds on something that it's going to last a few years.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

***

Anybody who thinks a product category with such lousy products that a 1/8 failure rate is somehow good is an idiot. You should really look at what you wrote and think about how stupid that comment really is. Those who think for themselves look for excellence. We don't compare lousy choices and crow about selecting the best of the worst.

Maybe you should read the context of the article and the data before you jump to conclusions and start name-calling people. The data compares the percentage of claims, which means that 11.8% of the phones that are BROUGHT IN FOR SERVICE are because of defects. This does not take into account the millions upon millions of phones that have zero problems. Read before you react, unless you like the way your foot tastes.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A recent study of over 50,000 smartphones has concluded that Apple's iPhone has the fewest malfunctions, but is particularly at risk to accidental drop-related damage.
]

Form over function. Again.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Maybe you should read the context of the article and the data before you jump to conclusions and start name-calling people. The data compares the percentage of claims, which means that 11.8% of the phones that are BROUGHT IN FOR SERVICE are because of defects. This does not take into account the millions upon millions of phones that have zero problems. Read before you react, unless you like the way your foot tastes.

Ah, reading. I recall the days when it was not overrated. Sigh.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I wonder what a plain old physics strength test would reveal.

Likely they would reveal that glass is prone to breakage.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


As a rule I find Mac/iPhone users to be considerably more 'objective' than your average PC/Android toting media puppet who is incapable of thinking for himself.



God I love this forum!
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Nope. The tool is YOU. It's comparative fool.

You might find the failure rate of other phones to be considerably higher. So the word 'just' is quite justified.

As a rule I find Mac/iPhone users to be considerably more 'objective' than your average PC/Android toting media puppet who is incapable of thinking for himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Maybe you should read the context of the article and the data before you jump to conclusions and start name-calling people. The data compares the percentage of claims, which means that 11.8% of the phones that are BROUGHT IN FOR SERVICE are because of defects. This does not take into account the millions upon millions of phones that have zero problems. Read before you react, unless you like the way your foot tastes.

***

Try again Zeke. Those are failure rates including when someone drops the precious little device. Do you think only 1/8 of the phones brought in for service actually need service? What the heck are the other 7/8ths doing. Looking for love at the Apple store?

Let's thank god the Apple gullibility field doesn't hold sway in important industries like aviation. Planes would be constantly falling out of the air, but there'd be plenty of excuses how it isn't really so bad, and how "our" planes crash less than "theirs".

Hoo Hoo, you guys are awesome!
post #22 of 51
I'm not particularly careful with mine... and I have had no problems or concerns with damage.

However, I will say I am surprised at the number of iPhone 4's that I see out in the wild with no case or bumper. That just seems silly to me. While it is a good looking Tech device, and I'd prefer to have no case, that just seems stupid.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

***

Try again Zeke. Those are failure rates including when someone drops the precious little device. Do you think only 1/8 of the phones brought in for service actually need service? What the heck are the other 7/8ths doing. Looking for love at the Apple store?

Let's thank god the Apple gullibility field doesn't hold sway in important industries like aviation. Planes would be constantly falling out of the air, but there'd be plenty of excuses how it isn't really so bad, and how "our" planes crash less than "theirs".

Hoo Hoo, you guys are awesome!

Way to twist my words around there, bud! What I was saying is that the PERCENTAGES of claims, which is phone brought in for service, are because of defects. That means software-wise, imperfections out of the box, those kinds of things. I have no argument that the percentage of phones being brought in for service because of the glass breaking are higher than the percentage for other phones being brought in for service, but that still doesn't tell us how widespread a problem it is, since they make no mention of how many phones there are. 1/8th of what? 10? 50? 1,000,000? We don't know, so to proclaim this is a huge issue is a bit troll-ish, if you ask me.
post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrandersoniii View Post

I'm not particularly careful with mine... and I have had no problems or concerns with damage.

However, I will say I am surprised at the number of iPhone 4's that I see out in the wild with no case or bumper. That just seems silly to me. While it is a good looking Tech device, and I'd prefer to have no case, that just seems stupid.

My 3G's hard plastic shell is the most durable of any phone I've ever had. I stopped using a case for it because I didn't really feel like it gave me anything I didn't already have. The new iPhone 4's being made of glass seems like a recipe for disaster to have no case, though.
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

***

Try again Zeke. Those are failure rates including when someone drops the precious little device. Do you think only 1/8 of the phones brought in for service actually need service? What the heck are the other 7/8ths doing. Looking for love at the Apple store?

Let's thank god the Apple gullibility field doesn't hold sway in important industries like aviation. Planes would be constantly falling out of the air, but there'd be plenty of excuses how it isn't really so bad, and how "our" planes crash less than "theirs".

Hoo Hoo, you guys are awesome!

A quick search reveals this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10092377-94.html

Even at 11.8% thats still better than the others. And I know other mobile failure rates are higher because I have had this very conversation with the people who run a well known UK mobile carrier. And if I could be bothered to entertain your trolling am sure I could get exact numbers, but I really have better things to do with my life. Bye.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

A quick search reveals this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10092377-94.html

Even at 11.8% thats still better than the others. And I know other mobile failure rates are higher because I have had this very conversation with the people who run a well known UK mobile carrier. And if I could be bothered to entertain your trolling am sure I could get exact numbers, but I really have better things to do with my life. Bye.

***

"Still better than the others". That the best you can come up with.

One should not define quality as a relative property if one is pursuing (or trying to purchase) excellence. It's clear that the Apple fans have a hard time admitting this.

But I'm very happy for you that you have better things to do with your life...
post #27 of 51
I have a 1st gen ipod touch that I've been trying to "accidentally" break for a year now...so I can get a new one. I've dropped it from 3 ft on numerous occasions onto parking lots and cement floors...nothing!!! The thing is like a tank. So I have to find a new excuse to convince the wife I need a new 64GB ipod.
post #28 of 51
Here's my take. Most of the cost of owning a smartphone is with the two-year contract. At a minimum that's about $2000 for individuals and over $4000 for family plans. So the extra $100 or $200 one has to spend for an iPhone over the competition is in the noise level. The two-year contract is why Verizon and all the other carriers are so anxious to get the iPhone.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibbler View Post

He said it has the Sex!!!

Actually, it doesn't.













*Reference to the porn ban, if you didn't get it*
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

As a rule I find Mac/iPhone users to be considerably more 'objective' than your average PC/Android toting media puppet who is incapable of thinking for himself.

I think you broke my ACME Irony-o-Meter!
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #31 of 51
From a consumer point of view, what would you prefer: a malfunction of the phone resulting in a free replacement, or a fragile phone which would cost you to repair, since you'd be the one at fault for dropping it?
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

From a consumer point of view, what would you prefer: a malfunction of the phone resulting in a free replacement, or a fragile phone which would cost you to repair, since you'd be the one at fault for dropping it?

I'd rather have an iPhone if that's what you're asking.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishstick_kitty View Post

I have a 1st gen ipod touch that I've been trying to "accidentally" break for a year now...so I can get a new one. I've dropped it from 3 ft on numerous occasions onto parking lots and cement floors...nothing!!! The thing is like a tank. So I have to find a new excuse to convince the wife I need a new 64GB ipod.

Apple seems to have learned its lesson. Try that with an iP4, and I wonder what would happen.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

Actually, it doesn't.













*Reference to the porn ban, if you didn't get it*


It has, ...hard "wear" centric for a more human interface.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

Err since when were things ok because you could replace the bit that breaks. That's like saying it would be fine buying a car where the wheels keep breaking because you can just replace them. I tend to think when I spend a few hundred pounds on something that it's going to last a few years.

Not that its the most reliable smartphone. Since this fragility has to due with damage to the device I dont see how the wheel keeps breaking is a good analogy.

If we have to use a car as an example, wouldnt an example about its ability to withstand an accident be better, and using the simple and large Detroit autos of the 70s compared to the complex, computerized, unibody cars that arent easily repaired with off the shelf, interchangeable, commodity parts be more apropos. Does anyone really want to go back to those days of inefficient automobiles? I dont, except for the exclusion of DeLoreans 1967 Pontiac GTO.

On top of that, with the service that Apple has and does offer their customers I would much rather have the iPhone than other devices. A poster on this forum, sapprobabyrtns(sp?), dropped his new iPhone 4, busted the back, all his fault and he still received a new one free of charge from Apple. We can say that Apple replaced it because they are aware that the backs are fragile and are avoiding a class action lawsuit, but the point remains that they replaced the device at no charge due to user error. Try getting Dell to fix an issue that is there fault. Ive certainly had the run around as their Indian consultants read their scripted massages trying to block you into a warranty dead end.

But all that is besides the point, hmurchisons point still holds. There is no legitimate reason Ive read that Apple would redesign the device as initially implied. The antenna as the frame has been a success and others will follow as soon as they can get their designs to market. I cant see Apple reducing the internal space even more for the next device to use the old antenna design. That doesnt mean it wont be altered as each revision is a new design but ,IMO, it will be an evolution of the current design, not a step back to the old design. The backing, maybe it will change to some flexible ceramic or maybe a better glass or hybrid backing, but plastic feels and looks cheap and metal and carbon fiber can kill RF. We may think this decision is simple, but there are many variables to weigh.
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post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

***

"Still better than the others". That the best you can come up with.

One should not define quality as a relative property if one is pursuing (or trying to purchase) excellence. It's clear that the Apple fans have a hard time admitting this.

But I'm very happy for you that you have better things to do with your life...

the context of the discussion was the objection to the word "just," which he clearly demonstrates is used because it lower than other major manufacturers.

If you want to complain about durability issues, fine, but that is not the context of the discussion, so to become agitated based on that is bad form.
post #37 of 51
I dropped my iPhone 4 but was able to grab is just before it hit the ground! My GF said I looked like James Bond catching just inches from it landing on a tile floor. She didn't realize my heart was beating like an eight year old girl who had just seen a snake! I almost started crying! It's one of my prized possessions! I think it is beautiful piece of design work.

Best.
post #38 of 51
Apple clearly has the most reliable devices -- it's nonsense to combine malfunctions (which are outside of user control) with accidents (which are generally within use control, despite the term 'accident').
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

Given the perception of antennae and durability issues in the media I guess Apple will aim for a complete redesign rather than increment some of the features.

From an aesthetic standpoint I think the iPhone 4 is the most beautiful consumer product of the last decade.

A model with 64GB storage wouldn't go astray though.

I think you're completely off on this one. The iPhone 4 design is more durable and a better design overall, and the antenna is arguably better than anyone else's. All they have to do is fix the glass back breakage issue and they are golden.

What I'd like to see (and I think they will do it), is for them to give up on the idea that there will ever be anything but black painted glass on the front screen, leave the idea of coloured iPhones alone, and concentrate on making a new back piece that won't be so delicate. Simple logic tells you that the front glass can't be any more of a problem than on previous models since it's the same (or stronger) glass, and it's attached to the device in the exact same way (with the patented metal ring). The edge of the glass parts are even recessed on the iPhone 4 so they should be less prone to breaking on a drop than a 3Gs.

I think we'll see essentially the same phone next time, but with a coating on the steel to pump up the hardness a bit, even stronger glass if it's available, and some kind of new back, perhaps many different styles of back.
post #40 of 51
Apple should pour some dollars into the development of "Rubberglass".

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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