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iPhone 4 survives 13,500-foot fall from skydiver's pocket

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
After slipping out of a skydiver's pocket, one of Apple's iPhone 4 units survived a 13,500-foot drop and can still make and receive calls.

Jarrod McKinney said he was in such a rush to "get out the door" of the plane on a recent skydiving trip that he forgot to secure his iPhone 4, CNN reports. "I just knew it was gone. Falling from that height? (What are) the chances of you finding something like that or even knowing where to look?" he said.

But, after touching down, McKinney used a "GPS tracking app" to locate the device, which had landed on the roof of a building roughly a half-mile away.

Skydiving instructor Joe Johnson called the phone as a joke and was surprised when the call actually went through. The device, which had been cracked once before after a tumble off a bathroom shelf, is still able to make and receive calls, despite the fact that its front and back glass surfaces had shattered. The handset had been protected by a Incipio-branded case that was broken on impact.

McKinney plans to fix the screen, but, for now, uses the BlueTooth connection in his truck to make calls.

Jarrod McKinney's iPhone 4 survived a 13,500-foot fall

Johnson was impressed by the iPhone's durability and said he plans to purchase one for himself. "It goes to show you if I crash land and need an ambulance, they can still track me down with the GPS," he said.

When contacted for the report, Consumer Reports editor Mike Gikas quipped that McKinney had found a way to resolve the phone's reception problems, which caused a firestorm of controversy last year. Dropping the smartphone from a plane is "the proved method for fixing the antenna problem," Gikas joked.

Last year, the consumer-focused publication ranked the iPhone 4 the best smartphone available, but it rescinded its recommendation after in-house testing showed the device was susceptible to signal-loss when gripped a certain way.
post #2 of 63
wow.... how was that not completely destroyed?
post #3 of 63
Just another example of the problem that plagues iPhones, dropped calls.
post #4 of 63
How does a phone made almost completely of glass survive something like that? I understand the glass is shattered, but it is still connected to the rest of the phone and the internals obviously are okay. Unbelievable!
post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimbdd View Post

wow.... how was that not completely destroyed?

People have survived over twice that, without a chute

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesna_Vulović
post #6 of 63
Awesome.

Anyone want to fund me to develop a protective case that can use the iPhone accelerometer to detect a fall event and deploy a miniature parachute?
post #7 of 63
This is yet another testament to how well Apple products are made. I mean come on, 13,500 foot drop? This makes me proud to be a Mac user and Apple supporter! Way to go Mr. Jobs!
post #8 of 63
Looking at that picture, "survived" is a heck of an overstatement.
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rufwork View Post

Looking at that picture, "survived" is a heck of an overstatement.

If I fell 13,500 feet and came out of it with a shattered face and perhaps a few broken bones, I still survived.
post #10 of 63
I'd probably call it a loss at that point, maybe he's not aware of the cost of parts. Yes, it still functions, but replacing the front display and the back glass is nearly $400 in parts. The frame is probably not straight anymore. The rear camera is probably junk. The main board and battery might have problems that won't manifest themselves right away. Somewhere, the tally of parts and labor easily exceeds the cost of a new unit.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I'd probably call it a loss at that point, maybe he's not aware of the cost of parts. Yes, it still functions, but replacing the front display and the back glass is nearly $400 in parts. The frame is probably not straight anymore. The rear camera is probably junk. The main board and battery might have problems that won't manifest themselves right away. Somewhere, the tally of parts and labor easily exceeds the cost of a new unit.

lol DUDE.. 13,500 FT Free Fall... crashed into a HOUSE.. Still made phone calls! I mean come on lol.. do you have to be SO much of a nerd about it.. The article is on point, no matter which way you look at it, that's bloody impressive.

I also like how the consumer reports guy still after this long tries to make an attention grab with the whole antenna thing.. like get over it lol.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rantinozzi06 View Post

This is yet another testament to how well Apple products are made. I mean come on, 13,500 foot drop? This makes me proud to be a Mac user and Apple supporter! Way to go Mr. Jobs!

I had a Palm Pilot which i kept in a padded case, i set it on a night stand next to the bed, and knocked it off by accident. It dropped about 21 inches onto plush carpeting. It never turned on again.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I'd probably call it a loss at that point, maybe he's not aware of the cost of parts. Yes, it still functions, but replacing the front display and the back glass is nearly $400 in parts. The frame is probably not straight anymore. The rear camera is probably junk. The main board and battery might have problems that won't manifest themselves right away. Somewhere, the tally of parts and labor easily exceeds the cost of a new unit.

Maybe, maybe not. The actual cost to replace the front and back glass is $154, not $400:
http://www.iresq.com//iphone-repair/iphone-4.html

Granted, they might find other damage, but if it's only the broken glass, it might be worth the repair cost.

However, if it were me, I'd go into the Apple store and use the $199 replacement program. Only $45 more than replacing the glass and you get a fully refurbished phone.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #14 of 63
misplaced your phone at 13,500 feet in midair...

there's an app for that
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Just another example of the problem that plagues iPhones, dropped calls.

Hahahaahahha
post #16 of 63
Being almost foolproof is a well-known reason for the success of the iPhone. This story is just another example.
post #17 of 63
It landed on the roof of a building? Wow.

I bet everyone's very happy it didn't land on someone. I bet from that height an iPhone falling on your head can kill you!

Either way, it's fun to see how durable the innards are, even if the glass front and back had to sacrafice themselves to absorb the impact. Good times!
post #18 of 63
Did anyone consider that the important part of this story is not that the iPhone still works or not, but that no one was hit by the phone? If this phone had hit a person, it most likely would have killed them or at least seriously injured them.

I wonder what would be on that person's gravestone had they been hit...
post #19 of 63
What I find interesting is that it shattered no worse than when being dropped 2 foot. If I had dropped it from 13000 feet I'd gave been impressed, at 2 not so much.

What is also interesting having had a smashed glass scenario is that the touchscreen keeps on going, though you are at constant risk of getting a shard stuck in your thumb.

It is impressive.

As to the naysayers above. People may have survived twice the fall but not onto a roof, that would be way tedious. As for repair cost, like others said, walk in and pay the swap fee. My glass cost less than half that to replace.
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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post #20 of 63
Its not even dented from impact! amazing.
post #21 of 63
So how exactly did it fix the antenna issue?
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by revilre View Post

I had a Palm Pilot which i kept in a padded case, i set it on a night stand next to the bed, and knocked it off by accident. It dropped about 21 inches onto plush carpeting. It never turned on again.

I had a Palm-based Tapwave Zodiac. It was encased in aluminum. Didn't drop it, nor treat it harshly. Within 45 days, it never turned on again. Before I could send it in for warranty repairs, the company that made it folded. The iPhone 4 is way better than that crap.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #23 of 63
Does anybody know what gps tracking app to use when you lost an iphone? can it detect the iphone even without wifi or 3g? thanks!
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Did anyone consider that the important part of this story is not that the iPhone still works or not, but that no one was hit by the phone? If this phone had hit a person, it most likely would have killed them or at least seriously injured them.

I wonder what would be on that person's gravestone had they been hit...

"Can You Hear Me Now?" \
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by djweisman View Post

Just another example of the problem that plagues iPhones, dropped calls.

OK, you get a point for a clever response.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

Did anyone consider that the important part of this story is not that the iPhone still works or not, but that no one was hit by the phone? If this phone had hit a person, it most likely would have killed them or at least seriously injured them.

I wonder what would be on that person's gravestone had they been hit...

an absolutely pointless exercise. if it happened, we'd be talking about it. as it happened, no one was hurt. why spend an iota of energy talking about 'what if?'

btw, absolutely love my t-mobile iphone. yeah, i paid a few hundred dollars extra, but when all is said and done, i pay $70/month (no tax & fees-straight up $70) unlimited everything and it comes out to $100 cheaper than someone with an AT&T iphone (2-year contract). get signals everywhere--especially indoors in hayes valley.

AWESOME!
post #27 of 63
I bet you an iPhone 5 that Jarrod gets a free iPhone 4 replacement!
post #28 of 63
The stupid **s should have been more careful as the phone could have landed on someone's head just as easily. Reckless behavior. If you decide to jump out of a plane above a residential area you should be more careful.
post #29 of 63
That's awesome. I bet Apple will send him a new one. If not he might want to try to get a replacement using out-of-warranty service for $199 (it works and it is not separated into pieces)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle0845 View Post

Does anybody know what gps tracking app to use when you lost an iphone? can it detect the iphone even without wifi or 3g? thanks!

Every iPhone 4/3GS, iPad, and iPod touch have free "Find my iPhone" service built in.. No need for an app. You will need internet service (WiFI or cellular) so that device can report back its position to you.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

I wonder what would be on that person's gravestone had they been hit...

Ok, I guess I have to do the obvious...

iDead by iPhone
post #31 of 63
It's not made out of crappy glass, the iPhone is aside from the $1,500 (toughfone) the toughest phone available for consumers.

The plastic and glass have been fused together, making something "new" like plexiglass/pirex, which is something no other manufacturer has ever tried because it caused bubbles, and cost to much.

Apple's really NOT blowing smoke up your butt when they tell you that they've invented a new way to manufacture the screen.

The glass comes out of the machines at 20 SCREENS per hour, so slow that they had to spend almost $500 million on the machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

How does a phone made almost completely of glass survive something like that? I understand the glass is shattered, but it is still connected to the rest of the phone and the internals obviously are okay. Unbelievable!
post #32 of 63
How many feet does an iPhone have to fall before it reaches terminal velocity?
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

The stupid **s should have been more careful as the phone could have landed on someone's head just as easily. Reckless behavior. If you decide to jump out of a plane above a residential area you should be more careful.

Really? This is what you took away from the article?
Jumping above a "residential area" is relative when you're 13,000 feet in the air. The phone landed a half a mile from where he landed, it didn't necessarily fall straight down. Wind drift carried the phone some distance.
Just make sure you're very careful with everything you do in the future. No mistakes from you, EVER!
BTW, reckless behavior and skydiving kind of go hand-in-hand;
being "more careful" and skydiving do not

IMO
I think it is impressive the phone survived a somewhat direct impact to the roof of a house. I was expecting a, "landed in a soft grassy field" type of incident. I say somewhat, because the phone did have a cover (that scattered on impact). I would think that company will be marketing the heck out of this article soon enough!
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

how many feet does an iphone have to fall before it reaches terminal velocity?

13,501
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by macminiwii View Post

13,501

Actually at 13'500ft within a atmosphere with breathable density the iPhone would have reached terminal velocity long before it hit the roof of that building. Meaning, that at 13'501ft it would have travelled at the same speed as at it did at 13'500ft.

So the question quinney asked is still to open.
post #36 of 63
Takes a licking, and keeps on ticking.
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

That's awesome. I bet Apple will send him a new one. If not he might want to try to get a replacement using out-of-warranty service for $199 (it works and it is not separated into pieces)!



Every iPhone 4/3GS, iPad, and iPod touch have free "Find my iPhone" service built in.. No need for an app. You will need internet service (WiFI or cellular) so that device can report back its position to you.

thanks! my iphone got stolen so im looking for a way to track it. if its even possible
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorybalmer View Post

lol DUDE.. 13,500 FT Free Fall... crashed into a HOUSE.. Still made phone calls! I mean come on lol.. do you have to be SO much of a nerd about it.. The article is on point, no matter which way you look at it, that's bloody impressive.

I'm sorry I didn't make it clear before, but I was responding to this line: "McKinney plans to fix the screen, ...."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Maybe, maybe not. The actual cost to replace the front and back glass is $154, not $400:
http://www.iresq.com//iphone-repair/iphone-4.html

Granted, they might find other damage, but if it's only the broken glass, it might be worth the repair cost.

Assuming it's legit, those prices are a lot better than what I found elsewhere.

Quote:
However, if it were me, I'd go into the Apple store and use the $199 replacement program. Only $45 more than replacing the glass and you get a fully refurbished phone.

I hadn't heard of that program, I've only heard of people being told they needed to buy a whole new phone. I wonder if Apple would actually take this one.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by djweisman View Post

just another example of the problem that plagues iphones, dropped calls.

+1
post #40 of 63
I had an iPod Touch 1st gen, it laid 2 weeks in the snow. Then some kid found it, found my phonenumber on it (it still had battery!), called me, and it still works!
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