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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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Last year, the consumer-focused publication ranked the iPhone 4 the best smartphone available, but it rescinded its recommendation after in-house testing showed the device was susceptible to signal-loss when gripped a certain way.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    aimbddaimbdd Posts: 45member
    wow.... how was that not completely destroyed?
  • Reply 2 of 62
    Just another example of the problem that plagues iPhones, dropped calls.
  • Reply 3 of 62
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    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!
  • Reply 4 of 62
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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
  • Reply 5 of 62
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,236member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 62
    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!
  • Reply 7 of 62
    rufworkrufwork Posts: 129member
    Looking at that picture, "survived" is a heck of an overstatement.
  • Reply 8 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 62
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 62
    revilrerevilre Posts: 67member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 62
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 62
    estyleestyle Posts: 201member
    misplaced your phone at 13,500 feet in midair...



    there's an app for that
  • Reply 14 of 62
    scruffyscruffy Posts: 23member
    Quote:

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



    Hahahaahahha
  • Reply 15 of 62
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Being almost foolproof is a well-known reason for the success of the iPhone. This story is just another example.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    zorinlynxzorinlynx Posts: 169member
    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!
  • Reply 17 of 62
    lamewinglamewing Posts: 742member
    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...
  • Reply 18 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 62
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Its not even dented from impact! amazing.
  • Reply 20 of 62
    ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    So how exactly did it fix the antenna issue?
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