SquareTrade iPhone X drop-test video disagrees with iFixit's repairability assessment

Posted:
in iPhone
Device insurance purveyor SquareTrade calls the iPhone X the "most breakable iPhone ever" in a series of drop tests -- but the assessments that the company did of the repairability differ with iFixit's teardown of the device.




SquareTrade performed a series of tests, dropping the iPhone X from six feet on to what appears to be concrete. Unsurprisingly, the first drop of the device onto its face saw the glass shatter, and the Super Retina screen become unresponsive.

Other angles of impact saw the iPhone X fare no better. Dropping the device onto its side or back also caused catastrophic damage to an unprotected iPhone.





A "shot test," simulating the iPhone falling off the roof of a car, and a 60-second tumble in a chamber without protection of any sort also showed the expected destruction.

The same video shows an iPhone X disassembly, with multiple cables being called harder to unplug, a smaller logic board harder to repair, and a "divided battery" that is harder to remove than previous models. However, a breakdown by iFixit sees no notable difference between the iPhone X and other models in these regards.

SquareTrade is correct in its assessment of repair prices. Apple's own service costs are higher for the iPhone X than other models, with an out-of-warranty incident costing the user $549, and a screen replacement without AppleCare+ selling for $279.

The iPhone 4, with front and back glass, had similar destruction from six-foot drops. However, the devices sometimes remained functional, albeit with shattered glass and sometimes exposed components. A more typical drop-height while in use is between three and four feet.

Both SquareTrade and iFixit have vested interest in producing repairability and damage susceptibility examinations. SquareTrade sells device accidental damage insurance, and iFixit sells parts for repair to end-users.

A variety of protective cases for the iPhone X shipped alongside the device from Apple itself and myriad other vendors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    They sell insurance. They have a vested interest in making you think you’re new device is so fragile you just have to buy their insurance. And how many people drop their phones from 6 feet?
    macxpressSoliMplsProbjnmike1tmaycaliretrogustoStrangeDayscornchip
  • Reply 2 of 44
    How about just be a smarter consumer and buy almost any kind of case for the phone? I’ve always purchased a case, have managed to drop multiple phones repeatedly and have not cracked a single screen yet.
    netmage80s_Apple_Guypscooter63watto_cobracornchipjony0
  • Reply 3 of 44
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,979member
    They sell insurance. They have a vested interest in making you think you’re new device is so fragile you just have to buy their insurance. And how many people drop their phones from 6 feet?
    I was just gonna ask that exact same question, how many people drop their phones from 6ft high? I'd think most fall out of pockets, or just get dropped while using it, or maybe even fall off a coffee table or something. Its gotta be rare that a phone falls from 6ft high. 

    This is also why you put a case on it...also why you get AppleCare+. If you can afford a $1000 phone then you can afford AppleCare+. 

    And you don't think that Apple did all of this testing themselves? They have specialized machines that put all kinds of stress on the phone from tumbling to bending, heat, cold, etc. Its not like Apple just designs and builds a phone without testing this stuff. 

    How about just be a smarter consumer and buy almost any kind of case for the phone? I’ve always purchased a case, have managed to drop multiple phones repeatedly and have not cracked a single screen yet.
    My thoughts exactly! *Knock on wood* I've never cracked a phone from dropping it because I've had a case on it. 
    edited November 2017 netmagebaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 44
    macxpress said:
    They sell insurance. They have a vested interest in making you think you’re new device is so fragile you just have to buy their insurance. And how many people drop their phones from 6 feet?
    I was just gonna ask that exact same question, how many people drop their phones from 6ft high? I'd think most fall out of pockets, or just get dropped while using it, or maybe even fall off a coffee table or something. Its gotta be rare that a phone falls from 6ft high. 

    This is also why you put a case on it...also why you get AppleCare+. If you can afford a $1000 phone then you can afford AppleCare+. 

    And you don't think that Apple did all of this testing themselves? They have specialized machines that put all kinds of stress on the phone from tumbling to bending, heat, cold, etc. Its not like Apple just designs and builds a phone without testing this stuff. 

    How about just be a smarter consumer and buy almost any kind of case for the phone? I’ve always purchased a case, have managed to drop multiple phones repeatedly and have not cracked a single screen yet.
    My thoughts exactly! *Knock on wood* I've never cracked a phone from dropping it because I've had a case on it. 
    My guess is Apple tests for real world situations where as outlets like this test what will bring attention, clicks, page views, and FUD if they’re offering a service they want you to pay for. 
    cali
  • Reply 5 of 44
    tshapitshapi Posts: 297member
    Honestly that depends on the case. I’ve had my phone crack while using some cases. 

    I started using speck with my iPhone 6s, and have been lucky enough to not have any issues.  I plan on continuing with them, until their cases prove other wise. 
  • Reply 6 of 44
    bill42bill42 Posts: 129member
    How about just be a smarter consumer and buy almost any kind of case for the phone? I’ve always purchased a case, have managed to drop multiple phones repeatedly and have not cracked a single screen yet.
    Or, if you are like so many of us who never dropped a phone only a hard surface in over 10 years, why not continue to do what you are doing, and if you never bought any insurance in over 10 years for all your phones, you have already saved around $1000 which will cover quite a few repairs!
    retrogustojbdragonminicoffeewatto_cobrajony0georgie01
  • Reply 7 of 44
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 601member
    The popular youtuber Everything Apple Pro did his usual drop tests and the Iphone X did fairly well...
    edited November 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 44
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 535member

    I’ve owned iPhones since 2009 (not an early adopter) and never used a case.  Dropped them a number of times on carpeted floors and a few times on sidewalks.  Aside from getting some metal on the corners slightly dented I’ve never had any appreciable damage to any of my iPhones.

    The iPhone is designed to be held and for me it’s better without a case.  But your mileage may vary.  Each of us has to do what we think best.

    SpamSandwichretrogustominicoffeewatto_cobracornchipjony0
  • Reply 9 of 44
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,312member
    If, as the article states, both companies have vested interests in presenting their position on repairability then why do them service of publishing their results?
    calicornchip
  • Reply 10 of 44
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,669member
    Yeah, I wouldn’t exactly trust an insurance company’s ad for an assessment on how easy any phone is to break or how expensive it is to repair. 

    That said, I big concern I have with the 8 and the X is the glass sandwhich design. Time will tell on that, though. Regardless, there’s a bit of randomness as to whether and how any phone will break when dropped. My brother in law’s phone had a case and still broke when it fell about 3 feet on to a tile floor. My son dropped his 4 feet without a case and it didn’t drop. Does that mean that cases make phones more likely to break? Even for the most sure-handed people, cases are a relatively cheap insurance policy that reduce the likelihood of damage. How much of a case you need depends on you
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 44
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,925member
    Doctor, Doctor it hurts when I do this...
    retrogustoJWSCbaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 44
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    I do have to say that for a phone that supposedly has the strongest glass ever, that it does seem to break quite easily!!! If Apple is going to advertise that, then I expect that. It's just not the case. The fact is the phone is fragile and costly to fix!!! It really looks like the phone needs a good case on it. You are in fact spending a lot of money on it. It supposedly has this super strong glass being used. I expected a whole lot better from it. I almost was going to get one to upgrade my iPhone 6, but thought better of it. Wait for the second generation version instead, and keep my iPhone 6 for a 4th year. My next iPhone will have a case. Just like the phone I have now has a case just because it was to thin and slippery.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,408member
    macxpress said:
    They sell insurance. They have a vested interest in making you think you’re new device is so fragile you just have to buy their insurance. And how many people drop their phones from 6 feet?
    I was just gonna ask that exact same question, how many people drop their phones from 6ft high?
    My guess is that SquareTrade decided on 6 foot drops after testing revealed that more realistic drop heights of about 3 feet didn't achieve their desired damage levels.
    edited November 2017 mrboba1mike1macxpressSpamSandwichretrogustoJWSCbaconstangwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 14 of 44
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,272member
    jbdragon said:
    I do have to say that for a phone that supposedly has the strongest glass ever, that it does seem to break quite easily!!! If Apple is going to advertise that, then I expect that. It's just not the case. The fact is the phone is fragile and costly to fix!!!
    Why are you conflating those two things? Being a stronger material doesn't mean the device can't be more susceptible to certain actions. Reducing the bezel and having less metal protecting the glass surely affects how much energy can be absorbed or redirected with an impact. Your comment is like saying that putting a protective case on the iPhone X makes the glass stronger if it survives a 6' fall without damage. You know that's not the situation because in that scenario the energy wouldn't be as focused on the glass component.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 15 of 44
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,408member
    Soli said:
    jbdragon said:
    I do have to say that for a phone that supposedly has the strongest glass ever, that it does seem to break quite easily!!! If Apple is going to advertise that, then I expect that. It's just not the case. The fact is the phone is fragile and costly to fix!!!
    Why are you conflating those two things? Being a stronger material doesn't mean the device can't be more susceptible to certain actions. Reducing the bezel and have less metal surely affects how much energy can be absorbed or redirected with an impact. Your comment is like saying that putting a protective case on the iPhone X makes the glass stronger if it survives a 6' fall without damage. You know that's not the situation because in that scenario the energy wouldn't be as focused on the glass component.
    In all fairness, that argument cuts both ways. One might argue that Apple engaged in misdirection when they boasted about the unprecedented strength of the new iPhone's glass without acknowledging that the final product was more fragile regardless.
    edited November 2017 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 44
    ajlajl Posts: 111member
    Just a round of question: it was used a different iPhone X for every single drop test? If the answer is affirmative, how much did those tests cost? And if those test cost more than 3,000 $, who invested the sum and what was the purpose?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 44
    maltzmaltz Posts: 145member
    And how many people drop their phones from 6 feet?
    I like to carry my phone on top of my head.  #carryingitwrong
    king editor the grateSpamSandwichJWSCbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 44
    ben20ben20 Posts: 120member
    Over the years I found out that Otterbox protects really well in harsh environments (kids, sports) while for daily use I stick to Apple silicone case. For me, they prevent dropping the phone since they are so sticky. There is a difference in the quality between silicone cases and Apple is by far the most expensive and well worth it to me.
    watto_cobralowededwookie
  • Reply 19 of 44
    I've dropped my caseless 5S a few times over the years, including on concrete, but it's only gotten a few dings. I have a system I call Being Careful.
    edited November 2017 SoliJWSCbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 44
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,272member
    Soli said:
    jbdragon said:
    I do have to say that for a phone that supposedly has the strongest glass ever, that it does seem to break quite easily!!! If Apple is going to advertise that, then I expect that. It's just not the case. The fact is the phone is fragile and costly to fix!!!
    Why are you conflating those two things? Being a stronger material doesn't mean the device can't be more susceptible to certain actions. Reducing the bezel and have less metal surely affects how much energy can be absorbed or redirected with an impact. Your comment is like saying that putting a protective case on the iPhone X makes the glass stronger if it survives a 6' fall without damage. You know that's not the situation because in that scenario the energy wouldn't be as focused on the glass component.
    In all fairness, that argument cuts both ways. One might argue that Apple engaged in misdirection when they boasted about the unprecedented strength of the new iPhone's glass without acknowledging that the final product was more fragile regardless.
    I agree with that assessment. I’m not a fan of legally truthful yet ethically dishonest marketing tactics.

    That said, I would like to see more tests and comparable tests for strength that don’t involve a company trying to sell you insurance before we can come to a conclusion. My guess is that it’s going to be about the same under normal conditions. Some pros and some cons will likely be noted.
    edited November 2017 retrogusto
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