Another week, another PR headache for Apple. This time around, some bloggers are eating up the fact that iPhone 4’s screen may not be very strong. Apple has already had to deal with iPhone 4’s weak antenna and ConsumerReports refusing to recommend iPhone. This time around, it’s SquareTrade that is causing Apple grief. A study done by them suggests that iPhone 4 units may be more susceptible to screen accidents than previous iPhones:
Our data shows that iPhone 4 owners are reporting accidents 68% more frequently than iPhone 3gs owners. 4.7% of iPhone 4 owners reported an accident to SquareTrade in the first 4 months of ownership, almost 70% higher than iPhone 3gs owners, 2.8% of whom had an accident over the same time period. Of these iPhone 4 accidents, the vast majority involved a damaged screen. When we evaluated damaged screen reports, we found the iPhone 4 had 82% more broken screens than the iPhone 3gs reported in the first 4 months.
It is easy to blow things out of proportions here as some bloggers have. While many iPhone 4 owners have had issues with their screen, the fact remains that iPhone is more reliable than other smart-phones (that’s according to SquareTrade itself).
With just 4 months of data, it’s clear that the iPhone 4 is significantly more prone to physical damage than its predecessor. The aluminosilicate glass seem to crack at least as often as the old glass, and there is now twice as much surface area to break. Despite this troubling increase, it’s important to take the accident rate into perspective. Overall, the iPhone is still a very well constructed device, with a non-accident malfunction rate much lower than most other consumer electronics.
In SquareTrade’s previous study comparing smart phone reliability from November 2008, we found iPhones to be far more reliable than Blackberrys and Palm Treos.
There are some good news for iPhone fans. Verizon is preparing to support simultaneous voice and data on its network. That will make it easier for muti-taskers to invest in a Verizon iPhone with peace of mind. Also, Apple seems to have set wheels in motion to ban sexting on iPhone or at the very least give iPhone owners more control over what they receive on their phone. Here is how such measure works on iPhone:
If the control contains unauthorized text, the control application may alert the user, the administrator or other designated individuals of the presence of such text. The control application may require the user to replace the unauthorized text or may automatically delete the text or the entire communication.
Apple should expect the media to keep bringing up iPhone 4’s screen issues for now. But don’t expect a recall. Your iPhone 4 is probably just fine.
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