i4: broken glass (update: Apple fixed it)

Shortly after it came out I questioned the wisdom of using glass on the front and the rear of the iPhone 4.The big test is if the iPhone 4 survives a 3-foot drop onto a concrete sidewalk — or whatever the distance is from most people’s hands to the ground.

Shortly after it came out I questioned the wisdom of using glass on the front and the rear of the iPhone 4.

The big test is if the iPhone 4 survives a 3-foot drop onto a concrete sidewalk — or whatever the distance is from most people’s hands to the ground.

My friend and podcasting partner Rob Parker shares this horrible picture of what happened after his iPhone slipped off his knee (while seated) -- approximately two feet -- onto a concrete slab.

The guys at iFixYouri had better results, having to drop their iPhone four times (video) from a standing position before the screen shatters.

For what it's worth, I also dropped my i4 from a seated position (on day two of ownership) and it survived just fine -- but mine had an Apple bumper installed.

Epidemic? I'm not ready to go there yet, but "30 times harder than plastic?"

Update: Rob just informed me that he brought his broken iPhone into the Genius Bar of [an undisclosed] Apple Store and that it was replaced with a new one -- for free. The rationale was that it only had a single hairline crack and that there was absolutely no impact damage visible on the metal frame. It appears that Genius' have a little wiggle room for devices with screens that aren't totally shattered. The Genius in question also appreciated Rob's honesty for admitting that he dropping it when asked. The Genius lamented the fact that many people come in with shattered screens complaining that they were "just making a call" when it happened. So there you have it, honesty is always the best policy.

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