Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

iPhone 4 Reliable… and Accident Prone

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 6, 2011

SquareTrade, a third-party, electronics warranty-issuing business, has extrapolated data from their database of insured iPhones and has discovered some fascinating results.

Of all smartphones, the Apple iPhone has the lowest Malfunction Rate, with models 3GS and 4 having a 2.3 and 2.1% rates respectively, after 12 months.

However, over the same time – 12 months – the 3GS model has a much lower Accident Rate – 9.4%, versus the iPhone 4 with a 13.8%.

The iPhone 4 seems much more fragile, particularly because of the glass panels that are used in the construction, front and back.

Overall, the “Achilles‘ heel” for both models is the glass screen. The iPhone 3GS has one glass panel on the front, while the iPhone 4 has glass panels front and back. So naturally, Cracked Screens were the primary complaint for the iPhone 4, which had a a glass failure rate of 82% versus the iPhone 3GS’s glass failure rate of 76%.

This issue problem with the glass cracking and breaking on the iPhone 4 stems directly from the faulty design of the antenna, which is integrated as the metal band that surrounds and holds together the entire unit. When held normally as for phone calls, the iPhone 4 suffered significant signal reception deterioration, in what was termed the “Death Grip.”

To resolve that problem, an insular “bumper” was created to wrap around the case, which Apple eventually supplied with every sale. Third party vendors of the “bumper” also provided the “bumper.” However, it was discovered that grit and dirt would accumulate between the snug-fitting “bumper” and glass back, thus scratching and making breakage much easier.

In response to the problem, Apple pulled all third-party “bumpers” from the Apple Store, and began an investigation.

So naturally, since there seems to be a plethora of problems plaguing the iPhone 4, the question arises, “Why doesn’t Apple recall the iPhone 4?”

Apple only has phone – though two models are supported, the earlier model 3GS and current model 4 – and it is the iPhone. The earlier models of iPhone 3, and below, are no longer supported. Thought it operates the current iOS, and is sold, the model 3GS is no longer manufactured.

A recall would damage Apple’s highly regarded reputation, and put a significant dent in their operating revenues.

Analysts have estimated that a recall of the iPhone 4 could cost Apple $1.5Billion, which represents 3.5% of their cash balance.

In conjunction with numerous “updates” and incompatibilities with iOS4, almost every app maker/code writer had to rewrite code for the iOS, a flawed and weak design (though good, if not superior, internal components), and a definite tendency for breakage, Consumer Reports issued a “hold” or “wait” verdict on purchasing the iPhone 4.

As for me, I still have my jailbroken 3GS, operating iOS 3.1.3.

So, in the mean time… as one old-timer says, “hold ‘yer tater!”

iPhone 4 Reliable, But Likely To Have An Accident.


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