In recent news, there has been speculation that the new iPhone 4, due to release late June 2010, has a glass screen that is more likely to shatter. According to Apple, the new iPhone 4 screen is made of a more durable glass than ever before. The glass is called aluminosilicate glass, which is also used in helicopter windshields and high-speed trains. They also claim that this glass is 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. This was a smart move by Apple, due to the millions of consumers who have shattered their iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS screen. Additionally, the back of the iPhone is glass this time, so it's even more important than ever to stock the new iPhone with more durable glass.
An online repair company recently made some tests with a hollowed out iPhone 4 of their own, and dropped it a few times to determine whether this glass is less or more prone to breakage than previous models. After 2 drops from 3 and a half feet, there was no damage done to the screen. On the 3rd drop, the glass was completely shattered across the front of the screen, rendering such a device completely useless.
Before we lynch Apple for making such an inferior product, there are a few things to consider.
1. Apple hasn't even released the iPhone 4 yet. This test device could likely be a knock-off version of the iPhone 4, made with parts and glass that will not be used by the actual model that is released in late June.
2. How does this test compare to other iPhones and similar cell phone models? Three consecutive drops from 3.5 feet isn't exactly realistic. Plus, if the exact same test were done to other models, would they break after the 1st or 2nd drop? If so, then this glass truly is more durable.
3. The test iPhone 4 was hollowed out, and without the innards to keep the device more packed and solid, the results are likely skewed in favor of a broken screen.
But what if the tests were accurate? Consumers everywhere will be outraged at the frailty of such an expensive device. It is common knowledge that Apple's warranty does not cover broken glass. Plus, since there is glass covering the front and back, twice as much glass means twice as much breakage, which means twice as many unhappy consumers. It would be silly to assume however, that Apple did not test the fragility of their new glass without numerous tests, but as history has shown us, they have put out some shiny glass products in the past that have been prone to breakage.
Consumers would be smart to wait a few weeks after the iPhone 4 is released. In addition to missing all the long lines that await Apple stores and AT&T stores nationwide, they will also get to see what happens to everyone else's screens. Then and only then will we all know whether this test was a fluke or not.
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