iPhone 4 screens are fragile, says insurer

Either iPhone 4 users are a particularly clumsy lot, or the device really is more fragile than its predecessors.

Warranty firm SquareTrade says it’s analyzed iPhone accidents for over 20,000 of its customers and found that the screens are breaking nearly twice as often as those on the iPhone 3G.

There were 82 percent more damaged screens, and an overall accident rate 68 percent higher than that for the iPhone 3G. The company reckons, in fact, that as many as 15.5 percent of iPhone users are likely to have an accident within a year of buying their phone.

The vast majority of iPhone 4 accidents involve a damaged screen, says SquareTrade, accounting for four-fifths of all reported accidents, and reports of scratches are also common.

This bears out recent reports that the glass casing of the phone is particularly vulnerable to scratches caused by dust getting into slide-on cases. At least a quarter of the claims over broken glass involve the back panel, says Squaretrade.

“Not only has the scratchable surface area doubled, the new aluminosilicate Gorilla glass used in the iPhone 4 doesn’t seem any less likely to break than previous models,” says the company.

“While our data doesn’t identify which broken screens resulted from dirt trapped behind a slide case, at least a quarter of the broken glass claims involved the back screen. With 82 percent more cracked screens reported, the evidence suggests that the iPhone 4 is more vulnerable to physical damage than its predecessor.”

Full details are hewww.squaretrade.com/pages/iphone4-glass-studyre.