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Study shows iPhone 4 screens breaking 82 percent more than 3GS

Warranty provider, SquareTrade, has released an analysis of iPhone 4 accident claims and compared them to similar claims with the iPhone 3GS. Strikingly the company reported that instances of iPhone 4s with broken screens were up significantly over the 3GS model, to the tune of 82 percent. Cracked or broken screens remain by far the most commonly reported accident among users of the new iPhone.

The study finds that overall, iPhone 4 owners are reporting damaged phones 68 percent more frequently than 3GS owners did after four months of ownership. An estimated 15.5 percent will report a problem with the iPhone 4 within the first year –- roughly one out of every six owners.

The analysis suggests that the iPhone 4’s glass is at least as likely to crack when compared to the 3GS. The new iPhone’s redesign, which doubled the total glass surface area, is suggested as a likely culprit behind the problems — more glass, more area to break.

Apple made bold claims about the toughness of the iPhone 4’s design when it was first unveiled. It stands by those claims on its website, saying the phone features aluminosilicate glass that is “chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic” and is “ultradurable.” SquareTrade’s study suggests that the iPhone may not be as resilient as Apple would like us to believe. Maybe we should have been forewarned when Apple also claimed the screen to be “recyclable.”

Despite the rather bleak analysis, the study commends the iPhone has being a “well constructed device” that has an overall failure rate “much lower than most other consumer electronics.” SquareTrade says it plans to conduct a similar analysis among the latest Android models.