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Report: iPhone 4 "more prone to physical damage"

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SquareTrade, a company that provides extended warranties for iPhones, is reporting that the iPhone 4 is "more prone to physical damage" than the iPhone 3GS, according to the warranty company's iPhone reliability report.

In the report, SquareTrade compared over 20,000 iPhone 4 claims, from the first four months of its release, to the equivalent for the iPhone 3GS. They found that the overall reported accident rate for the iPhone 4 is 68% higher than the 3GS, and that iPhone 4 users reported 82% more damaged screens than the 3GS.

The report goes on to say that "the aluminosilicate glass seems to crack at least as often as the old [3GS] glass, and there is now twice as much surface area to break," despite Apple claiming that the glass used in the iPhone 4 is 30 times harder than plastic, according to its website.

However, SqaureTrade's report says that accident rates need to be taken into perspective, and that overall, the iPhone has a much lower non-accident malfunction rate than compared with most other consumer electronics. SquareTrade also notes that in its last smartphone reliability study, it found the iPhone to be "far more reliable" than Blackberry and Palm Treo phones, though, this was compiled in November 2008.

Having just received my iPhone 4, I'm debating whether to get a case for it or not. I did purchase a highly rated case for my 3G, but it was more of a hassle than its worth, especially since I was particularly careful with the phone. I guess it boils down to how well you look after you gadgets. Nevertheless, accidents do happen.

You can download a PDF of SquareTrade's report here.

[via International Business Times]

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