The iPhone 4 is so f'in fragile ...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by plinden, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    ... that when I dropped it (caseless) while standing at the first floor balcony overlooking the lobby at work, it fell 4 feet, bounced off the edge of the floor, fell a further 15+ feet, and landed face down on the standard-issue corporate carpet tiles in the lobby, but it had no scratches, dents or cracked glass and was still playing music from the headphones when I picked it up.

    I've been carrying it without a case since the bumper case fell apart, and this was the first time I have ever dropped an iPhone. I was lucky it landed flat and not on an edge, but still ... an almost 20 foot fall with no damage?
  2. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    You are lucky. I wouldn't risk it anymore. Get a case or break the phone.
  3. boomboom2 macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2012
    I dropped mine while sitting down and the screen cracked. It's all about how it lands :mad:
  4. Sunsean macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2012
    It really is all about how it makes contact with the floor...but still, a 20 foot drop, naked, and not even a scratch? No offense, but pretty hard to believe...amazing...very lucky, indeed.

    I shattered a previous phone's screen by it falling off my lap from about 3 never know.
  5. iCandii macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2010
    Mine fell off the 2nd floor stairs onto a hardwood floor face down & didn't break
  6. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    My palm centros was virtually indestructible. My htc legend after that was pretty solid too but the battery cover would always fall off.
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Mine got dropped repeatedly on asphalt, tile, and concrete. The ONLY mark was an itty bitty ding in the edge that you had to look to see.

    No scratched glass, dents, or anything.
  8. plinden thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I know. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence but all you have is my word. I could post a picture but all you'd see is an undamaged iPhone.

    After five years of iPhone ownership (three with the original iPhone, two years with this one) with all but six months without a case, this was the first time I'd dropped either of them. But it was a doozy of a drop.
  9. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    My wife was using my iPhone 4 a while ago to check something on Safari and she dropped it from standing, face down, on hardwood flooring in our living room. I thought it was a goner, but not a mark.

    As others have said its all about how it lands. If it hits corner first, the crack will run corner to corner diagonally. Suffice to say I bought her her own iPhone 4 lol.
  10. fizz7283 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    I've had two major drops that weren't on carpet and two different outcomes. My iphone 4, dropped it in a parking lot last year, about three feet down, trying to put it into my pocket. With the big ass mophie juice pack case on and it broke the case and shattered the screen.

    Then in march at a concert I set my iPhone 4s on a banister and during one of the songs the bass knocked it off and it fell about 7-8 feet and then bounced off two steps. Only had a bumper on and a different colored back place and not even a single scratch.

    You would think the fate of the phone should have been reversed for the situations. Really does go to show it all depends on how it lands.
  11. iEnvy macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2010
    Wear a screen protector and you can use it naked with no trouble. A screen protector will 10 times out of 10 protect against your screen shattering.
  12. nooaah macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    My buddy dropped his 3GS from a height of maybe 20" and the screen cracked. My 4S fell off a table onto tile floor (out of its case because I was docking it with my stereo and Otterbox pretty much doesn't fit any docks in existence) and it didn't even have a smudge. All comes down to luck, fortunately and unfortunately.
  13. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
  14. Sunsean macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2012
    Really? I thought screen protectors were more just for scratch protection...didn't think they would keep a screen intact in the case of a bad fall, where it would otherwise shatter.


    2 things I noticed in your story: on the second 7-8 ft fall, you had a bumper and a different back. These 2 things could definitely have helped in protecting the phone (bumpers after all protect the corners, where on a bad fall the shock is absorbed and then transferred to the rest of the phone/screen). For this reason alone (corner protection on falls) I'm thinking of getting a bumper...I love to keep my phone naked, but a little extra girth is probably worth it if it means the difference between a perfect screen and a shattered one.

    Of course the best answer is to never drop your phone, which some people have the gall to suggest. I'm not saying you shouldn't be careful with your phone, but that's the whole point of an accidental drop, it's an accident, and sometimes they just can't be avoided. I know, even though I love and prize my 4s, it's still a phone and gets casually whipped about, in/out of the pocket, on/off the table, etc. An occasional accidental drop is pretty much guaranteed IMO...

    Also as an add-on suggestion, FWIW, I'm a big fan of skins...I have had good experience with Best Skins Ever. Full body skin for about $9, covers the front/back/sides of the phone, and it looks/feels totally naked, but has a solid layer of protection all the way around. There's several makers of these kinds of skins, but BSE seems to have the best rep for the lowest price...
  15. barryl85 macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    Almost identical thing happened to me.

    I was walking down the stairs in my house, maybe around 5-6 steps from the bottom, I was carrying too many things and my phone was slipping out my hand as I tried to grab it I actually launched it and it landed face down on the hardwood floor. I didn't even pick it up straight away I thought it would have been smashed but after a brief few seconds of hesitation I picked it up and it was perfect. ( had a cheap ebay screen protector on it but I doubt thats what saved it ! )
  16. Sedrick macrumors 68030


    Nov 10, 2010
    Apple probably did that same drop test with 50 phones until they got one that didn't shatter on both sides and bend the frame into a figure 8. "Good to go!" and they shipped it.

    You really lucked out but your experience is definitely a fluke. Even an egg can withstand tremendous forces, if applied just right.
  17. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    One data point != trend. There are a number of variables that affect whether or not any particular drop will cause damage. You were lucky. That's it. This says nothing about the durability or fragility of the 4s.

    Completely wrong. Screen protectors offer no impact protection.
  18. b166er macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    I've dropped mine a few times with no damage at all. Not from 20 feet though. But if I did drop mine and it broke I wouldn't blame Apple, that's for sure. When I hear people complain about glass shattering it kind of makes my head hurt. If you drop a glass in the kitchen and it breaks you don't go screaming at bed bath and beyond. Then again, maybe some people do.

    Scratch that, I know some people do.
  19. dylanursula macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    This has not been my experience. Three ipHone4s in our house have had shattered screens with a protector on the screen. It all depends on how it falls IMHO
  20. wacky4alanis macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    I've never used a case because I hate them and can afford a replacement if/when I ever damage my phone. I've had 4 iPhones (3G, 3GS, 4, 4s), and I haven't seriously damaged 1 yet. I did drop my 3G onto some pavement and put a tiny scratch on the plastic part. And my iPhone 4 was so smooth that it slid off of a corian sink onto a hard bathroom tile floor (~ 3 foot drop), but it landed face down and was undamaged (lucky, I know). Unless I somehow develop a case of the dropsies and start regularly destroying iPhones, I plan on sticking to my caseless iPhones.
  21. fizz7283 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    I definitely do think the bumper helped in the second drop. The iPhone sits flush in the mophie juice pack so that is terrible if you ever drop your phone in that case. When I bought it the site said protection for iPhone and battery power, but I obviously had complete opposite experience. No protection at all.

    What's funny is even after the fall that shattered my screen I have somehow worked down from big bulky cases to minimal cases and bumpers to nothing but a zagg invisible shield on the front and zagg skin on the back. After shattering that screen I was able to find someone about 30 minutes away who replaces screens for $80 and surprisingly they look just as good as OEM screens, to me anyway. So I decided I'd rather use my phone how it should be and risk the chance of it shattering again and I can just easily get the screen replaced in 15 minutes. Of course I don't WANT to pay for a new screen, but with how much I have spent on cases in the past I am saving money now by not using a case and taking the risk lol
  22. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    heck one of mine literally fell about 2ft, on a 1" thick bathroom rug, and completely fubar'd the screen lol. I think it hit right on the bottom left corner judging from where the cracks came from.
  23. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I dropped my naked 4 off the observation deck of the Empire state building. It bounced about 4 city blocks. Not one scratch, dent or crack in the glass. The next day I dropped it 2 feet on a carpet floor and the glass completely shattered.
  24. sk1wbw Suspended


    May 28, 2011
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Chevy trucks are so effin fragile. I had a rock hit the windshield and crack the hell out of it.
  25. iEnvy macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2010
    Depends on what screen protector it is. The cheap ones you get for 99 cents obviously won't, most don't even cover the screen completely. I've used power support screen protectors as long as I had my 4 and never broke my screen yet I have dropped it on numerous occasions, all on hard surfaces. Never seen a member on macrumors with a decent screen protector shatter their phones.

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