How Many Drops to Break an iPhone 4? One? Two-hoo? Three?

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Make it four. That’s how many drops it took to break one of Apple’s brand new iPhone 4 models, at least in one test conducted by the folks at The site published a video (below) in which it dropped a brand new iPhone 4 it received early until the screen cracked, and in their test it took four drops to make it happen.

That said, that last drop landed in a different way than the first three, and it’s just as possible the test could have taken one drop or 100, depending on how it landed, but the video makes for some heart-rending viewing, especially if you’re one of those standing in line waiting for their own iPhone 4 even as we write this story.

And then there’s those who weren’t able to get in a reservation or pre-order who must wait until July to get one of the devices — those folks may not want to watch this test at all.’s drop test on the new iPhone 4

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What happens if you drop, say, a Blackberry three feet to an asphalt-surfaced parking lot?

Lee Dronick

What happens if you drop, say, a Blackberry three feet to an asphalt-surfaced parking lot?

Yeah, other such devices for that matter. We will have a better indicator of the new iPhone’s robustness after it has been “in the hands” of more users. Consumer’s Reports will probably conduct a more scientific drop test.

If the iPhone 4 is turned off do you turn it on by repeatedly pressing the home key?


It’s not very surprising that the glass should break after multiple falls although we’d all love if it wouldn’t. I’d like to see a similar test with Apple’s protective band on the phone but I guess that’s not in your business interest smile

Mister Ed

It looks like they’re in the back alley of some ghetto.  Gravel and trash are strewn all over.  Of course, we don’t get to choose when or where we accidentally drop our phones, so perhaps it is pretty realistic conditions.  grin

When we drop tested our equipment (in their shipping containers), we dropped the packages flat on all six sides from various heights.  THEN we dropped them on the corners.  (Corner hits are the most brutal.)

When a phone is dropped, the angle is almost always arbitrary.  With the NauseaCam filming style, it’s hard to tell how extreme the initial drop angle is on each drop.  On the last drop, it looks like he may have added a little english and top spin during release.

I’m not sure if I’d risk having these guys “Fix my i”.  As Sir Harry Flashman pointed out, the guy repeatedly pressed the HOME button when the phone powered down (perhaps broke).  A repairman who is supposed to be capable of “Fixing your i” should have automatically pressed the POWER button on the top of the iPhone!

An interesting video, nonetheless.  Even Gorilla Glass has its limits to what it can take.


Thank you, Mr. Owl.

Toby MacElroy

For [deleted] sake, what a crap video. They could start with a wind cover for the microphone on the camera - the video looks like [deleted], but there’s no reason it has to sound like [deleted] too.

[Edited to remove the gratuitous profanity. We write like adults in our comments, Toby - Bryan]


Well, there it is. Pretty clear evidence that the iPhone is somewhat fragile, although I think most phones would suffer similar fates. And it did seem as though he was dropping it from higher and higher distances, eventually getting quite a bit higher than pocket height (at least for him).

So a case is in order, which is a pity… I would have liked to keep this phone naked. I still would, most likely, but I won’t be buying one unless ATT goes back to unlimited data plans, which ain’t happening

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