Shattering iPhone ideas

Good news…kind of…for those planning an AT&T/Apple camp out on June 29th:

CUPERTINO, CA· June 18, 2007 /PRNewswire/ — Apple® today announced that iPhone™ will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.* In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours-more than 10 days-of standby time. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.

Glass? Glass?!?! On a phone?!?!? How is this a good thing? Raise you hand if you have never accidentally dropped your phone, even from a small distance. If your hand is not in the air, you’re either lying or you only use your phone occasionally…in which case you have no business buying a $500 phone to begin with. The rest of us have our moments where despite our most careful efforts, these things slide out of our hands as we’re trying to take a call while doing 300 other things (driving not being one of them, of course).

On top of that, Apple’s warranties only cover damage due to manufacturer defect. They are notorious for not covering anything like drops or other user-caused problems. Apple fans are thrilled with this news, and the increased battery life is great, but personally there is no way I’m buying a glass-covered cell phone for $500 without accidental protection or some assurance that this thing can take everyday bumps and bruises without a problem. I want to use this thing…not display it on my wall for goodness sakes.


17 responses to “Shattering iPhone ideas”

  1. There are plenty of places, other than Apple, where you can get accidental damage insurance if it concerns you so much. Why don’t you buy an iPhone with one of your credit cards that offers this kind of insurance? Most of them do.

  2. Very expensive wrist watches (Rolex etc.) which take more abuse use glass for the watch faces!!!

  3. Viswakarma, yes…and if I were strapping the phone to my wrist I wouldn’t be concerned. Maybe it’s just me.

  4. Perhaps it’s just be, but doesn’t it seem a tad disingenuous to believe that Apple, usually renowned for their polish and finish on details, would simply miss that their phone has a tendency to break in people’s pockets?

    It seems absurd to me that Apple would ship a device at the $600 price point that becomes worthless with a single drop. If drops and the accompanying damage are as prevalent as you suggest, would you think the Q&A team has already dropped them? Or even more likely has conducted tests to see what happens when they ARE dropped?

    Anyways, as far as I know, most warranties don’t cover damage, for ANY carrier, much for Apple. Usually cell carriers ship you a refurb, so I recommend adding the iPhone to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance if they’ll let you. With the bevy of accessories though, you probably COULD strap it to your wrist (though how that’s safer than in your pocket or a holster is beyond me), and if all else fails, there’s simply no reason for you to purchase an iPhone. Apple will then be forced to find other customers, or recreate their product to appeal to people with your attitude.


    I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

  5. I’m not talking about the standard warranty, I’m thinking of the extended protection plan that’s a must-have for any expensive mobile device. I know for a fact that when you buy from Dell or HP you have the option of a 3 year plan, priced around the same as AppleCare, that provides accidental damage protection. I don’t know about others.

    Look, I love Apple products. I’m typing this on a MacBook Pro. They are far sturdier and better made than other laptops. Same with their other products. But accidents do happen. Other manufacturers allow for those accidents in their extended warranties, Apple does not.

    I’m not worried about it at all since I’m sitting out this round on the iPhone for other reasons. Regardless, there will be a fair share of reports from folks with broken iPhones due to accidental drops. They made the magsafe connector on the laptops for a reason. Not every accident will break the iPhone, of course. I hope that most won’t.

  6. The Newton’s screen was glass and I only saw one break once and I was a professional Newton developer for years and we had hundreds of them in our offices.

  7. As a former wireless retail employee, I’ll honestly tell you that with AT LEAST (though I’ve heard most are about the same) one wireless carrier, you’re getting screwed with ANY of their warranty/insurance procedures.

    Even the extended stuff that you buy or pay for monthly, isn’t up to snuff. In fact, the replacement you get is almost always a refurb, and is only available as long as the refurb/device is in stock.

    Just friendly consumer advice from someone who’s seen people become explosive about a 5-7 day turnaround time for a refurb device, which typically doesn’t leave you a loaner. Getting renter’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or even a gadget-specific 3rd party insurance to cover your mobile phone (regardless of brand or carrier) is a better option.

    Insofar as the iPhone is concerned, I think you response is really well put. If it’s not your cup of tea, you should wait for something that is. $600 should not buy you something you don’t really want/need. Spending all the time with mobiles that I have, the one persistent thought was that someone, anyone needed to apply a bit of ‘Apple-style polish’ to their workings. I never actually expected it’d be Apple to do it.

    I’m also not saying your point is not without merit. Thankfully I have the foresight of watching major telecom players screw their customers over for a while now that I have made sure my Macbook and iPhone are covered under an insurance policy that I can, more or less, dictate terms over. You have no such recourse with your carrier.

  8. As a buyer of a first generation iPod Nano, I find Judi’s concerns well-founded. After about a month of use and associated normal wear and tear, the screen on my Nano was so scratched and scuffed that I could hardly see anything. So, I’m certainly not going to be buying an iPhone until I see how this screen handles the types of normal wear and tear that my Nano was NOT able to handle.

    And, in general, I’m not in the habit of blindly trusting a company to deliver on quality expectations in the absence of market pressure to do just that. First product releases are notorious for under-delivering when it comes to quality for exactly this reason.

  9. Judi, there are many other phones, such as the Motorola RAZR, that sport glass screens on the outer shell (the one that shows Caller ID and the time). The glass Apple will use will be just as fragile as the ones on their iPods, which fixes through their “Just Say No to Crack” Program. The advantages of using glass for a touch screen interface is that it will be harder to scratch. To be frank, I always thought that the front of the screen was going to be glass, ala Motorola’s example. Time will tell… just 10 days to go 🙂

  10. Hey Judi

    From a febmom friend. My son and I got a Verizon Cherry, ya know the one with the slide over the keys but not the screen. Within one month my son dropped his while it was in his backpack and the screen shattered. Bye, bye. Mine is pretty useless if it is in the case all the time so I just put it in my purse. Guess what? Something in my purse has scratched the screen. Irritating but still useable. Never again will I get a phone that does not have something that covers the screen!!! So yes, I agree with your iphone comment.