According to a yearlong study by third party warranty company SquareTrade, the iPhone 4 is the most reliable smartphone on the market – until it breaks. SquareTrade tracked 50,000 different phones over the course of a year, keeping track of statistics like how often people reported accidental breakage of a device, phone malfunctions, as well as things like dropped calls.
After a year of collecting data, it was determined that the iPhone 4 was the most reliable phone you can buy from a hardware perspective, with a malfunction rate of just 2.1%. Apple’s flagship phone narrowly edged out the Motorola Droid, which had a malfunction rate of 2.3%.
Before you iPhone users start doing the I Told You So dance, here’s another statistic. The iPhone 4 is also the most likely to break, coming in at an astonishing 13.8% accidental breakage rate. It has already been well documented that the iPhone 4 has a bit of a shattering problem, but this study just amplifies that. This is definitely evidence that investing in a phone case and a screen protector is money well spent. Motorola and HTC customers weren’t too far behind in the accidental destruction category, logging a 12.2% rate.
The most durable phones are made my RIM, who apparently Canadianizes their Blackberry phones to double and hockey pucks. Unfortunately, Blackberry also had the highest malfunction rate nearly triple that of Apple and Android devices.
So what do all these numbers mean? A: I did quite well on the math portion of my SATs. B: There really isn’t any perfect phone out there yet, and you’re going to have to make some sacrifices defending on what is most important to you. If aesthetically pleasing design with giant displays is what you’re looking for there’s practically a 1 in 5 chance that your phone is going to break long before you are eligible for an upgrade. If you want a more rugged phone, like a Blackberry, you are more likely to throw your phone into a brick wall because its constantly dropping calls and crapping out.