Cell Phones Shatter, Crack in Drop Test

Squaretrade.com's CEO drop tests five different devices to see how well they withstand a 12 foot fall

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Squaretrade.com's CEO Steve Abernethy joins Mekahlo Medina on Today in LA to test how leading smartphones withstand a four foot and 12 foot fall. (Published Thursday, May 3, 2012)

    The dreaded drop. Any smartphone owner will admit it's one of their biggest fears.

    Cracked screens cause more than a third of smartphones in the U.S. to fail, according to Squaretrade.com's C-E-O Steve Abernethy.

    "They are fragile devices," he said.

    NBC4's Today in LA --with the help of Abernethy-- put two smart phones, two tablets and a laptop to the drop test.

    First, the phones at the height most consumer drops occur.

    "Ear high, that's where it happens," said Abernethy.

    The iPhone4s and the HTC phone both withstood the five-foot drop.

    Then we upped the ante - 12 feet, up a ladder.

    The iPhone sustained serious damage to the bottom left portion of the screen and to the antennae around the phone.

    "You can drop the iPhone 10 times and not have it shatter, so they are quite robust, but they can also break in a single drop," Abernethy said.

    When subjected to the same tests, the HTC phone exploded into three parts and the screen shattered.

    Dropped tablets and laptops fared no better.

    Both the iPad and the Blackberry Playbook took a severe beating to the screen. The iPad's screen had the most damage, with cracking to 90% of the screen. The Playbook sustained cracks on 30% of the screen.

    Lastly, the laptop drop.

    Before it was dropped, Abernethy explained the most common damage to laptops is liquid.

    "Often, people spill coffee or water on the keyboard and if that liquid gets onto the motherboard the laptop is almost always a loss."

    Abernethy poured water onto the keyboard and launched it 12 feet south.

    It sustained damaged to the right bottom area, but appeared to still be in working condition.

    One way to protect yourself against drops is a case.

    "The simplest way to protect your phone is to get a case. Because what you saw with this drop was an edge fall would have been protected with a simple edge of rubber. So a $10 or $15 case will go a long way to protect your device."

    Another way is a warranty.

    Squaretrade sells a two year smartphone warranty for $99 and an iPad warranty for $89.

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