If buyers treat their new iPhones (hitting stores on Friday) anything like they have previous generations, the handsets aren't going to last long. Too many of us have broken our iPhones after an errant drop or slip from the table -- and, yeah, some of us taped them together and kept right on using them.
According to a recent survey by warranty repairs company SquareTrade, 6 percent of iPhone owners admit to taping up their phones. Eleven percent go on using their iPhones after cracking their screens.
After extrapolating its survey data to the entire iPhone market (via comScore sales figures), SquareTrade determined that the damage to Apple phones has collectively cost Americans $5.9 billion since 2007, the year Apple got into the smartphone game.
Taking the study with a grain of salt (since it's coming from a company interested in selling its repair services), here's a breakdown of how iPhone damage occurs:
Most of us have had one of these mishaps befall us. Who hasn't dropped their phone into
the toilet a sink full of dishwater?
It's hard to imagine a taped-up iPhone being part of Steve Jobs' vision for the device. Back when it was first introduced, the iPhone's big glass touchscreen wasn't exactly the most durable stuff around. In fact, Nokia in 2007 didn't think the original iPhone was a threat because it brutally failed the Finnish company's "drop test" onto concrete from five feet up, according to the Wall Street Journal.
For Apple, durability wasn't as important as having that glass screen, at least in the early days of the iPhone. And soon the rest of the cell-phone industry, including Nokia, followed Apple's lead into the touchscreen era, in which high-end phones became less durable than their "dumb"-phone cousins.
Though smartphones may have gotten stronger since 2007, they don't stand up too well against their owners. Samsung's Galaxy S3, which last month became the only smartphone outselling the iPhone 4S in the U.S., shows signs of being even less durable than the iPhone, according to SquareTrade's unscientific drop tests. Again, though, people are willing to forgo a little resilience to get a lot of features only possible with glass screens. We hope they're ready to cough a bunch of cash when the time comes to replace that fancy feature.
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OtterBox iPhone 5 Case Commuter Series
Whether you tuck your phone or toss it, this case will keep it protected all day long. It features two layers of protection and an adhesive screen-protector. <a href="http://www.otterbox.com/iPhone-5-Commuter-Series/apl4-new-iphone-5,default,pd.html?dwvar_apl4-new-iphone-5_color=T4&start=3&cgid=apple-new-iphone-5-cases" target="_hplink">(OtterBox, $34.95)</a>
DODOcase iPhone Wallet
DODOcase introduces the new sewn Wallet & Sleeve Collection for the iPhone 5. "Created to simplify your life and handcrafted using traditional sewing techniques, the new iPhone Wallet combines timeless fashion with modern function," describes the company. The case is made using traditional sewing techniques and quality raw materials. <a href="http://www.dodocase.com/products/wallet-for-iphone-5" target="_hplink">(DODOcase, $49.95)</a>
iLuv Glow-in-the-Dark Case
If you are a night owl and still want to stay connected even in the wee hours, this phone case is perfect for you. Plus, with all the cool colors, it will still look great during daylight hours. <a href="http://iluv.com/product_detail.asp?idx=1778&category_cd=t27&cat_lev=1&solution=3&otype=2&osubcat=7" target="_hplink">(iLuv, $19.99)</a>
ICON "The Bronx" Hard case iPhone 5
This ICON case, called "The Bronx," was designed by TATS CRU, one of New York's best street artists. <a href="http://us.cygnett.com/iphone/icon-the-bronx.html" target="_hplink">($29.99 via Cygnett)</a>
Griffin Kazoo for iPhone 5
These adorable animal cases are made of durable, soft silicone and will keep you and your kids smiling all day. <a href="http://store.griffintechnology.com/iphone/iphone-5/kazoo-for-iphone-5" target="_hplink">(Griffin Technology, $24.99)</a>
Quirky Crossover Case
Need somewhere to store a credit card? A Metrocard? An ID? This case will kill two birds with one stone -- it will protect your phone while holding all your necessities. <a href="http://fab.com/sale/10805/product/224959/" target="_hplink">($34.99 via Fab.com)</a>
Madison Quilted Case
This black leather quilted case is a perfectly classic design. Oh, and its one of Fergie's top picks in the collection so we will take her word for it. <a href="http://www.case-mate.com/iPhone-5-Cases/Case-Mate-iPhone-5-Madison-Quilted-Case.asp" target="_hplink">(Case-Mate, $70)</a>
Grove iPhone 5 Bamboo Case
Grove has improved its bamboo case, making it stronger and thinner while still keeping the all-natural design. <a href="http://www.grovemade.com/product/iphone-5-case/" target="_hplink">(Grove, $59 if order is placed by Sept. 30)</a>
Upload a photo of you and your friends or choose your favorite sports team's logo with this create-your-own feature. <a href="http://www.skinit.com/customizer" target="_hplink">(Prices may vary.)</a>
Drop Tech Series for the iPhone 5
This case has shock absorption and drop protection so you can take your iPhone with you wherever you go. <a href="http://www.gumdropcases.com/drop-tech-series-iphone-5.html" target="_hplink">(Gumdrop, $44.95)</a>
Sports Armband for iPhone 5
Exercise mavens use their iPhones as traveling DJs. This case has a screen cover that is sweat-proof and the armband is made for comfort. <a href="http://goincase.com/products/detail/sports-armband-cl69048" target="_hplink">(incase, $39.95)</a>
Incipio FREQUENCY Semi Rigid Soft Shell Case
This ultra-thin case is tear and stretch resistant. The Cherry Blossom Pink hue is guaranteed not to fade. Other colors include Teal Green and Obsidian Black. <a href="https://www.incipio.com/cases/iphone-cases/iphone-5-cases/iphone-5-frequency-semi-rigid-soft-shell-case.html" target="_hplink">(Incipio,$24.99)</a>
Bear Motion (TM) Premium Flip Folio Case for iPhone 5
For easy access and easy viewing, this Bear Motion case keeps your iPhone upright when you need it and covered when you don't. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bear-Motion-Premium-Folio-iPhone/dp/B008RBI8L2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1348095762&sr=8-8&keywords=iphone+5+case" target="_hplink">($9.99 via Amazon.com)</a>
Michael Kors iPhone Leather Zip Wallet
This designer case was made last season, but can still comfortably hold your iPhone 5. Made with tangerine saffiano leather and gold hardware, this case comes with a convenient leather wristlet strap. <a href="http://www.michaelkors.com/p/MICHAEL-Michael-Kors-MICHAEL-Michael-Kors-iPhone-Leather-Zip-Wallet-Tangerine-iPAD-iPHONE-CASES/prod16680005_cat34701__/?index=29&cmCat=cat000000cat144cat34701&isEditorial=false" target="_hplink">(Michael Kors, $88)</a>