Mobile

Splat! 76% of recycled iPhones are broken

Image Credit: Clifford Joseph Kozak/Flickr

Lucky drop tests aside, Apple’s iPhone may be the smartphone most prone to damage.

More than three-quarters of discarded iPhones are broken in some fashion, making Apple the brand with the most broken devices, according to ecoATM data supplied to VentureBeat.

EcoATM is the San Diego-based startup that collects recycled electronics at kiosks and doles out cash for goods, even devices rendered useless with screen, case, or electrical damage. A company spokesperson said that ecoATM maintains the best data on broken devices.

The company said that 76 percent of all the Apple phones it’s ever collected – in this case, the iPhone 3, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S models — displayed physical or electrical damage. For comparison, 69 precent of HTC smartphones, 57 percent of BlackBerries, 53 percent of Samsung and Motorola devices, and 44 percent of LG ecoATM-collected phones were broken in some fashion.

The startup also looked at a specific sample of 20,283 broken smartphones, which included more than a dozen models (*raw data is included below). In the broken phone sample, roughly 37 percent, or 7,477 devices, were Apple products. BlackBerry trailed closely behind with 35 percent, or 7,033, of the broken phones. In this sample, Motorola and Samsung smartphones represented 12 percent and 8.6 percent of the broken devices, respectively.

The data does not conclusively find that Apple’s iPhone is easiest to break or broken more often than other devices, but the findings will come as no surprise to iPhone owners all too familiar with the cracked screens and shattered glass backs on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S phones.

Of course, the jury’s still out as to the durability of the iPhone 5, though the device did pass a somewhat skewed drop test with impressive results.

*Raw data from sample of 20,283 broken phones:

Photo credit: Clifford Joseph Kozak/Flickr


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