More than one quarter of iPhones malfunction in two years, says report
Report from warranty provider SquareTrade shows 25.6% suffer malfunction within two years
More than a quarter of all Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS will suffer a failure within two years, according to a new study by SquareTrade.
The company, an independent vendor of extended warranties for iPhones, iPads and other consumer electronics devices, said that 25.6% of 25,000 iPhone 3G and 3GS covered by its service plans suffered some sort of failure in the first two years.
The main cause of malfunctions was accidents, accounting for 70% of problems, while 29% of problems caused by hardware failures. Drops and cracked screens accounted for over three-quarters of accidents, and liquid damage accounted for one in five accidents.
The company said that the failure rate was down from its previous study, conducted in 2009, which showed a failure rate of 33%. The improvement was attributed mainly to better performance of the 3GS' touchscreen compared to a large number of touchscreen failures seen with the 3G model, although the 3GS had less problems across all categories. Malfunctions due to accidents decreased from 21% in the June 2009 study to 18% in 2010, while malfunctions not caused by accident were down from 10% to 7.5%.
SquareTrade did note that with data projected out to three years, almost 40% of all 3GS iPhones are expected to suffer some sort of failure. The company also raised concerns that with dropped phones or other accidents causing cracked screens accounting for a high proportion of problems, whether the new iPhone 4, with its glass back, might also experience a high rate of accidental damage.
The full report can be downloaded at http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/squaretrade-iphone-reliability-06-2010