back to article iPhone 4 SURVIVES plunge from plane

The iPhone 4 is indestructible. There, I said it. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but if one can survive a 1000-foot drop from an aircraft without a parachute, then it certainly takes the notion of rugged to a whole new level. US Air Force Combat Controller Ron Walker, who works as a skydiving Jump Master, told website …


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  1. Tom 15


    It sustained a 1000-foot fall as he was jumping out of the plane? That's a bit low isn't it?

    1. TimBiller

      He's the jump master

      He doesn't jump - he "encourages" the grunts to jump. Perfectly good aeroplane anyway, so why jump out of it? ;-)

      He happened to look out and down and the phone fell out of his pocket as they were passing 1000ft altitude.


  2. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they need another bumper for it

    After all this is the worst case of Apple call dropping we've seen so far.

    1. Thomas 4

      That was dreadful

      I think my colleagues heard the groan from 2 corridors away.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


    But does it not come with an iParachute (tm)

    I suddenly have a vision of people selling little backpacks with parachutes for phones.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Prototype's easy enough

      Just get an old Action Man parachute, and strap that on.

      Oh, wait. They never slowed Action Man down much.

      1. bluesxman

        RE: Prototype's easy enough

        Agreed, my Action Man's missing leg was proof positive of that.

  4. Sgt_Oddball
    Jobs Halo

    Give me 4ft and I'll total it

    Having seen what my local gyms locker rooms do to pretty much anything (including the face of a watch rated at 100m depth) I'd hazard a guess that the tile floor there would kill it (or at least knacker the screen).

    That being said kudos for the survival, now who wants to take it to 10,000 ft and throw it out?

    1. ElNumbre

      Length isn't necessarily everything

      1000ft or 10,000ft shouldn't really make a difference - I guess it would reach terminal velocity within a few hundred feet anywayz.

      The only thing that might have relevance in the height comparison is air temperature, but I guess the case would limit any risk of rapid temperature changes/thermal shock in an aircraft-ground drop test.

  5. Neil 7

    Should try dropping it a few feet onto a hard surface

    Then it's "harder than plastic" screens will be shattered and smashed to buggery.

    Pretty much any phone will survive a 1000 foot drop through pine trees onto nice, soft, earth. Only an iPhone 4 is more or less guaranteed to shatter so easily when dropped just a few feet onto a firmer, and more typical, surface.

  6. Qwelak
    Jobs Halo

    Well it IS ....

    The Jesus Phone isn't it.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Leona A


    was lucky, that's all. :)

  9. Tim #3
    Paris Hilton

    Only 1000 feet

    el Reg has done better...

  10. Tzael


    Fluke, pure and simple. There, I said it :P

  11. RichyS
    Thumb Up

    PARIS 2

    I think we've just decided the payload for PARIS 2...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have seen it claimed that a reasonable proportion of ordinary hens' eggs will survive being thrown out of an aeroplane, even when falling onto grass. However, I'm not sure whether to believe it. Does anyone have any reliable data on the subject?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      throwing eggs from the plane

      the trick is to throw the eggs out of the plane while they are still in the hen :)

      1. Bob Sanders

        'Well I thought turkeys could fly' WKRP president

        Well when the hen is tossed from the plane and see the ground far below, eggs and other items would probably come out rather quickly.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward

    wish they'd enable it for the 3GS

    You can only track a 3GS if you have a 4 or an iPad.

    I can see no reason for this whatsoever.

    1. Gordon 10

      Are you sure?

      I'm 99% certain that I successfully tested find my iPhone on my 3GS as soon as I subscribed to MobileMe.

      Can't retest it as I have just upgraded.

  14. simon 43
    Thumb Up

    oh, I need one of those?

    Don't forget this one from WW2

    Those pine trees are damned handy!

  15. Jedit Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Stop reporting fiction as news

    I grow tired of The Register trying to pass off transparent lies about Apple products as fact. This example is particularly egregious: an iPhone owner's shiny toy fell out of his pocket and out of the aeroplane, and we're meant to believe he didn't jump out after it?

  16. Cameron Colley

    As has been said, this isn't particularly surprising.

    The strength to mass ratio of most phones is pretty high, especially when there is no battery cover to come loose, which tends to be the result of dropping "normal" phones. The destruction, if any, is usually due to the hardness and lack of "give" of the surface the phone lands on -- meaning the phone has to absorb the full force and not the ground -- or is due to the phone being thrown in some way.

    In this case the phone would have achieved terminal velocity fairly quickly and soft ground would have absorbed the impact not the phone -- it is also possible that weight distribution means that iPhones fall with a large surface area down which would increase its survival chances greatly.

  17. Pahhh

    I dropped my iPhone from headheight

    I dropped my previous iPhone, a 3G, from headheight. I had it craddled between shoulder and ear on a call while trying to get stuff out of a car at the same time. Phone did a suicide jump onto tarmac.

    I think it landed facedown. Amazingly no scratches to the glass , only a bit around the silver bits.

    Thing is still functioning and handed it down to my wife.

    Now, what would frigten me is getting the thing anywhere near water.....

  18. LinkOfHyrule

    What's the difference between an iPhone and...

    What's the difference between an iPhone and a Foxconn employee?

    1. Figgus

      Re: What's the difference...

      The Foxconn employee can make an actual phone call before he hits the ground?

  19. Number6

    The iPhone 4 is indestructible.

    Yes, but will it blend?

  20. Albert Hall


    He was holding it wrong.

  21. Jeff 10

    They obviously had purchased the parachute app

    Mine's packed in the backpack, where the chute was supposed to be.

  22. Arctic fox

    I beg your pardon? "Only"?

    ........."was protected only by a Griffin Motif TPU case and an aftermarket metal backing"?

    Are you quite sure that it was not also equipped with its own "Kevlar tactical vest with optional shoulder, collar & groin protection" plus parachute (available at your local Apple Store now!) - just that you forgot to mention it?


    1000 foot drop

    ok then if it can survive a 1000 foot drop from the sky lets see if it can survive fire or perhaps getten squashed buy a big truck or maybe stick it on a railway line and see if it survives a big train haha. makes no difference to me i still wouldnt buy one lol

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