back to article WHEEE... CRUNCH! iPad Mini tops list of most breakable slabs, mobes

Be careful, fanbois: Apple iThings have topped a list of the "world's most breakable gadgets". In a distinctly unscientific test, a group of testers from the insurance firm SquareTrade Europe dropped "gadgets" (although only pricey tablets and smartphones appear to have made the list) from a great height and dunked them in …


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  1. `TSeng

    "Most claimed on" perhaps!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Suggest you put it into a protective case?

      Mine have all survived abusive handling, by my wife, who threw it at me, my children 7 and 4, drops down the stairs, on the patio and run over by a Cozy Coupe and left on top of the car drove off and landed on the drive.

      Otterbox... You have saved my life.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        my children 7 and 4

        Those are unusual names...

        OK, OK. Coat... Getting... Byeee.

        1. Steve Aubrey

          The worst part is - they are twins . . .

          1. Darryl

            Lemme guess, there are 9 in total?

            1. Fink-Nottle

              Lemme guess, there are 9 in total?

              Well, there were nine ... but I suspect it's only a matter of time before some poor kid is 'left on top of the car drove off and landed on the drive'.

              I suppose if you give 'em numbers instead of names, it's less upsetting when you break 'un.

      2. csumpi
        Paris Hilton

        "Suggest you put it into a protective case?"

        Sure, if you wanna look like a dork or retard. You just dropped $500 on the shiny, and you stick it into some butt ugly plastic case? I bet you have your sofas covered with plastic wrap, too.

        Paris, because she prefers it without the plastic wrap.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          @ csumpi

          Let me guess - you have an i-gadget. The clue is that you think appearance is more important than protecting the thing you just bought.

          Me, I have my Note in an Otterbox Defender on my belt, my Jolla in a padded case (because I haven't found a decent belt holster yet), my camera in a case, my Kobo in a case, and my laptop lives in a laptop bag whenever it isn't being used. In addition, my car lives in a garage when it is at home, as is my bike. My sofa, on the other hand, is covered in cat-scratches.

  2. Rob Crawford

    I the rest of the report is read

    It's not only based on insurance claims, drop & submersion tests (and other slightly testable things) but their analysis of the construction and materials used.

    I dunno about anybody else but I would pretty much expect my phone to expire if it was submerged, and would view it as a bonus if it could do a Lazarus impersonation.

    1. RogerThat

      Re: I the rest of the report is read

      I dropped my iPhone 5 into my koi pond's deepest point while picking out some trash. The water was cold and shoulder-deep, but I kept groping around for almost 5 minutes until I found it. It was still working. I turned it off, let it dry indoors in an airy spot for a full day, recharged it and turned it back on. That was five months ago. The phone is still working just fine. I use no protective cover at all on my iPhone 5. A cover would ruin the incredibly svelte feel of its ultra-thin, ultra-light design.

  3. Jimboom

    Is this really even a real test?

    Surely the more important question would be, which device cover works the best at protecting your shiny gadget as most people in the know would never use said device without one.

    I have a Samsung S3 with a Poetic cover and as of yet I still have been unable to damage it, despite dropping the phone many times onto hard floor, sometimes corner first, sometimes flat on the screen. Even when the drop has been enough to dislodge the phone from case the phone still comes away without a scratch... so far.

    Although the reason I guess for them not doing a cover test is that one would be able to argue for lower insurance premiums if they had the top rated case by them on said device.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Is this really even a real test?

      The office conversation probably went like this:

      Marketer: "How can I get my iShiny replaced with this year's model?"

      BOFH-alike: "I suppose you could drop it, 'accidentally'-like"

      Marketer: "Mmm, no, might be a bit obvious"

      "BOFH-alike: I know. Let's do a survey, we can put it on the marketing budget, send it to The Register"

      Marketers: "That's Brilliant!" <CRASHTINKLE>

  4. Scott Broukell

    Wrist Tether ?

    I can't help thinking that a simple tether would assist the user in gravitationally induced mishaps such as the ones described. Maybe that wouldn't be 'Kool' (i wouldn't know) but it might also guard against street snatches by thieves on push bikes? I mean one only needs one hand/finger to smear the screen with, leaving the other one free to act as an anchor. I've probably missed something.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Wrist Tether ?

      Being able to put the thing away in your pocket without either a Houdini act or tying yourself to your trousers?

    2. Rob Crawford

      Re: Wrist Tether ?

      Well the apple users could have two iDevices and have them tethered like the idiot mittens of old

  5. Big_Ted
    Paris Hilton


    Am I reading this worng ?

    "In fact, the top 10 was made up solely of Samsung and Apple products - with only Motorola's flagship Moto X popping in to break up the monotony."

    What about the two Asus Nexus 7 inchers ?

    Surely they are also not Apple or Samsung....

  6. RainForestGuppy

    Read all about it

    EXCLUSIVE - Devices with large glass screen are easily broken.

    in other headlines

    Sun set's in the west shocker.

    I had sex with my husband admits woman

    Grass is green say scientists.

    1. John Bailey

      Re: Read all about it

      CLARIFICATION - Some devices with large glass screens are MORE easily broken than others.

      In other headlines,

      RDF still in operation.

      Fanboys still incapable of facing reality.

      Apple still over priced techno jewellery.

    2. Mike Timbers

      Re: Read all about it

      In other new's

      Apos'trophe's s'till abu's'ed, demand equality with comma's.

  7. stucs201

    Last on the list

    Way down at the bottom: Nokia 3310.

    Nuke? About the only 'test' they've not been subjected too.

    1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

      Re: Last on the list

      Nokia 3310 would probably come through that as well.

      1. ToggleMaudlin

        Re: Last on the list

        Ah, the venerable 3310... mine is still functional after 10+ years of less than kind treatment, including a stint as a prizefighter in my upper sixth's Phone Conkers tournament and a sustained (accidental) dunking in the Ouse.

        The only phone closer to my heart is my old 1100, which is almost as hardy and has a torch.

  8. Heisenberg

    Other interesting 'experiments' to try at home...

    1) Buy ten expensive cars and drive them at high speed in to a large boulder to see which one suffers most damage

    2) Line up eight top of the range DSLR camera's and hit each with a 15KG splitting maul

    3) Set fire to suits from a range of designers and see which one is still wearable afterwards

    1. Jad

      Re: Other interesting 'experiments' to try at home...

      4) get 10 4k TV's and place in front of a toddler with a bowl of Weetabix (other brands available) to test for childproof

      5) get 10,000 houses in somerset and pour 2 months of rain on them ...

  9. taxman


    1. Rob Crawford

      Re: Doh!

      See the iMitten string comment

      Probably see a lot more iPads in the windows of Crack Converters when the criminals from the Met.

      I also assume that they will only want white ones

    2. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Doh!

      As a concerned citizen, I feel it my duty to point out to our brave Boys-in-Blue that the risk of drop damage can be mitigated by using the lite version of apps on their iPads.

  10. Nigel 11

    Industry Standard "vulture" drop test

    Since there doesn't appear to be any industry standard, may I suggest that "The Register" creates one. Something like:

    Vulture drop test grade 1: survives being dropped six feet onto concrete ten times starting in specified orientations. (Panasonic "Toughbook" territory).

    Vulture drop test grade 2: survives the same from six feet onto vinyl flooring.

    And invite manufacturers to submit devices for certification, if they dare!

    1. Robin Bradshaw

      Re: Industry Standard "vulture" drop test

      There is actually an industry standard for impact robustness its the IK rating that nobody uses, like the IP rating for water and dustproof-ness.

      There is also the US military MIL-STD-810 if your tablet was built to that standard it would be rugged indeed, like panasonic toughbooks and the dell XFR laptops.

  11. Yugguy

    The actual title of the server was "Gadgets you most WANT to smash"

    No wonder Apple topped it.

  12. A Long Fellow

    Balance between industrial design and user responsibility

    Although I'm a big fan of good design, there's an point at which responsibility for device integrity passes from the manufacturer to the consumer and -- by extension -- to third-party accessory suppliers. I suspect that a more realistic test would have included the "case + device" situation.

    Personal experience: I have an iPadMini and I've housed it in both soft and solid Trexta cases. Dropped it, thrown it, spilled water on it, and tossed it into a bag filled with sharp metal bits: not a scratch on the Mini, which speaks well of the device and the cases.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Of course, what the firm likely wants is for you to buy its insurance

    Chances are you'll get your money back with interest if you do - there's a PPI style sword of Damocles hanging over AppleCare in the EU and UK in particular.

    Apple do now state the UK warranty terms if you click through before purchase, but it's not prominent. An iPhone has a statutory 6 year warranty in most of the UK, but I've yet to meet an iPhone owner who knows that - and most don't believe you until you show them on the Apple site.

    1. Andy Taylor

      UK Warranty

      I assume you are referring to this page:

      Which quite clearly states that under UK law, the seller assumes responsibility for defects present at the time of purchase for a period up to 6 years. However, "The burden to prove that the defect (including latent defects) existed on delivery generally shifts to the consumer after the expiry of a period of 6 months from date of delivery." So good luck with that.

      Also, a smashed screen or other damage is obviously not a defect present at the point of purchase, so is not covered by warranty or statutory rights.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Applecare is extended warranty and support and now (on iPhones and iPads) gives insurance for accidental damage with a small excess - so it's actually very good value. Dunk your iPads and it may break like any other tablet but with Applecare you the excess (about £50 I think) and it's fixed / replaced - believe they cover up to 2 incidents over 2 years.

    Dunk your Samsung Tab and it's probably bye bye to a few hundred quid.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Would nice if they were waterprrof - like that Sony tablet.

  15. RogerThat

    Pretty Darned Tough

    I used to delight in skimming my iPhone 4 across my gravel driveway, then gouging at it with my keys. That was to show doubters that it was hard to break when well protected. It was protected by a Zagg invisible Shield.

  16. Stevie Silver badge


    My research gives top billing to the soundboard on the Underground Toys 11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver, rumored to quit after less than half an episode in some cases.


  17. Stevie Silver badge


    This research highlights an unforeseen problem with Googleglass: The need to be able to replace them when they get broken after the wearer has been hit in the face with a cricket bat.

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