I did have fun bashing the iPad for a while, but the iPhone 4 has pushed the iPad out of the category of device-i-most-want-to-make-snarky-comments-about.
And on that note...
I have seen one fractured iPhone 4 screen already. A google search for "iphone 4 broken screen" reveals a lot of hits. My guess about these devices is the thinness and non-curved back will be it's undoing. Fans of structural engineering and mechanical design may recall that curves often provide strength.
Think about arches under bridges. You need a wide span for big boats to travel underneath, but that leaves a big unsupported area in the middle. Somehow that load in the center has to get transferred to ends of the bridge. If you're not going to make a suspension bridge arches are the answer. They're highly functional and by their very nature, beautiful.
A touch-screen phone is little different. You want an expansive area in the middle to hold the PCB, screen, camera, microphones, speakers, vibe-motor, antennas, and battery. Admittedly you're building more of a dome than a bridge, but you must transfer the forces on the back to the edges just the same lest the guts get squished. You also need some good torsional stiffness so the body doesn't allow the screen to take all the torsion. The thickness and continuous ends and corners of the iPhone 3G back appear to provide just that.
I've looked at videos of iphone 4 disassembly and that same deep beam section just isn't there. The shallow beam section means the materials have to be thicker and/or made of stronger materials to get the same strength and stiffness. Thicker parts rob you of valueable space of make the phone thicker. They also mean heavier.
Admittedly, I haven't played with the frames of either the 4 or the 3g, so this is a bit of arm chair quarter backing, but I just don't see how the 4 could have as much torsional stiffness.
My bold prediction is that screen breakage rate on the 4 will be much higher than the 3G and 3Gs. Of course the ubiquity of edge-padding bumpers on the iPhone 4 might just interfere with the data.
P.S. For the record I use a primordial iPhone and do not (yet) own an iPad.
From: Platform Independent Linux List! [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Allen S. Rout
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 9:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Snarkety Snark snark.
- Allen S. Rout