Cracked phone screens still common despite tech breakthroughs
NEW YORK - Ask a roomful of people to take out their phones, and you're bound to see several with cracked screens.
Despite engineering breakthroughs, screen breakage has become the leading type of phone damage. In part, we're to blame. We want phones that are bigger, yet thinner, offsetting strides made in strengthening glass.
The latest phones from Apple and Samsung mix zinc into the aluminum frames for aerospace-grade strength. The frames will absorb more of the shock that would have gone to the glass. The displays also use ion-strengthened glass. Even some budget and mid-range phones, including Motorola's, are now using strengthened glass.
SquareTrade, which offers protection plans for consumer electronics, said that while phone screens used to crack after one or two drops, the latest iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 survived 10 drops each from six feet, at least when dropped on their corners. But the screens broke right away when dropped face down on concrete.
Cases offer no guarantees, but they help. When Ben Wilson's iPhone 5 fell out of a private plane he was co-piloting at 9,300 feet, the case shattered but the phone survived. It helped that the phone landed on a pasture in northern Texas rather than a stone sidewalk.