SOURCE: SquareTrade


June 22, 2010 09:00 ET

SquareTrade Study Finds iPhone 3GS Model 20 Percent More Reliable Than 3G Model

Accidental Damage and Touchscreen Problems Comprise Majority of Failures

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 22, 2010) -  SquareTrade, the largest independent warranty provider in the world, completed their second annual study on failure rates for Apple iPhones. Based on data compiled from over 25,000 3G and 3GS iPhones covered by SquareTrade since 2008, the study found that 25.6 percent of the devices experienced a failure in the first two years, compared to 33 percent in 2009.

The improvement in iPhone reliability was driven largely by the 3GS model's substantially fewer touchscreen failures than the 3G. This data suggests that Apple's materials and manufacturing process improved during the transition from iPhone 3G to 3GS.

Of the total failures, 18 percent encountered damage due to accidents and another 7.5 percent were hardware malfunctions. When the data is projected out three years, up to 40 percent of 3GS iPhones are expected to experience some type of failure.

Other findings from the iPhone study:

  • The two-year malfunction rate (non-accident) decreased from 10 percent in June 2009 to 7.5 percent.
  • The two-year accidental damage rate decreased from 21 percent in June 2009 to 18 percent.
  • More than two-thirds of accidental damage was due to dropping the device, most resulting in cracked screens.
    Note: With the iPhone 4 having a glass backside, failures due to drops will be an area to closely monitor
  • With the exception of power and battery issues, the 3GS had fewer failures across all problem types compared to the 3G. (A breakdown of types of failure is available in the included chart)

The full study is available for download at:

About SquareTrade
Founded in 1999, SquareTrade makes warranties that make sense, offering fair prices, a no-pressure way to buy online, and no-hassle 5-day service. Buy your item anywhere (online or in a store) then get a better warranty directly from or call 877-WARRANTY. SquareTrade offers consumers an alternative to big retailers' or manufacturers' overpriced and under-serviced warranties and costs 50 percent less on average than big retailers. SquareTrade is the only service consistently rated 5 of 5 by consumers. SquareTrade is the largest independent warranty provider in the world for consumer electronics and appliances. Privately held, SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, go to

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