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back to article Judge: Apple not liable for dropped, broken iPhone screens

A US judge has ruled that punters who drop their iPhones, smashing the smartphone's glass screen in the process, can't blame Apple for it. Judge Edward Davila of the San Jose District Court this week rejected a local man's attempt to sue the Cupertino giant over a cracked iPhone 4 panel, stating "it is a well known fact of life …

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Trollface

He needs to sue Newton. After all he discovered gravity which caused the phone screen to crack and inspired the name Apple which created the iPhone that he happened to break.

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But which came first... apple or newton?!

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Anonymous Coward

I think you will find that apple currently holds a patent on Gravity.

Well, it's actually a patent that describes an object that doesn't float when dropped

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Boffin

Prior art

I believe Reality et al. invented gravity at the Big Bang event circa 13.7 billion BC

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Re: Prior art

Even now Steve Jobs is suing God in the eternal courts for IP infringement.

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Re: Prior art

Yes, but Apple have the patent for Gravity on a mobile device. Completely different, prior art is invalid.

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Anonymous Coward

Glass

Will also break if hit by a hammer, however when you think about it logically, you wouldn't make the bumpers of a car out of glass, common sense would tell you it would not be a good idea.

As for a glass phone, everyone who owns a phone must have dropped one during ownership at some time in the past. If your phone is made of glass you would be under no illusions would you?

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@AC

The glass on my phone won't break when hit with a hammer, indeed you can use my phone as a hammer if you so desire and use it to knock in nails. Please do, it's a Lumia 800 so @&%$ you Nokia and making my new phone legacy a couple of weeks after I buy it.

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Angel

"But which came first... apple or newton?!"

Why, the fig of course. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newtons_%28cookie%29)

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Re: Glass

The same could be said about wine bottles.

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Mushroom

Apple sell fragile crap that breaks at the slightest drop.

This is why Nokia phones are so much better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqB4UdpUoGM

The fat git sits on them too....

You can also use a Nokia as a hammer! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf1fRu9YgfE

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Glass breaks when dropped.

Wow, I never knew that.

Far be it from me to be on Apple's side over anything, but this is up there with the RasPi free-sample chancer.

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Anonymous Coward

Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

Although it's true that glass will break with given enough of a shock, Apple did exaggerate the toughness of the glass used on the iPhone and thus misled many a consumer, yet the iPhone glass often breaks when falling short distances, even on to relatively soft surfaces, unlike those competing products that really do use toughened glass.

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Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

er, Apple DO use Corning 'Gorilla Glass'.

"Corning employees in Kentucky and New York who create the majority of the glass for iPhone,.." - Apple

http://9to5mac.com/2012/03/02/apple-acknowledges-use-of-corning-gorilla-glass-on-iphone-means-gorilla-glass-2-likely-for-iphone-5/

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Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

The problem with Gorilla glass is that most people believe that its "toughness" feature is to resist breakage when in fact it is to resist scratching. Gorilla glass is misleading in itself regardless of what product it it used on.

My Galaxy S3 uses Gorilla Glass 2 and the screen is still extremely vulnerable to damage if it is dropped just like glass in general. That's why I bought a thin rubbery gel glove cover for it which absorbs some of the impact energy if it is dropped.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

Maybe its just apple phones being so rigid?

i've dropped all three phones in the galaxy S range onto concrete from about a meter up (accidently falling out of pockets etc...) and none of them broke the screen..

I suspect the plastic nature of the phone makes it absorb the impact better!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

Apple do use toughened glass. Exactly the same glass (in some cases literally) as the competition. Just another frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Apple zealot spewing your uninformed FUD in the desperate hope that some will stick if you just spread it on thick enough. I've got news for you sunshine, Apple customers are too busy enjoying their iDevices to give a flying fuck what you think. Now piss off back to mummy, there's a good chap.

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Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

Literally? That must be inconvenient. How do you decide who's turn it is to use the glass?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

I've dropped my Nokia N8 from the first floor (2nd floor if you are in the USA) down a stairwell (in an attempt to get a phone upgrade out of my manager) and the bloody thing didn't break in any way.

I'd say if you claim your phone is tough it should be tough in comparison to similar products not tough compared to something like a wine glass. I.e. the materials are only part of the equation.

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Devil

Nokias are indestructible...

The number of Nokia phones that had full speed hurling impacts with solid objects as a result of my rage is statistically significant, not one of them was unusable afterwards and only one had screen damage, and it was a sliding N80, the slider mechanism of course was fine. The wall had a huge crater in it though...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

"Apple customers are too busy enjoying their iDevices to give a flying fuck what you think"

I think you'll find that most Apple customers would by thrilled to give, or get for that matter, an iFuck, flying or not.

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Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

That doesn't mean anything. My friend and I both had G1 phones and I drop mine loads more on all sorts of surfaces including the pavement and didn't get any crackks for 2 years. His was cracked after dropping it a couple times.

Same for my 1st gen gameboy. I had no issues despite dropping down stairs, on concrete floors, etc. My brother dropped his once on the carpet and it started showing a couple dead lines.

Don't let me stop the fandroid circle jerk but your supposed evidence is meaningless.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surprise - another US Court that fails to find against Apple...

When you talk about the toughness of a phone screen it's all about scratch resistance, not shatter resistance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nokias are indestructible...

Not sure about the recent ones. The older ones used to come apart, the battery door would fly off and the battery come out. This must absorb some of the energy.

If you build things solidly they don't absorb the energy of the impact. They used to build racing cars to be solid and people used to die a lot. Once they realised that the cars need to crumple and break to absorb energy it improved safety.

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Trollface

It is simply a case of

dropping it the wrong way, so not Apple's fault.

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Anonymous Coward

I still don't get why iPhone punters are so plagued by this. Surely all smartphones have glass fronts? Something genetic perhaps? ;)

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Rarely do they go to and round the edges though. Drop an iPhone 4/4S at almost any angle and it will impact on a glass edge. Edges concentrate stresses, hence one knackered iDevice if the Gods are frowning. Having said that, wife's 4 has been dropped many times without incident.

Most other phones have a bezel of sorts, meaning most minor drops might scratch/dent a case at worst.

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Common sense from a judge - surely not!

I have dropped my iPhone 4S several times on my tarmac drive and it is still ok,

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Back to Front

It was the back panel he broke.

The problem with an unprotected iPhone (well 4 and 4S) it that its glass all over apart from the metal band around the side. Furthermore the glass stands proud of the edge (front and back), so the fist thing that hits the concrete is, almost certainly, going to be made of glass and is likely to break if dropped onto concrete from hand-height.

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Re: Back to Front

I do see a lot of broken glass on iphones, in fact I can't remember the last broken glass (front or rear) I've seen which *wasn't* an iphone (this excludes an acquaintance of mine who is on a mission to get an upgrade via his phone insurance and has been whacking his old HTC against a wall!). Glass is broken, phone refuses to die much to our amusement.

There might be more success if someone tried the UK trading standard regulations. Unfit for purpose, aka badly designed.

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Pint

Re: Back to Front

holy crap , do people still debate this nonsense??

simple test: put normal glass on the front of your phone , like drinking glass glass, or window glass. Drop it. See how easy it break.

Now compare that to how (not-so-) easy the toughened glass on phones breaks. Big difference.

There is not much difference in my part of the world to the % of people who own different types of phones that have broken the screens. If you *hear* of more iphones broken, then just check the propportion of users you know who use X phone. Colletate the data.

And people sue Apple more than others becasue they are the perceived cash-cow at the moment.... this has always been the way since the beginning of time. Target where you are most likely to get the reward.

OR, simply continue wasting the day away making pointless IF, ANDs and BUTS and throw cop on out the window.

Beer time

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Joke

Re: Common sense from a judge - surely not!

"I have dropped my iPhone 4S several times on my tarmac drive and it is still ok,"

You're dropping it wrong.

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Unhappy

Re: Common sense from a judge - surely not! @VinceH

Perhaps my wife can help, having smashed her Samsung GS2, resulting in a £130 bill. For all the "iPhones break more than others" comments, I can assure you they all break when dropped right, regardless of who makes them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Back to Front

Bullshit, when has dropping or throwing a phone at a wall been "normal use"?

Try crashing a car and then suing the manufacturer because it wasn't drivable afterwards and see how far you get.

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Re: Common sense from a judge - surely not! @VinceH

" Perhaps my wife can help, having smashed her Samsung GS2, resulting in a £130 bill."

She dropped it correctly.

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Re: Common sense from a judge - surely not! @VinceH

I hope you realise your wife is responsible for Apple suing Samsung for copyright infringement by designing a phone that breaks when dropped.

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If the man had broken a Motorola Defy or an Xperia Go - both phones sold as being shock resistant and water resistant, he might have a point. It is notable that they both have smaller screens.

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Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Only an IDIOT would not find against apple in this regard. Jobs stood his ass up, brandishing the phone, touting how tough it was, claiming it was some 30x stronger than plastic, IIRC. When or how often do we see dropped plastic phones, delaminating, shatttering, exploding, or bursting like self-destructing cells?

I cannot tell you how many must-be-embarrassing-to-show shattered iPhones I've seen, 3, 4, and 4s. Sure, the owners could have bought them at Best Buy and paid the extra $5-$80 per month for loss, theft, damage, destruction -- No Questions Asked -- if they paid BB and signed up with a carrier BB partners with. Then, such people could get a replacement phone, NQA. Imagine how one of my friends felt when he dropped his iPhone 4S, it slid, and then a 300lbs lady stepped on it because it slid faster than he could dive toward it. He was lucky it compression-shattered on the back ONLY. I've seen them shattered on both sides.

One bonus for apple, though: I've seen front-shatttered iPhone 4, 4s, or other models still react nearly normally to touch usage despite the spidery look of the glass.

That judge, though, needs his head examined. But, he knows that if he allows a finding in favor of the plaintiff, apple will make him pay dearly for opening the global floodgates against apple-- such a finding would erode probably 40% of apple's profits to date covering shipping both ways, insurance, labor, and new materials, and then the necessary testing, assuming they don't have a secret stash/cache of 8M spares for emergencies or loaners.

Thanks for being a corporate pawn, your no-honor.

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Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

And, in case anyone wants to know, I have in anger at phone wonkiness hurled across the room TWO of my previous SAMSUNG phones, one multimedia flip phone from 2007, and my SAMSUNG Moment, from 2009. In both cases they had minor or non-annoying dents or scratches, and in neither case did the plastic shatter, peel, delaminate, buckle, warp, pop out, or otherwise deform in a way to make me regret hurling them. I doubt any iPhone would have survived the rage-induced hurling I gave my phones. And, I did it more than once. My Moment, a slider phone, kept sliding without of the tester-raped wobbliness one finds the display models to have suffered after a year of finger fracking by indecisive or abusive shoppers.

Again, that judge needs to be made to rethink his decision or an outside-of-the-region judge needs to be brought into that court room for that particular door-opening-capable case.

(The cause of my rage was either SAMSUNG or Android, where the inputs would just fuckng stutter or shudder and then spew key inputs like vomit rather than smoothly displaying as I typed. That kind of bullshit is annoying, whether it is hardware, OS, or network induced. Another form of rage inducement was when two backspaces would surge backwards and wipe out half a line, then a whole fucking line of carefully crafted 2-minutes of text. So, it doesn't take much imagination to figure how hard I must've hurled/flung those phones, bouncing them off walls, furniture, and onto the floor, and they kept working! It did feel like a dumbass, and I cringed while picking them up, then almost cried that they still worked because destroying them would have set me back by hundreds of dollars.)

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Trollface

Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Based on your first post, I never would have guessed that you have anger issues...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Actually, he said it was 30x harder than plastic, not stronger, but never let the facts get in the way of a good rant, eh?

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"The cause of your rage"

-- judging by the way you write -- seems to be, not so much smartphone wonkiness, as an enthusiastic and insufficiently controlled stimulant habit.

Settle down a bit, lad, and lay off the crystal meth or Vivarin or hi-test coffee or whatever it is you're sucking down so much of. It'll do a world of good, for your heart and your workmates both.

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Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

HAHAHAHA!!!!

You just gave me the best laugh I had all day, Edwin. Thanks! I gave you a thumbs-up for your comment! :)

I do have occasional anger issues, but not anger management issues. I usually can vent in a few (maybe 10-20?) minutes, sometimes sooner if a nicer distraction materializes. If I lost control, I'd have rotted organs, gray hair, and maybe premature hair loss, at the very least.

Again, cheers for the laughter you gave me!

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Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

His words STILL had the effect of decieving not only his flock, but the general, non-engineering public. Plastic or glass, it is immaterial -- lots of people expected more from apple, and dropping a phone 3-6 feet on any hard surface should not be such a heart-shattering experience. So, it is no wonder that people come up with consipiracy theories about the repair costs, refurb vs new, and other thorns in the sides of consumers having that issue, non?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

You call that angry? When my phone pissed me off, I built a railgun and fired it at the moon.

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Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

And, in case anyone wants to know, I have in anger at phone wonkiness hurled across the room TWO of my previous SAMSUNG phones, one multimedia flip phone from 2007, and my SAMSUNG Moment, from 2009. In both cases they had minor or non-annoying dents or scratches, and in neither case did the plastic shatter, peel, delaminate, buckle, warp, pop out, or otherwise deform in a way to make me regret hurling them.

You are G.W. Bush and I claim my $100.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Can I Borrow the railgun?

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Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Naomi Campbell, surely!

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Re: Frackin MORON JUDGE!

Calm down, Barry...

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