New iPhones 67% More Likely to Break Than Previous Version

Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 4 smartphones are 67% more likely to be accidentally damaged than their iPhone 3GS predecessors, according to a report released Tuesday by warranty provider SquareTrade, which studied 20,000 iPhone 4 accident claims from its customers. The vast majority of the accidents involved broken screens, with iPhone 4 owners being 82% more likely to report damaged screens than their 3GS counterparts, according to the report.

All together, 15.5% of owners of the fourth-generation phone will have an accident within a year of buying the phone, SquareTrade predicts. "The iPhone 4 appears to be significantly more likely to break than previous versions, as we speculated back in our June iPhone report," the company says. "Not only has the scratchable surface area doubled, the new aluminosilicate Gorilla glass used in the iPhone 4 doesn't seem any less likely to break than previous models."

Apple, which introduced its first iPhone in 2007 and unveiled its fourth-generation iPhone in June, continues to see its profits grow from the phone. The company, expected to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings next week, in July posted a third-quarter profit that surged 78% from the year-ago quarter on a record $15.7 billion in revenue, thanks partly to the sale of 61% more iPhones.