It’s no secret that iPhones are fragile and prone to breaking – and Apple’s latest versions, the 5C and 5S are no exception. But surprisingly, these new models are actually even less robust than last year’s model. SquareTrade, a protection plans provider for gadgets, recently tested the durability of five smartphones including Apple’s new models – read on to see how they fared.
In their experiments they monitor how the electronics handle being dropped and dipped in water, among other common hazards. After these rigors, the testers give the device a grade on a scale from 1 to 10 with high-scores reserved for the most breakable phones. This year, the iPhone 5S received a 5.5 score and the 5C got a 6, whereas the iPhone 5 received a solid 5. Luckily for Apple phone users, this breakage is usually limited to just a cracked screen that can be replaced for a fee that was curiously just raised to $79.
Ultimately, broken phones aren’t just depressing, they’re also a wallet-sapping problem that’s cost the US $5.9 billion. Replacements also lead to the increased mining of the poisonous rare earth metals from which the phones are made, and broken devices also add e-waste to our already clogged landfills. In most cases, dead phones aren’t properly recycled, but instead shipped to landfills in places like Africa or China where people scrounge in lead poisoned heaps for any electronic bits that still work.