Do New iPhones Break More Easily?

Photo (cc) by William Hook

They just don’t make them like they used to — which is weird, since it’s only been a year.

The newest iPhone (the 5s) isn’t as durable as the previous iPhone 5, according to tests by SquareTrade, The Associated Press says. Maybe the “s” is for squishy.

The tests involve dropping the phones from 5 feet up, dunking the phones in water, and sliding them across a table. Those tests helped SquareTrade develop a “breakability score” for each device, which can then be compared with previous models.

Also tested with the 5s were the iPhone 5c (a more colorful, plastic version that sells for less), Samsung’s Galaxy S4, and Google’s Moto X. You can see the tests yourself below.

While the 5s was less durable than its predecessor, it mostly held up as well or better than the competition. After the drop, the S4’s screen came loose and the device wouldn’t function, while the 5c’s screen was shattered but functional. The Moto X and the 5s both had some corner scuffing or nicks, but came out fine.

Not squishy, then. Maybe the “s” is for slick? In the sliding test, the 5s shot right off the end of the table, more than 4 feet away. The other devices slid between 3 and 4 feet. The original iPhone 5 slid only 2 feet, the AP says.

The “s” could also be for submersible. After being underwater for 10 seconds, the S4 shut off. The other phones, including the 5s, were fine.

Apple phones have until now been successively more sturdy, SquareTrade told the AP. But that seems to have stopped with the 5s and 5c. On a breakability scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst rating, the scores fell out like this:

  • Samsung’s Galaxy S4 — 7.
  • Apple iPhone 5c — 6.
  • Apple iPhone 5s — 5.5.
  • Apple iPhone 5 — 5.
  • Google’s Moto X — 4.5.

Do durability tests factor into your phone purchasing decisions? Let us know on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There
My Favorite Amazon Purchases From 22 Years of Shopping There

Yes, I’ve been shopping on Amazon since the 1990s. These are among my most beloved buys.

5 Home Improvements That Help You ‘Age in Place’
5 Home Improvements That Help You ‘Age in Place’

These safety-conscious home upgrades can help retirees stay in their home.

The 10 Best and 10 Worst States for Raising a Family in 2020
The 10 Best and 10 Worst States for Raising a Family in 2020

There are trade-offs no matter where you live. However, some states have big advantages when it comes to choosing a home for your family.

19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store
19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store

These household necessities are overpriced at the grocery store. Get them cheaper at these places instead.

The Annuity Everyone Needs — and Anybody Can Get
The Annuity Everyone Needs — and Anybody Can Get

This simple strategy can put more money in your pocket during retirement.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

10 Things the Pandemic Is Making Obsolete
10 Things the Pandemic Is Making Obsolete

Even if a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered tomorrow, it’s unlikely we will ever return to these ways of life.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.