Mind I have never broken a phone, and I take good care of all the units I have had, only replacing them due to obsolescence.
I HATE how fragile they are -- I have replaced many a screen and cracked glass on these things.
But one of the many design flaws that irk me about the iphone is no lanyard attachment hole on the freaking thing.
It should have come with a lanyard and a hole to attach it to.
Had apple done this from day one - I bet the number of broken phones would have been greatly reduced.
I have dropped my 15th unit, my current iPhone 4 one time so far on the sidewalk of SF -- it landed on its corner and has a dent and a scratch. I feel lucky that I have only dropped it once in 8 months.
The things are fragile. There is no denying that. With the iPhone 4 introduced with now 100% MORE glass to break! (the rear panel) I think its actually irresponsible of apple to not put a lanyard hole on the damn thing.
My iPhone 4 fell out of a pocket as I was getting out of my car and cracked the back glass, which was a cool $70 out of my pocket. I got a replacement back and it's fine again, but I made goddam sure not to drop it again.
I have two kids, 10 and 7. Can't tell you how many times that phone has been dropped since. A lot. I took it mountain biking one too many times, took one too many jumps, shattered the front glass. Apple immediately replaced it for free despite being a month out of warranty, but it was still a 3 hour ordeal since the store I went to didn't have my model in stock, so I had to go to another store. Considering my take home is around $75 an hour, Unless you're rich and have a lot of time to deal with the hassle (a rare combination), I think your vanity is getting in the way of good sense, thus I question your judgement.
Please tell me you haven't been buying phones because they broke? If so, I think this a great testament to brand loyalty that Apple are masters at.
I don't think I've had 15 phones in my life, and I have had at least one phone at any point in time for the last 13 odd years.
1. interesting study
2. relief that it isnt about cracked software or cracked servers :)
Another tip for OSX apple machine service: have an "apple:apple" temporary account created (as admin) for them to run tests, rather than having to log them in to your account or give them your password, especially if you use filevault. I don't really know what the equivalent is for iOS -- maybe turn off passcode lock before showing up?
If they have admin access who cares if they do not have to login as your account? Does filevault use a separate password?
A fresh account is less likely to have random stuff (desktop full of files, random app windows, customized settings, ...), so it's easier for the tech to work with. They usually ask for the username/password, and note it somewhere -- if it's the default (apple/apple), it's easier for you (you don't need to change your account password) and for them (if the note gets lost, or if your password is absurdly long or complex).
With Filevault 1, you'd be safe as a logged-out user even from an admin on the system. With Filevault 2, they went FDE, and assumed systems are dedicated to single users, or that unix file permissions would be the only protection between user accounts, so one admin account can read everything. (I actually use separate drives when I send machines in for repair -- doing this on the MBA is slightly harder and requires a service tech agreement with Apple).
This applies even more so if you have something like PGP disk or Trend or Wingate or whatever which makes booting more complex.
Interesting thing is they didn't ask to see a warranty either time, they must have them in their system for each machine.
Priceonomics need to improve their search results. If you navigate through categories the results are well organized... but if you try to use search it does not organize the data properly.
I can drill down through your results to find the Honda Civic prices per year: http://priceonomics.com/cars/honda/civic/
But I can't search for those results.
There's the same problem with phones. Navigating the listing to phones I can find the iPhone 2G:
But if I search for the iPhone 2G:
I'm notoriously clumsy with my gear and would rather spend the $50 for a nice big rubber case (improved grip and drop prevention) than wait to drop it.
Beyond that, come summer time, I'm a big time beach bum, but I still have to run my business and that means bringing the phone to the beach. Having an "almost completely contained" case is a godsend to protect it from the occasional drop in the sand.
Frankly, I'd rather prevent than repair, though I'm not exactly afraid to take the phone apart should I bust the screen, but I might as well invest a few bucks to make it near-indestructible. It just makes me feel better.
 Broken two flip phones in half, smashed the screen on a few others, dropped two in water (one toilet, one lake, not that an otterbox will help that much), ruined the shit out of the buttons (power, volume, keys, whatever) from sand. I'm sure I'm missing some.
Could it be that Houston summer heat makes your hands sweaty and that means you're more likely to drop your phone? Yet another advantage of living in a frigid climate.
Although I took my magpul case off my iphone 4 today (to use a tascam im2 microphone), and it's really hard to hold the glass surface, compared to the nice plastic surface of the case.
Not sure about quality, though.