New iPhones are here, which can only mean one thing: drop tests.
All across the world, YouTubers are rushing to Apple stores to be the first to buy, and break, the new iPhone 15.
They’ve been doing it for years, and will probably do it for years to come, but what does it really prove?
Not much. Here’s why.
What is an iPhone Drop Test?
Typically, these drop tests involve dropping an iPhone at various heights to see how well it holds up when it hits a variety of surfaces. Concrete is by far the favorite, but grass, dirt, and tile frequently come into play.
In addition, many YouTubers like to compare this year’s phone to last year’s phone in an effort to answer some burning questions.
Is it more durable? Do the design or material changes make a difference? Has Apple responded to last year’s drop tests and made the iPhone any stronger?
Then, a variety of video angles (ironically shot on an iPhone) are used to give you the full effect. This includes the fan favorite, slow-motion capture.
The Problem With iPhone Drop Tests
The vast majority of drop tests are inherently flawed. Outside of entertainment value, (some people actually enjoy seeing expensive things destroyed), they are not a good test.
Here are three reasons why.
1. They Are Not Scientific
As AppleInsider pointed out, drop tests are not a good measure of iPhone durability. There are just too many variables.
When comparing one phone to another phone, it is difficult, if not impossible, to ensure that a phone drops on the same spot each time, at the same force, at the same angle, and at the same spot on the ground.
A scientific method would require a test to be repeatable with the same results over and over again. The casual drop tests you see on YouTube do not get close to that.
Standards exist for drop tests, like MIL-STD-810G 516.6, but that’s a lot of effort for some internet clicks, so I have yet to see a good drop test that adheres to these.
In short, drop tests are subjective, and not scientific.
2. They Don’t Prove Anything
The results are in, and guess what? A smartphone with a glass front and a glass back will break when you drop it multiple times on a hard surface.
If you didn’t know that going into an iPhone drop test video, then I am not sure what your expectations were. An iPhone is probably always going to break, and if it doesn’t, YouTube will find a way to make sure it does.
People know when they buy an iPhone that it is not the most durable purchase you can make.
For that reason, drop tests are pointless.
3. Everyone Uses Cases
And, because we all know what will happen when you drop an iPhone, most people take the only sensible precaution and buy a case.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t put a case on their smartphone. In fact, I don’t even think I have seen someone in a store, on the street, or at work who does not have a case on their phone.
I know some people enjoy a “caseless” iPhone, and I will probably hear from all of them in the comments, but they are the minority.
Cases are an easy way to protect your investment, and, if you’re careful, they can also replace Apple Care.
This next statement will surely jinx me, but I haven’t bought Apple Care once and have yet to break an iPhone.
Drop tests are not a real-world scenario, and are irrelevant because the world and their dog use an iPhone case.
For many people, an iPhone is not an annual purchase. It’s a once every two or three-year purchase. So, to see people willfully destroy an expensive and carefully crafted electronic device is soul-destroying.
I don’t see the point of it, especially when it is done with so little rigor and relevance. For me, it is just a waste of money.
Am I alone in thinking that?