Are you planning to buy the new iPad when it launches on Friday, or pick up an iPad 2 now that it’s cheaper?
If so, you might want to think hard about getting an AppleCare+ protection plan. A new study shows that the tablet has gotten more breakable over the past two years.
The iPad 2 is 3.5 times more likely to break due to accidental damage than the original iPad, according to the survey conducted by SquareTrade, an independent warranty provider. In its survey of 50,000 iPad owners, 9.8% of iPad 2 owners reported accidental damage to their tablet in the first year compared with 2.8% of iPad 1 owners.
Why the big increase? SquareTrade doesn’t give any definitive conclusions, but it has a couple of suspects:
1) Design: Besides being thinner, the iPad 2′s glass is exposed slightly above the bevel. On the first iPad, the aluminum frame protected it better. In addition, the curved edge of the iPad 2 makes an impact much more likely to damage the screen. The iPad 1 had a mainly flat edge.
2) Smart Cover: The survey states that Apple’s Smart Cover, which it introduced with the iPad 2, “may be contributing to breakage rates” instead of preventing them. Some owners have even tried to “grab” the Smart Cover on a falling device, which can make the situation worse since the cover attaches magnetically, and isn’t intended as a fall protector.
Of the iPad 2 owners surveyed, 72% had some kind of cover on the tablet when they broke it, and 33% of those used a Smart Cover.
So what are the leading causes of iPad breakage? Simply dropping it during use is most common, accounting for 54% of broken iPads. After that, it’s falling off a table, at 15%. Car-related incidents are next, comprising 11% of cases, followed by misuse by a child, at 8%. Pet owners should feel a bit safer, as pets only accounted for 1% of the broken iPads.
Have you ever broken an iPad? What was the reason? Share your stories in the comments. Update: Sorry, comments were accidentally closed on this post for a time. They’ve been re-opened.
Correction: This piece originally gave the wrong number of iPad owners surveyed. The correct number is 50,000.