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Study says iPhone 4 design fine - unless you drop it

A firm that sells warranties for gadgets said Wednesday that Apple's latest generation smartphone is nearly twice as likely as its predecessor to crack in a accident.

SquareTrade analyzed mishaps involving more than 20,000 iPhone 4 models and found that screens broke 82 percent more often than was the case with the iPhone 3G.

"With just 4 months of data, it's clear that the iPhone 4 is significantly more prone to physical damage than its predecessor," SquareTrade said in a summary of its findings.

"Despite this troubling increase... overall, the iPhone is still a very well constructed device, with a non-accident malfunction rate much lower than most other consumer electronics," it said.

Cracked or broken screens accounted for the vast majority of damage to iPhone 4 handsets, according to SquareTrade. The newest iPhone has glass on the front and the back, doubling the "scratchable surface," the firm noted.

The reported accident rate for iPhone 4 devices was 68 percent higher than the rate for iPhone 3G models.

TradeSquare estimated that approximately 15.5 percent of iPhone 4 owners will have accidents with the gadgets before they are a year old.

TradeSquare based its findings on details of more than 20,000 iPhone 4 accidents reported by people with care plans sold by the company. Apple released the iPhone 4 in June.