iPhone 4 smashed in pre-release drop test

First the iPhone 4 news broke; now the handset itself is broken.  Apple's new smartphone isn't even on sale yet, but repair specialists iFixyouri managed to acquire an iPhone 4 shell (i.e. minus the internal hardware) and proceeded to drop it a few times to see just how sturdy the new glass front and back panels are.  On the third trip down they heard a loud popping sound and ended up with what you see here.

The drop was from a height of 3.5 feet – roughly around waist level, or as if you'd fumbled your iPhone 4 from your pocket and inadvertently seen it slip from your fingers – and iFixyouri reckon it's a sign of a significant design flaw on Apple's part.  On the iPhone 3GS, they point out, the glass display was recessed slightly behind the chrome bezel; on the iPhone 4, meanwhile, the glass sits on top of the frame.

Apple made a point of showing how well the iPhone's glass withstands bending – in fact they showed it flexing by around 30-degrees without any ill effect in a video during the WWDC 2010 keynote this week – but the question is how many people bend their smartphone versus just plain dropping it.  For more on the iPhone 4 – looking in slightly better shape than this sorry specimen – check out our hands-on video below.

iPhone 4 hands-on:

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[via TechTicker]