The folks at repair shop iFix your i did a drop test on the body of an iPhone 4, just the frame and body, landing it face flat from a distance of 3.5 feet. Good news is it successfully passed two drops in a row. Bad news is there were three tests.
We have a full iPhone 4(minus the circuit board), here at our shop and decided to do a little drop test. This drop was performed from 3.5 ft up. Mind you that these parts ARE original apple parts. Laser etched and all. The iPhone 4 did survive 2 drops, as expected, but on the 3rd drop there was a loud POP, and yet again, shattered glass.
I suppose if it had not broken that third time they would have kept doing the test until it did. Couple of commenters on their blog have noted discrepancies between their description and the apparent damage. Also, the iFix guys specified a face flat landing, which seems an unlikely result from an accidental drop. Whenever I’ve dropped a handheld, it fell forward or slipped at an angle. The face flat drop nullifies protection from the stainless steel bezel, which they state is a design flaw. Maybe, but it should be noted that Apple’s Bumper case is raised past the face, negating the possibility of a face flat landing, so it looks like Apple is aware of the issue, and this explains why they’re now releasing their own protector. Might want to include a Bumper or other case in your iPhone 4 budget. I’ll wait for the (Product)RED bumper.