iPhone vs. Car

Tragic photos courtesy 'Paul the Lucky iPhone Owner.'“Ever wonder what happens when your iPhone gets run over by a car?”

That was the cringe-inducing question posed by friend and fellow iPhone owner Paul, both on Twitter and on the Bytemarks mailing list. Holding my breath, I read the rest of the story.

“Well… I found out the hard way when the case clip slipped off my belt as I exited my car,” he wrote. “I reached for my phone in [a] restaurant, and not finding it, figured I left it in the car. When I returned to the car to retrieve it, I saw the mangled case lying on the ground in the parking spot next to mine.”

“My heart was in my throat when I saw the misshapen lump on the pavement,” Paul told me later in chat. “I thought it was a goner… and I was shocked that it still worked.”

Indeed it did. Despite the iPhone’s battle with a Bridgestone, it only had a big dent in the back — an impact passed through the clip on his recycled Motorola case — and “a dark spot on the screen exactly opposite the squish.”

It was just a smudge. Something you’d only really notice looking at a bright white screen… like the moments after Safari starts. Paul was steeling himself to just live with it… but figured he’d take it into the Kahala Apple Store (which opened in February), just to see if there was anything they could do.

To be sure, the official response should have been, “Wow! That’s cool! Sucks to be you!”

But when Paul recounted his iPhone’s ordeal to the team at the Genius Bar, they were more than just a little amused. “I think engineering might want this one back,” the Genius said. He made a couple of phone calls and voila! New iPhone.

Paul was just as surprised at his good fortune as I was. He suspected the stated “engineering analysis” translated into a standing request for iPhones with “bad screens.” Whatever the reason, he was back in iPhone heaven in no time. “They transferred the SIM card, and then hooked it up to a MacBook Pro with instructions not to sync, and it went through the activiation in about 20 seconds,” he said.

So. The iPhone might not be much of a match for a Blentec blender, and even a simple drop can be disastrous. But at least one island iPhone held its own against an automobile. Paul even suspects that his crushed iPhone would have come out unscathed… were it not for that blasphemous recycled case from his retired “Motorola Q.”

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