The video, by Sam Kohl of AppleTrack (via 9to5Mac, compares the two iPhone Pro models during a series of drops. The iPhone 14 remains in apparently as-new condition even after the drops reach double figures, but by that point the iPhone 15 Pro is completely trashed.
It’s important to keep perspective here: when you accidentally drop your iPhone, you don’t then pick it up and drop it again several times; it took multiple drops to do any damage to the iPhone 15 Pro in the video. But there does appear to be a structural difference between the outgoing iPhone and the new one, and that difference could seemingly make the Pro more prone to spiderweb cracks when dropped onto a hard surface.
Why is the iPhone 15 Pro getting damaged differently?
The new iPhone 15 Pro makes extensive use of titanium alloy, which is strong and light, and has a titanium alloy frame rather than a stainless steel one. However, while titanium is stronger it’s also a little more flexible, and that along with the move from a vertical to a curved edge appears to have removed some of the shock-absorbing properties of the iPhone 14 Pro’s stainless steel band.
What that means in practice is that while the titanium itself is very tough, it may transmit more vibration to other parts of the phone – such as the glass back, which is what you can see cracking in the video. So while the structural integrity of the iPhone remains undamaged, the shock can be transmitted through the glass, causing that to crack.
It’s unlikely to be a significant issue for most users, especially those of us who put their phones in a case (partly for protection and partly to protect the resale value). But it’s perhaps fortunate timing that Apple has made it cheaper to repair the glass back of the iPhone 15 Pro: according to Apple’s latest repair price estimates, the cost of replacing the back glass on the iPhone 15 Pro is $169 / £169 / AU$275, rising to $199 / £199 / AU$319 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. That’s significantly less than the previous models, which were $499 / £519 / AU$879 and $549 / £559 / AU$899 respectively.
Still, if you’re clumsy you might want to consider AppleCare on your new iPhone: that gives you unlimited repairs for accidental damage and cuts the cost to $29 in the US, £25 in the UK and AU$45 in Australia.