The iPad 2 is three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer a failure caused by accidental damage than the original iPad, according to research. See also New iPad review.
A report from warranty provider SquareTrade found that one in 10 owners of the iPad 2 had reported accidental damage causing a problem with their device within 12 months of purchase, compared to just 2.8 percent of owners of the original iPad.
SquareTrade's report says that differences in the design between the original iPad and the iPad 2 were responsible for the differing level of malfunctions. "In addition to being thinner, the iPad 2 glass is exposed slightly above the bevel, as opposed to the iPad 1, which has glass that is more protected by the aluminum frame at the corners.
"Compounding the issue is the curved shape of the edge, which increases the likelihood of impact occurring on the leading edge."
The report also states that anecdotal evidence suggests that the iPad 2's Smart Cover could have something to do with the increase in accidental damage. "The iPad 2 smart cover may be contributing to breakage rates based upon improper use by the consumer of the cover as a means to "grab" the iPad.
"Customers have reported using the Smart Cover to grab a falling device, only to have the cover - not intended as a fail-safe protector - come off the iPad 2."
However, when it comes to malfunctions not related to accidental damage, the iPad 2 performs better than the original iPad, with only 0.3 percent of iPad 2 owners surveyed by SquareTrade reporting a malfunction, while that figure for the original iPad was 0.9 percent.
Of these non-accidental malfunctions, 37 percent were related to the battery, 22 percent to the screen, 14 percent to software, 9 percent to the speaker and 8 percent to a button. Overall, though, non-accident related malfunctions for any model of the iPad were much less common than in other electronics categories such as digital cameras, smartphones and laptops.
In terms of accidental damage caused to iPads, 54 percent were caused by dropping the device while using it, 15 percent caused by "falling off the table", 11 percent were described as "car related", 8 percent were blamed on a child, while just one percent of malfunctions were caused by liquid damage.