While this CNN post used the iPhone in its title, the general gist of the post is that mobile devices can survive some rough and tumble. But then again, it really depends on your definition of "survive".
An iPhone fell from this skydiver's pocket and continued to work despite falling 13,000 feet. He found the iPhone through the find my iPhone app and found that the iPhone's glass had cracked. I'd be surprised if it didn't. What was surprising was that it was still receiving calls.
And the Apple device was in a case. I think that is the key here. The CNN post went to describe the general toughness of Android devices as well.
Coming away from the post, the need for a good case really makes a lot of sense considering that you're paying for a mobile device that cost about $600. Despite the initial subsidized cost with a two-year commitment, you still are paying for it through the life of the contract and them some.
But any time you've got a device that can fall from that kind of extreme height and give the media something to write about is a win
Oh, for mobile users, having an app installed for GPS tracking in case your phone is lost or stolen is a must.