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They say never to leave a candle or a baby unattended. In our case, that's just extended to one of our favourite smart phones.

We left our Google Nexus One charging on a desk during lunch today. When we returned the screen was rife with hairline cracks and a horrible purple bruise had spread across the gorgeous AMOLED touchscreen.

There was no evidence that the phone had been moved, and the screen doesn't have any scratches or marks on the surface. The thin cracks all appear to be under the glass -- as if the phone had been bent, but not broken.

It could be that some scurvy dog manhandled the phone while our backs were turned and then ran for it when they broke the screen. Or it could be a delayed reaction from spending the last few days travelling around in our pocket, leading the rough-and-tumble life of any mobile phone. It could even be that a tiny meteorite broke through the earth's magnetic shield and penetrated the Nexus One's defences. Or it could have happened entirely spontaneously.

We showed photos of our poor, disfigured Nexus One to Google, and it told us that this is the first time that it has heard of the phone committing hari kiri, and that it will investigate the problem. It recommended that we speak to the manufacturer of the phone, HTC, and we're waiting for a comment from its PR representatives.

The helpful support person staffing the HTC support hotline told us that it would send a courier to pick up the damaged phone. If HTC decides that the problem is our fault, we'll be charged for the repair, but it wasn't able to tell us how much that might cost. The support rep that we spoke to said that he fields about 40 support requests a day, and he had never heard of a screen giving up the ghost like ours did.

Have you traumatised your Google Nexus One? Let us know in the comments. Then click 'continue' to see what it looks like when love dies.

Update: HTC tells us that this is the first time it has heard of any issue with the screen cracking this way during charging. It has asked to collect our Nexus One to investigate fully, and we'll let you know the results.

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The surface of our Google Nexus one is smooth and unblemished, and the cracks are only visible under the surface of the glass.

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The purple colour distortion on the screen doesn't seem to affect the phone's responsive, speedy touchscreen.

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