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iPhone 4 Bumpers exhibit accessory compatibility issues

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, June 28, 2010
News Categories: iPhone Accessories

Apple’s new iPhone 4 Bumper cases are causing issues with prior-generation Apple cables and earlier headphones. A number of readers have reported that older Apple and third-party accessories are incompatible with the very tight port holes on the new Bumper cases, leaving owners unable to use many third-party cables and headphones. Notably, Apple’s own included cables and headphones should fit without issue, as tested by iLounge with both white and black Bumper cases. For more information on Apple’s iPhone 4 Bumper case, see our First Look article.

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Comments

1

Not only that, but I’ve read that the bumper case is incompatible with the iPhone 4 dock as well!  Will stand up, but no connection to the dock connector.

Posted by Jay on June 28, 2010 at 9:50 AM (PDT)

2

So…let’s see….problems with screen yellowing, problems with reception depending on how you hold it. Problems with aftermarket accessories, which you almost are forced to buy because it’s so friggin delicate (95% glass exterior). I’m sorry, I’m really not too excited to buy one of these things. Think I’ll stick to my 3G for quite a while. Maybe people will learn, all this ‘cool design’ hoopla is just that - hoopla. And the need to have the latest, ‘greatest’ thing is really nothing but an ego feed and not necessarily money well spent.

Posted by Eric on June 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM (PDT)

3

Belkin and Griffin accessories (especially card) wont’ fit…  I stopped using mine.

Posted by Chris G on June 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM (PDT)

4

errr… (especially vehicle accessories) won’t fit

Posted by Chris G on June 28, 2010 at 12:51 PM (PDT)

5

i purchased and case by ifrog.  works great and corrects the reception problem for me.  also, i can use any any cable for connectivity.

Posted by jenny s on June 28, 2010 at 1:06 PM (PDT)

6

I also got an iFrog case and installed Zagg Invisible Shield on both sides.  Since I have the invisible shield I did remove the felt piece from the iFrog case to make it fit better. No reception problems, no screen scratch concerns, no accessory problems, and looks good.  Also no yellow screen problems here either.  Overall I’m pretty happy with my iPhone4…so far

Posted by TosaDeac on June 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM (PDT)

7

I took a Dremel tool to my iPhone Bumper to enlarge the opening at the bottom. I then used the a knife to dig out the corners a bit more.  Hint: don’t try this when your phone is in the case smile

Posted by StevenD on June 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM (PDT)

8

Same story… Incredible… Apple accessory is not compatible with other apple accessory… Waste of money… Pissed me off

Posted by RushA on June 29, 2010 at 6:05 AM (PDT)

9

Wait!  Apple (and St. eve) doesn’t want anybody doing anything with their phone-like device that they don’t approve of, yet people are surprised that third party accessories aren’t compatible either.

This is news how?

I’m glad my contract expires in August, I’m really going to have to consider my options when it does.

Posted by The Digital Alchemist on June 29, 2010 at 10:47 AM (PDT)

10

Cripes. People are just making stuff up now. A dock connector being a non-standard size has nothing to do with being “unapproved” by apple, although Apple certainly wouldn’t have approved it. What it means is that the 3rd party did an extremely crappy job of making the connector! I’m not sure how you can view it any other way. There’s no excuse for make a dock connector that is not the right size. Blame Belkin and the others, not Apple. Moreover, the larger that port for the dock connector, the weaker the case will be/the less tight fitting.

FYI, I like the concept of the bumper case - I don’t use a case on my 3GS at all because they all cover up the 3GS, and I didn’t want to do that (well, actually I’ve got a hip case, but that’s just to carry it).  The bumper strikes a nice middle ground. It will protect against drops on flat surfaces, and I have dropped my 3GS several times, and it’s always been on a flat surface. I’ve got a crack in my 3GS case to show for it. The bumper case will protect against those, most common, drops, without compromising the look (much.)

Posted by Crunc on June 30, 2010 at 2:28 PM (PDT)

11

#10, Apple has changed the size of its own Dock Connector plugs multiple times over the years. Bumpers don’t work with even Apple cables sold two years ago, let alone third-party options.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on June 30, 2010 at 2:47 PM (PDT)

12

@Crunc The lack of compatibility has nothing to do with third parties making inferior accessories.  I have a DICE iPod car adapter that will not fit, and there is no solution because it uses a proprietary dock connector cable.  Some extremely expensive headphones also do not fit just because they don’t conform to Apple’s ridiculous standards.

Posted by Craig on July 5, 2010 at 6:58 PM (PDT)

13

@Crunk: “People are just making stuff up now”? I have the iPhone 4 with the bumper. I had the 3G. My car dock/charger was a Kensington, which worked with the 3G, my son’s 3GS, all versions of our iPods, and my friend’s Touch. Now it doesn’t work with the iPhone 4 when the bumper is on, and you can’t keep taking the bumper on and putting it off, or you’ll shell out yet another $30+ every few months from the wear and tear. I’ve also used Belkin products with the above Apple devices, with no problem. The problems started with the ridiculous bumper that shouldn’t be required in the first place. I do happen to like the bumper - as long as it doesn’t have to come off once it’s on, even though it’s despicable that it’s needed in the first place. But to make it in a way that it no longer will allow us to use the connectors we’ve used without problems on prior devices with the same size port is yet another mis-deed on Apple’s part. How’s the Spin Doctor going to handle this one? Another “non-issue” I suppose. Make us all run out with our hard-earned income to replace the docks and connectors and car chargers, etc. that have worked without problem on prior iDevices. Way to go, Apple and Jobs - and you should LOSE your job over this. Greed and incompetence and media spin don’t work in my world.

Posted by Karen on July 8, 2010 at 6:52 AM (PDT)

14

I have to agree- I’m returning my bumper tomorrow.  With the bumper on, my expensive (> $150) headphones don’t fit into the audio jack.  The ipod adapter in my 2010 car doesn’t fit.  NOTHING fits except a select few apple accessories that have been refreshed in the last couple of years.

Posted by Justin on July 11, 2010 at 4:50 PM (PDT)

15

@13: Preach it. Apple has always done a poor job of knowing where to draw the line balancing form and function (puck mouse, ‘nuff said), but the past few years have seen them grow far more arrogant of how far they’re willing to go in pursuing aesthetics AND their own accessories. The iPhone 4 is one of the most beautiful art projects Apple’s ever put out there, no doubt, but practicality was clearly a distant third or lower on their priorities list.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on July 12, 2010 at 9:16 AM (PDT)

16

Yah, I habitually like to have a case on my iPhone as well.  So I bought the bumper + Zagg’s invisible shield for the front/back.  Of course same results as everybody here describes.  I just scrapped the bumper and got Incipio’s Feather case.  Great fit, matches the aesthetic of the iPhone4, and all my accessories & docks fit again.

Posted by Dutchboy on July 12, 2010 at 4:52 PM (PDT)

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