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Some iPhone 4 cases leading to cracked rear panels?

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, October 7, 2010
News Categories: iPhone

Apple is facing another potential issue with the iPhone 4, according to a new report. Citing sources both inside and outside Apple, Ryan Block of GDGT reports that the company has found that certain iPhone 4 cases—specifically those that slide-on to the device—are prone to small particles getting stuck between the case and the rear glass panel of the iPhone 4. While the unexpected scratching that can occur due to such particles is not a new phenomenon, on the iPhone 4 these small scratches have the potential to develop into larger cracks or even full-on fractures in the glass rear surface of the phone. The report states that Apple has kept all slide-on iPhone 4 cases off its real-world and virtual store shelves as a precaution, and has created a new lab and testing program to investigate the issue further. The repercussions for companies that spent time and money developing slide-on cases for the device remain unclear, as Apple has yet to say when—or if—it will allow such accessories back into its stores. In the meantime, many such cases continue to be sold online and through other retailers.

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Comments

1

Another non-issue,what else can they come up with.by the way it is very hard to scratch glass.I have that from a secrect source.

Posted by John on October 7, 2010 at 2:49 PM (PDT)

2

Next, they will tell us they have discovered that when thrown against a brick wall, the iPhone 4 has the potential of breaking into several pieces.

That would have to be one tough particle to get stuck between the phone and the case to cause that much damage. Maybe if you don’t remove the case while standing in a sandstorm it won’t happen. I dunno….

Posted by Eric on October 7, 2010 at 2:53 PM (PDT)

3

D*mnit! That’s why my new car got scratched - I put the cover on it when it was covered with mud!
I’m gonna sue both the car maker and the cover company.
I am a victim yet again…

Posted by sb on October 7, 2010 at 3:41 PM (PDT)

4

OK, yes, it should be obvious if you get some grit in there that using a sliding case may scratch the glass. That is not the same as using a commercial, licensed case actually *cracking* the glass.

The very thin glass sandwiching the metal frame looks good, no doubt, but it’s also an incredibly bad design decision no matter how sexy it appears. It is possible to admit that no matter how good the iPhone 4 looks that, once again, Apple has behaved incredibly arrogantly with their design choices and forced people to treat a phone as if it were a piece of fine art, which it’s not.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 8, 2010 at 7:24 AM (PDT)

5

I agree that apple creates their own art when it comes to the design choice of devices.  I personally think the iphone4 is sexy, and I have a simple clear jacket and a screen protector to protect it. 

should there be a better design implemented so that the user don’t have to purchase a protection? ... thats a discussion by itself.  Devices are getting better, glass is a main factor for the screen, even plastic need to be protected.  The truth is that the simple nokia phone wback in the days is dead, and the new devices have more features implemented.  the customer wants cameras, touch screen, and .. and.. and.  you can argue about that but every new device will have to get a protection in some form. 

Personaly, I like the glass design in the front and back and my only protection is a clear jacket and a screen protector.  So far, I have no issues with it.

Posted by dennis on October 8, 2010 at 8:18 AM (PDT)

6

Weird, I have Hootie & The Blowfish “Cracked Rear View” on my iPhone. Is that Apple’s fault? I hope it’s not mine…

Posted by MonkeyKong on October 8, 2010 at 8:34 AM (PDT)

7

@5: Glass, per se, is not the problem, it’s the choice to sandwich the frame with glass that is the issue. The metal frame should extend above the glass and be what sandwiches it. As designed, the iPhone has done the equivalent of protecting your car bumper with your windshield.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on October 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM (PDT)

8

Not sure if it’s apples fault, but maybe a design flaw? - my iphone 4 rear glass cracked today when I laid it down on my car dash - using a body glove hard back/bumper case -when I picked it up and voila - full horizontal crack - apparently a few grains of beach sand had worked their way back there - couldn’t see them until I popped the case off - now busted - hmmm

Posted by Larry Mannino on October 9, 2010 at 11:10 AM (PDT)

9

And so it begins…

Posted by sb on October 9, 2010 at 7:17 PM (PDT)

10

I don’t believe that this is Apple’s fault. No, since it seems to happen for slide-on cases only, it’s most likely a design flaw of the case.

Posted by Michael Waltl on October 10, 2010 at 4:41 AM (PDT)

11

Well a beach trip will damage most phones. My Sony Ericsson was pretty much destroyed after one trip to the seaside. Makes a mockery of that Transformers movie. Seriously - that many moving parts? And in the desert? That thing would be wrecked in seconds.

But, yes, sand plus phone is not a good idea generally.

Posted by BeefJerky on October 11, 2010 at 12:05 PM (PDT)

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