It’s hard to think of an iPhone 3G as “old,” but my white iPhone 3G is certainly aging, and this weekend, it took a turn for the worse. No, I didn’t drop it, lose it, or accidentally crush it; all I did was flip the ringer switch to off. Yet less than two years after I bought it—21 months later, actually—that simple flick of the switch turned out to be one too many, as its polished metal half fell to the floor with nary a sound. And thus the iPhone 3G, my primary means of voice communication, added yet another entry to its list of build imperfections.
My iPhone 3G has been in a case for nearly its entire life, a result of having read one too many reports of problems, and the nagging feeling that it wasn’t as tough as I might need it to be. Despite the protection, cracks began to form around the headphone port after ten months or so, multiplying and spreading to the rear of the case in greater number after Apple’s one-year warranty had expired.
They have since been joined by a sunken power button, such that it is difficult to lock and unlock the device, dirt that has crept in underneath the glass front plate and the screen, presumably through one of the ports, and now the missing ring/silent switch.
Plastic never seemed like the right material for the iPhone family—the original iPhone looked and felt just right by comparison; it’s still in physically great shape three years later. So I’m looking forward to celebrating the arrival of a new iPhone form factor with gusto, and hoping that the new model—whatever form it takes—proves more durable than the easily-damaged iPhone 3G, which hopefully will stay in one piece long enough to be replaced in June.