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Glass back of iPhone 4 review unit collects 'incredibly minor' scratches

post #1 of 110
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A review unit sent out by Apple has managed to collect "incredibly minor" scratches on its back made of hardened glass after just a few days of heavy use.

Engadget was given a review unit of the iPhone 4 prior to this week's public release. In its hands-on time with the device, the glass back panel managed to accumulate scratches, though the website dubbed them minor.

"It's what we'd call 'incredibly minor,' not visible at all dead on, but in bright light at an angle... well see for yourself (in) the photos," it said.

When Apple introduced the iPhone 4 earlier this month, the Cupertino, Calif., company touted that both the device's front and back panels are made of aluminosilicate glass, chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic, and "more scratch resistant and more durable than ever." The front and back glass are also said to include an oil-resistant coating that helps to keep it clean.

The first reviews of the handset noted its durability, as Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal said "I dropped it several times from a few feet onto a hard surface with no problem, and it acquired no scratches in all my testing, even though I didn't use a case or coddle it."

Ed Baig of USA Today also wrote that an Apple executive dropped the phone in front of him, for him to see. "The phone was undamaged," he said.



In its teardown of the iPhone 4, solutions provider iFixit found that the front glass on Apple's latest handset is made of "Gorilla Glass." It made no mention of the back panel.

"The front glass panel of the iPhone is constructed of Corning Gorilla Glass, a chemically strengthened alkali-aluminosilicate thin sheet glass that is reported to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic," the company said in its teardown. "Gorilla Glass holds many advantages as the iPhone 4's front panel, including its high resistance to wear and increased strength from an ion-exchange chemical strengthening process."



Apple will sell its first-ever set of iPhone protectors alongside the iPhone 4, dubbed Bumpers. They will be available in 6 colors for $29.99 apiece, but the accessories don't obscure the front or back of the handset, instead wrapping the handset's edges in a shock-absorbing, rubberized material.



Earlier this month, one website came into possession of an iPhone 4 with a cracked glass front panel, challenging Apple's own claims of the durability of the new hardware.
post #2 of 110
Hole crapola! Glass scratches? ...
post #3 of 110
Oh boy, the trolls are gonna jump on this. Meanwhile the new Droid doesn't have a front facing camera and the fanboys are churning out excuses why it isn't needed.
post #4 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Oh boy, the trolls are gonna jump on this. Meanwhile the new Droid doesn't have a front facing camera and the fanboys are churning out excuses why it isn't needed.

the "average consumer" has no need for a front facing camera if they need a PhD in Programming to figure out how to use it.
post #5 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Oh boy, the trolls are gonna jump on this. Meanwhile the new Droid doesn't have a front facing camera and the fanboys are churning out excuses why it isn't needed.

oh this is like 2009 again, and 2008, and 2007....
post #6 of 110
That looks like a clear coat scratch. If so, the remedy:

http://www.amazon.com/Simoniz-Clear-.../dp/B001P5TDM0
post #7 of 110
Is that scratches or scratch? I only see one.
post #8 of 110
I am definitely going to try the bumper case from Apple. I sure would like to know more about how that scratch got there. I don't believe all of the reviewers were lying. Keep an eye out for torture tests. This is going to be entertaining.
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post #9 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Oh boy, the trolls are gonna jump on this. Meanwhile the new Droid doesn't have a front facing camera and the fanboys are churning out excuses why it isn't needed.

I don't think it's troll behavior per se, but I thought that the whole point of having the Apple-sanctioned "bumpers" that just cover the rim of the device was because the glass on the front and back is much stronger than plastic and doesn't scratch?
post #10 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramin987 View Post

Hole crapola! Glass scratches? ...

The issue at hand is that apple wont sell the plastic covers anymore that protect the glass from scratches which is STUPID. I'll have mine wrapped in SOMEthing.
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post #11 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I don't think it's troll behavior per se, but I thought that the whole point of having the Apple-sanctioned "bumpers" that just cover the rim of the device was because the glass on the front and back is much stronger than plastic and doesn't scratch?

Note that "doesn't scratch" was never stated by Apple.
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post #12 of 110
walt mossberg in article in wsj today dropped it on hard surfaces many times and no scratches or damage. nyt says apple employee who demoed it dropped it on purpose. This will probably not be a widespread problem. I know I will put a shield on at least the display contrary to apples recommendations.
post #13 of 110
If this is a real issue, we will quickly find out one way or the other. All we have to do is wait for people to start dropping them on concrete in front of a video camera and see what happens. For the record, I have dropped my previous iPhones on concrete without protection with nary a scratch on the screen. So, I tend to believe Apple in this matter. But, tests don't lie. We shall see. And there is the small matter of that photo of the iPhone 4 with the scratch clearly visible. Hmmm...
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post #14 of 110
yup, dropped it a couple times on hard tile floors, and it's not scratched yet.
post #15 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by salamandyr View Post

yup, dropped it a couple times on hard tile floors, and it's not scratched yet.

You wouldn't mind making a video by chance?
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post #16 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I don't think it's troll behavior per se, but I thought that the whole point of having the Apple-sanctioned "bumpers" that just cover the rim of the device was because the glass on the front and back is much stronger than plastic and doesn't scratch?

I think the bumper is to protect the edge of the glass from impact since unlike previous models the glass sits on top of the metal frame instead of inside of it. With the edge of the glass exposed like this there may be an increased risk of cracking if it sustains an impact directly on the corner or the edge.

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post #17 of 110
Unless that glass is made up of super-density diamond substrate, everything scratches over time given the right conditions. I'll determine for myself when I pick my new iPhone tomorrow whether or not I should try using it regularly in its naked form. But most likely, I'll have a film of some-sort on it.
post #18 of 110
OH PLEASE !!!!


Read their f'in review. they admit to throwing it across the room and even hitting off of the wall. Then it gets minor scratches?????


Quot from Engadget review:
It wouldn't be a new iPhone without some accessories, but Apple has kept it tidy. The company is offering a new dock, of course, for twenty-nine of your US dollars (that's $29), and a selection of colorful "bumpers" that protect the phone for the same price. We've got a few bumpers in-house, and while we're not really big fans of the way they look or feel, they do seem to protect the phone pretty well. On that note, we've actually seen the iPhone 4 tossed with and without a bumper across a room (one hit a wall) with no issue, and we dropped ours pretty hard from about two feet up onto tile with nary a scratch.

God knows how else they mistreated it. Just goes to show that if you don't pay for/earn something it has no worth to you and you don't look after it. Probably been mistreated more in 5 days than any user would in a lifetime.
post #19 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

You wouldn't mind making a video by chance?

of me dropping it? naw.. accidental drops are one thing, but i'm not about to hurl it at the floor with the video cam on...
post #20 of 110
That is why the world gave us cases. Metal, plastic, and glass are all capable of being scratched. Learn to take care of your things and they may not get scratched. My original iPhone does not have any scratches and has always enjoyed life in a clip-style belt case. My wife's original iPhone has enjoyed life in her purse, without a case. The glass does not have any scratches, but the bezel and aluminum back have quite a few. No one has ever claimed a device to be scratch-proof. Leave it to Engadget to spread FUD.

People are always amazed that my DVDs don't have any scratches on them. I tell them, simple, hold the discs by the edges like they are meant to be held and they don't scratch.
post #21 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by salamandyr View Post

of me dropping it? naw.. accidental drops are one thing, but i'm not about to hurl it at the floor with the video cam on...

Are you drunk or just clumsy? You've only had it for a few hours and already dropped it on the hard floor a couple of times?

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post #22 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by salamandyr View Post

of me dropping it? naw.. accidental drops are one thing, but i'm not about to hurl it at the floor with the video cam on...

Aw.. Come on... You would be instantly famous.
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post #23 of 110
A minor scratch or two, perhaps more over time isn't the biggest issue. The concern would be if it is prone to scratching and after a few months it is scratched up like a Christmas tree. Everyone pretty well have used the third party screen protectors that were sold through Apple and they worked quite well, I wouldn't want to wrap the entire unit in one however.

I haven't seen or heard reviews from owners so will hold off on any judgements until some people are able to post their thoughts.

I do think the IPhone4 is a marvelous product and looks to be a great upgrade. I will also say that I hope the switches are better quality (volume, mute, on /off) and the headphone jack not as prone to dust. I have three IPhone 3G's in my household two of which have suffered from broken switches. With that said I still plan on upgrading all three as no one makes hardware and software work so seemlessly for the end user better than Apple.

The advetised "stiffer & harder" does not mean scratch resistant, shatter proof or less breakable. It may imply it, and it very well may actually be it, but no one will really know till these are out in the wild for six months in a very large target group.
post #24 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A review unit sent out by Apple has managed to collect "incredibly minor" scratches on its back made of hardened glass after just a few days of heavy use....AppleInsider.com ][/url][/c]



I know this doesn't go with the topic but...

Quotes are from hosts. Non quotes are paraphrased excerpts. Parentheses is my 2 cents

1.\tiPhone is kinda the phone to beat(Duh)
2.\tNeed 2.2 and Cortex 8 to run Flash lite because Flash is a processor hog(Yeah, Steve knows that)
3.\tLarry Page blames poor battery life on apps running in the background(What! Didnt he tout that as being the end all be all)
4.\tRunning apps in the background is annoying because I dont know whats taking up cpu power(But that makes Android so much better than the iPhone right?!?!)
5.\tGingerbread, the next Android release, is suppose to give you an iPhone-like user experience(Xerox)
6.\tThe OS can stand to be a lot more usable(Yeah, but then youd be on an iOS device)
7.\tLack of uniformity will hurt Android in the long run(Finally learning that lesson?)
8.\tAria, on ATT, cannot install apps unless it comes from official market source.(Doesnt sound like an open OS to me)
9.\tSelecting text is very difficult. Not like the iPhone(Apple took its time with cut, copy and paste for a reason)

Keep in mind this is an Android podcast. Apple should use it in a commercial. I swear I thought they were iPhone fanboys!
post #25 of 110
Hello All
I am new in this forum.
I am very much glad that I joined this forum as I am a real gadget freak.
Very much excited to share my thoughts on new gadgets
post #26 of 110
I've had several iPhones since Apple released them and not one of them has every had the glass scratch. I have abused them traveling several hundred thousand miles a year, taking taxis all over the place, dropping them from upstairs to downstairs at home (oops), etc, and have yet to ever have the glass scratch or crack.

So if this stuff has already scratched under moderate abuse, it is informative.

Trolls can go home now.

[Edit] I have also never used any protection on them and I keep them in my pocket with keys, etc. The plastic back has scratched (duh) but the glass has always been pristine.
post #27 of 110
I was planning to use mine as a shield in my part time work as a superhero crime fighter. If it can't stop armor-piercing rounds, then I have no use for it.

Meanwhile, my $400 prosumer digital camera fell the full 18 inches from my knee to the ground and it looks like someone hit the display with a ball-peen hammer.
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post #28 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post

I know this doesn't go with the topic but...

You probably should have stopped there. Feel free to start a new thread with your topic. But please be courteous and don't thread-jack. Thanks.
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post #29 of 110
that's why i'm waiting for the white phone. I got the white 3G, it shows minor scratches but since it's white, they just blend in much better. Plus the white doesn't show fingerprints at all.
post #30 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Is that scratches or scratch? I only see one.

I do not care about scratches I buy it to use it not keep it as a collector item.

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #31 of 110
This looks more troubling than scratched glass:

http://tuaw.com/2010/06/23/iphone-4-...tina-displays/

What is it with Apple and display issues?
post #32 of 110
The scratch came from someone diamond ring they were wearing at the time when they were handling the phone.
post #33 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudz View Post

A minor scratch or two, perhaps more over time isn't the biggest issue. The concern would be if it is prone to scratching and after a few months it is scratched up like a Christmas tree. Everyone pretty well have used the third party screen protectors that were sold through Apple and they worked quite well, I wouldn't want to wrap the entire unit in one however.

I'm with you here and if the scratches can only be seen when looked at in a certain light and at a certain angle, it doesn't really matter that much, as long as you can use it when you look at it face on.

Personally, I tend to prefer devices that looked "lived in" than ones that look brand new, even when they're months old.
post #34 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

God knows how else they mistreated it. Just goes to show that if you don't pay for/earn something it has no worth to you and you don't look after it. Probably been mistreated more in 5 days than any user would in a lifetime.

Maybe your perfect iPhone isn't so perfect anymore. How does it go from "nary a scratch" to having scratches? Shouldn't these have showed up on the phone then? Reading the Engadget article, sounds like they showed up randomly after "normal" usage.

I would imagine a lifetime for an iPhone is much more mistreated than what they can do in 5 days. You're reading way too much into their review. Time will tell once these hit the real world, no pun intended.
post #35 of 110
Only Apple could charge $29 for a band of rubber.

I have a feeling the scratch in the photo was from extreme abuse and not normal everyday use. I mean, they admit they were dropping and throwing the phone, of course it will get scratched if you do that!
post #36 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

This looks more troubling than scratched glass:

http://tuaw.com/2010/06/23/iphone-4-...tina-displays/

What is it with Apple and display issues?

I thought the Evo had the massive screen fail?
post #37 of 110
The protective "bumpers" that Apple sells do seem to add a bit of height to the front and back edge, creating a slight gap between the glass and, say, a table surface. So when you'd set it flat on a table, the glass itself wouldn't be making contact? That alone should mitigate potential scratching.

I don't put my 3GS into a pocket full of coins and keys (pants or a bag), if only because it cost over $400 and is a relatively 'delicate' electronics device with a large glass screen? Duh... I have a case too, so it's in fine shape. I'm not over protective of it though, and it's a pretty tough device all considered...

I just really want to know HOW these reported scratches happened. Grinding across stones? A jeans-pocket together with keys? Just putting it on a table? How??
post #38 of 110
Soo... was it because of the keys it was rubbing against in the pocket, or because it spent some time sitting on a table? Context is important for this to be worthwhile news.

I know plenty of people who kept their 3G[S] with exposed glass in their pocket and never got a scratch, and if this glass is harder, what happened to it?
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #39 of 110
uh-oh!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/allanmichael/
iPhone 4S, iPad 3 WiFi, 80gb ipod,5G nano, 3G shuffle, 4 shuffles, '11 MBA 13", macmini 2.26, iMac QC i5 27"
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/allanmichael/
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post #40 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdy View Post

I've had several iPhones since Apple released them and not one of them has every had the glass scratch. I have abused them traveling several hundred thousand miles a year, taking taxis all over the place, dropping them from upstairs to downstairs at home (oops), etc, and have yet to ever have the glass scratch or crack.

So if this stuff has already scratched under moderate abuse, it is informative.

Trolls can go home now.

[Edit] I have also never used any protection on them and I keep them in my pocket with keys, etc. The plastic back has scratched (duh) but the glass has always been pristine.

was not that lucky,
for me a small part of glass was breaking out once when my 3G was falling from 1,5m onto tiled floor. nothing disturbing.
just another time when that iphone fell to tiled floor it cracked. maybe cause of the cold climate or so, it had −20C environmental temp.

my 3GS's glass is so far unscratched, even if it was falling onto the street on first day, ( clumsy me) just the bezel got a little scratch
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