or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Glass scratches cause Apple to suspend slide-on iPhone 4 case sales
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Glass scratches cause Apple to suspend slide-on iPhone 4 case sales

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Apple has reportedly suspended sales of slide-on cases for the iPhone 4 in its retail stores, as users have apparently experienced issues with scratching and even breaking glass.

An industry source told Cult of Mac that trapped dirt is causing scratches and cracks on Apple's latest handset, which has both a glass front and back. At least a half-dozen case makers are said to be impacted by Apple's ban, despite the fact that they are certified "Made for iPhone."

"Apple is slowly evaluating each and every iPhone 4 case at a secret case testing facility," the report said. "Some may be approved before the holidays. It's literally on a case-by-case basis (pun intended), the source said."

While slide-on cases for the iPhone 4 have apparently been banned, Apple still sells similar-style covers for older iPhone models. The previous-generation iPhone 3GS had a plastic, curved back.

The alleged suspension of case sales is said to have a big impact on manufacturers, many of which rely on availability in Apple's retail stores for sales. Author Leander Kahney also revealed that case makers spend at least $250,000 to create molds.

Last month, one report claimed that Apple was looking into third-party cases that were causing scratches and cracks on the iPhone 4. Ryan Block of gdgt said the iPhone engineering team was in a "quiet lockdown" as it worked to solve the issue, which he dubbed "glassgate."

It was said that slide-on cases could cause damage by trapping material between the phone and the case, eventually scratching, cracking or even fracturing the glass back of the iPhone 4. It was also claimed that Apple had created a lab and new test program to investigate the issue.
post #2 of 60
That is total B.S.! What are we talking about gravel? Road salt? Diamonds?
How friking big would the "dirt" have to be to crack the glass.

Maybe it is because it is glass and people drop phones?
post #3 of 60
Please spare us from any more "-gates." I know the author of this post didn't say it, but only quoted the source. But please, in the name of all that's holy, let's try harder not to pass on or repeat lazy journalistic clichés. Quote the meat of it, but bleep out the stupidity.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #4 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It was said that slide-on cases could cause damage by trapping material between the phone and the case, eventually scratching, cracking or even fracturing the glass back of the iPhone 4. It was also claimed that Apple had created a lab and new test program to investigate the issue.



Form over function. Apple is slipping up big time.
post #5 of 60
So, why not replace the glass with nano-engineered diamond sheeting?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #6 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

Form over function. Apple is slipping up big time.

Apple is doomed. Let's get back to ugly functional electronics. Forget trying to put a little grace into our lives. Resistance is futile.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

That is total B.S.! What are we talking about gravel? Road salt? Diamonds?
How friking big would the "dirt" have to be to crack the glass.

?


Glass cracks when scratched. It cannot compress; it can only split. The size of the particle can be plenty big enough to cause a nasty scratch and still be nearly invisible to the eye. That scratch can and will elongate and deepen based on things like heat and cold and flexture and minor shocks.




It is pretty damn questionable whether glass is the optimal material for the back of a cellphone.
post #8 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Apple is doomed. Let's get back to ugly functional electronics. Forget trying to put a little grace into our lives. Resistance is futile.


"Nope"
post #9 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

It is pretty damn questionable whether glass is the optimal material for the back of a cellphone.

Yeah, a few dozen (if that) out of 14 million. Horrible idea.
post #10 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Please spare us from any more "-gates." I know the author of this post didn't say it, but only quoted the source. But please, in the name of all that's holy, let's try harder not to pass on or repeat lazy journalistic clichés. Quote the meat of it, but bleep out the stupidity.

So what would you call it instead?
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

Yeah, a few dozen (if that) out of 14 million. Horrible idea.

Where does "a few dozen" come from?

Did you read it somewhere? Did you just make it up?
post #12 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

Where does "a few dozen" come from?

Did you read it somewhere? Did you just make it up?

I made it up, but show me where the problem is more widespread than a handful of isolated incidents. In fact, if you bothered to read the rest of the CultofMac article, they quote a manufacturer as saying the issue is likely overblown, as well as Ryan Block's suggestion that Apple is being overly cautious at this point - hardly indicative of a real problem.
post #13 of 60
I never used a case with my iPhone4, its fine, still in excellent condition, just be careful not to drop it
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

So what would you call it instead?

Sensationalist headline of the week?
post #15 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

So what would you call it instead?

We're talking about people who write for a living. Professional writers. I am saying that if they are worth their salt they should be able to provide either an alternate, non-cliché, or god-forbid, a fresh and creative way to frame an idea.

What would I call it? Why call it anything? Just tell the story without resorting to "cute" labels. Those things are just shortcuts for lazy writers.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

We're talking about people who write for a living. Professional writers. I am saying that if they are worth their salt they should be able to provide either an alternate, non-cliché, or god-forbid, a fresh and creative way to express an idea.

What would I call it? Why call it anything? Just tell the story without resorting to "cute" labels. Those things are just shortcuts for lazy writers.

As the old newspaper editors would say, a catchy title sells newspapers... same thing on the web. Catchy titles sell...

Why do you think we have iMac instead of All-in-One Macintosh or Powerbook instead of Laptop Macintosh. Catchy titles sell products....
post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

We're talking about people who write for a living. Professional writers. I am saying that if they are worth their salt they should be able to provide either an alternate, non-cliché, or god-forbid, a fresh and creative way to frame an idea.

What would I call it? Why call it anything? Just tell the story without resorting to "cute" labels. Those things are just shortcuts for lazy writers.

Journalism is dead.

It died in the early Nineties.
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

That is total B.S.! What are we talking about gravel? Road salt? Diamonds?
How friking big would the "dirt" have to be to crack the glass.

Maybe it is because it is glass and people drop phones?

It all depends on the case. If it was designed to precisely fit over the glass then even a microscopic particle could crack it if its sufficiently hard enough. Id think the simple resolution would be to allow a little room, even if means a slightly softer inside for the casing.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #19 of 60
Apple just needs to provide a "clean room" at each Apple retail location. Customers would pass through an airlock where all dust, bacteria, and other loose objects would be isolated and vaporized to get to the section where they sell accessories. After payment the case could be applied to the iPhone before leaving the clean room area. Problem solved. That'll be cheaper than dealing with the customer support headache associated with people who can't be careful when putting a case on their phone.
post #20 of 60
my iPhone 4 has no scratches on the front, but several on the back. i thought the glass was the same on both sides, but apparently not
post #21 of 60
Slide -On -Cases are causing glass to crack because they are made of rigid plastic and have no soft material between actual IPHONE4 and glass. Plastic tends to shrink or can be made a little offsize at times and being that the case is 'MOLDED' it's made exact with no room. and a little piece of dirt can be the difference.
This is poor design on the casemakers behalf. Adding a soft buffer wouldn't be that expensive, However would cut down on the casemakers profit which is over 100%
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

my iPhone 4 has no scratches on the front, but several on the back. i thought the glass was the same on both sides, but apparently not

It sounds like you have ruled out the possibility that you dont use the front side the same way as the backside, or that the scratch occurred during the overwhelmingly likely occasion that only one side was touching the abrader.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

my iPhone 4 has no scratches on the front, but several on the back. i thought the glass was the same on both sides, but apparently not

There's the issue right there - is the rear of the phone the same toughened glass as the front, or is it cheap, weak Microsoft-style glass?
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
Reply
My Android phone is the worst phone I've ever owned.
Reply
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbyrd View Post

Would have preferred aluminum but I guess it kills the reception.

There is no guessing about it. Each material has pros and cons associated with it and unfortunately it seems those complaining of the very versatile and RF transparent plastic making the iPhone feel cheap may have finally got to Apple. Personally, Ive dropped my iPhone 4 plenty of times, but Im well aware that its more likely to crack than with a malleable plastic, though plastic is more likely to scratch than glass. Either way, people will be unhappy.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by knightlie View Post

There's the issue right there - is the rear of the phone the same toughened glass as the front, or is it cheap, weak Microsoft-style glass?

its different i guess. some google'ing has confirmed it.
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

its different i guess. some google'ing has confirmed it.

You guess? Youve confirmed it but offer no evidence to support the claim?

Surely its different. One is attached by a couple screw points and the other is glued to other component across most of its surface. That in itself could account for its ability to absorb an impact better without actually being a different composite of Cornings Gorilla Glass®.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #27 of 60
Is this an issue with users constantly removing and then replacing the case? Or is it something that happens even if the case is only installed once?
post #28 of 60
Does this mean the Apple iPhone 5 design will come back to Earth with materials that withstand a person's every day use of a product that can be used multiple times a day?

Have a scratched glass iPhone 4? Thank a tree-hugger.

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


Surely its different. One is attached by a couple screw points and the other is glued to other component across most of its surface. That in itself could account for its ability to absorb an impact better without actually being a different composite of Cornings Gorilla Glass®.

Good points.

Are there aftermarket replacements for the fragile back? I would think that people might want to add bling while fixing Apple's design defect.
post #30 of 60
I used to have an InCase slider case for my iPhone 3G and you definitely didn't want to be taking that thing off and putting it back on more often than you needed to. There were a pair of silicone strips on the inside that would come in contact with the back of the phone. If you got some dirt or debris stuck to them, they would definitely scratch you phone. The only scratches on the back or my phone were a pair of nice parallel scratches right where the silicone strips came in contact with the back. I imagine it's the same deal with their case for the iPhone 4. However, I can't imagine it being much worse than the bumper case from Apple. There's always dirt and dust getting under the lip of the rubber part around the edges of the front and back of the phone. I can't say I see any scratches yet though.
post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by knightlie View Post

cheap, weak Microsoft-style glass?

Hey now! That's what I tiled my bathroom with.
post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

That is total B.S.! What are we talking about gravel? Road salt? Diamonds?
How friking big would the "dirt" have to be to crack the glass.

Maybe it is because it is glass and people drop phones?

They just used bad language skills to describe the issue, since it's also the exact same words they used last time, I'm guessing this is mostly a "cut and paste" article.

Neither the sand particles, nor the case itself can actually cause the iPhone glass to shatter. The scratches introduced by the trapped sand particles create flaws in the glass that can lead the glass to shatter later on (when it's dropped or slightly impacted in some way), because that's how glass works. It's very strong unless it has flaws, then it breaks along those flaws.

The fear is that there is an increased incidence of shattering, due to the introduction of tiny flaws in the glass, which is caused by small hard particles (almost always sand basically), moving between the slider case and the phone when you put it on or off.
post #33 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

Good points.

Are there aftermarket replacements for the fragile back? I would think that people might want to add bling while fixing Apple's design defect.

I'm thinking it should be a snap to remove the back and create a duplicate out of a less breakable material.
post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You guess? Youve confirmed it but offer no evidence to support the claim?

Surely its different. One is attached by a couple screw points and the other is glued to other component across most of its surface. That in itself could account for its ability to absorb an impact better without actually being a different composite of Cornings Gorilla Glass®.

not sure what side of the fence you are on here???

are you saying i should know better or are you calling me a liar? in either case, i take offense.
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Please spare us from any more "-gates." I know the author of this post didn't say it, but only quoted the source. But please, in the name of all that's holy, let's try harder not to pass on or repeat lazy journalistic clichés. Quote the meat of it, but bleep out the stupidity.

In this story, it was just a quote. I think you need to jump back to the story this one is based on, complain to the source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

That is total B.S.! What are we talking about gravel? Road salt? Diamonds?
How friking big would the "dirt" have to be to crack the glass.

Maybe it is because it is glass and people drop phones?

When glass is scratched, a weak point is created to allow for braking the glass. It's a basic principle of glass cutting. The sliding might take a piece of grit and scribe lines into the back, because it's a slide-on type of case.
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Apple is doomed. Let's get back to ugly functional electronics. Forget trying to put a little grace into our lives. Resistance is futile.

I agree that form is important, but while the 3GS had form and function, the iPhone 4 managed to expose the antenna and degrade signal quality (unless you think it's just an issue with mine?) and while the idea of putting glass on the back is elegant, the spider-web pattern on mine from dropping it 1 time from about 2 feet doesn't speak highly of the idea from a functional perspective.

The 3GS felt better in the hand and the case didn't crack if you happened to drop it from a couple of feet. (Just basing that on my case and those of other friends - cracked backs & front/back corners.) I'm not asking for a Dell design, I'm just saying the iPhone 4 has some issues. Great screen, better camera, but the usability took a leap backwards.

I know, I know, I'm probably dropping it wrong.
post #37 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post

not sure what side of the fence you are on here???

are you saying i should know better or are you calling me a liar? in either case, i take offense.

No need to take offense (and no "fences", as far as I can see). He's just pointing out that the back of the iPhone is manifestly "different" from the front (in that it's on the back), no googling necessary.

So if you've discovered something more particularly different, as you state, it would be cool if you posted a link.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #38 of 60
I'd like to see some real evidence that the scratches are causing the cracks, and no, cracks appearing along scratches are not proof. Glass will crack at its weakest point and a scratch will make it slightly weaker than elsewhere, so if enough force is applied to the glass it will likely crack along the scratch, but if the the scratch wasn't there, the glass would probably still crack. A surface scratch won't make it a lot more susceptible to cracking.
The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
Reply
The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
Reply
post #39 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

A surface scratch won't make it a lot more susceptible to cracking.

That is one heck of a claim. Got anything to back it up?

ISTM that surface scratches are universally used to make glass more susceptible to cracking. Google the term glass cutting for any number of websites describing how to apply surface scratches to glass in order to make it more susceptible to cracking.

Got anything at all to back up your claim?
post #40 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In this story, it was just a quote. I think you need to jump back to the story this one is based on, complain to the source.

Did read my second sentence? Thought I acknowledged that. I was addressing the matter of passing stuff like that on instead of filtering it out. In that case, it's not just the source who is at fault.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Glass scratches cause Apple to suspend slide-on iPhone 4 case sales