or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › iPhone 3G owners report hairline cracks in their phone's casing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

iPhone 3G owners report hairline cracks in their phone's casing

post #1 of 109
Thread Starter 
Some early adopters of Apple's second-generation iPhone have witnessed thin cracks appear at the edges of the device that damage the phone's look and threaten to pose a larger threat down the road.

Those tracking the issue in an Apple support discussion thread and elsewhere say the hairline fractures most often appear on the plastic shell near the corners of the device, particularly near the headphone jack, ringer switch, and volume controls.

The flaws appear regardless of how gently the user takes care of the phone and can increase in number, according to multiple claims, although there are no known reports of existing cracks growing in size. At least a few users, however, report cracks deep enough to create a visible opening, particularly at the headphone jack.

Most of those noticing the issue are owners of the white model. Nonetheless, some owners of black editions also report the issue and suggest that it's not a matter of the material used for the color but a more general problem. The black shell simply hides the cracks better, these users suggest.

Apple's own response to the problem has been mixed. The company doesn't yet list the problem as common and has largely left exchanges to its in-store technicians. While some affected owners claim to have received little trouble and a quick replacement, others describe being rejected due to the cosmetic nature of the cracks, which to date haven't resulted in an outright device failure.

Those contacting their carriers aren't necessarily so fortunate: in one case, an Ottawa, Canada resident has been turned back at retail and on the phone by Canadian iPhone provider Rogers Wireless, which said it would have to technically rule the flaws "customer abuse" and charge the full replacement cost of the phone.

Hairline cracks on iPhone 3G. | Image credits: Nevin Styre, Apple support discussions.


In all circumstances, though, these customers express frustration at a device that in a short space of time is already appearing to break down, even if the faults are purely superficial.

"I dont think it is such a big deal but then again, I just got this phone and paid a fortune for it," says one detailed report. "There should not be any problems with it in week one."
post #2 of 109
Come on Apple! Do the right thing.
post #3 of 109
I find this picture of the broken headphone port especially interesting. I don't think the owner can claim that the crack just suddenly appeared, the thing looks like it's been run over by a car... the headphone socket isn't even round anymore. So is he blaming Apple? Well, people have been sueing Apple for stranger things that this. It goes with their image of a large quality company in consumer products, there are always people that have complaints. The smaller cracks however are interesting, maybe Apple can come up with an explanation. It could be that extreme pressure has been put on the specific iPhones, that's why they crack around openings in the casing. People do a lot of things with their phones, they sit on them and drop them. You can expecty some damage if you do that. So long as the phone keep working I think that's fine.
post #4 of 109
The same thing happens to nearly all of Apples plastic products. My Airport Express has cracks all over it. My Macbook has some on the underside and my chargers have them as well. I think my 1st generation shuffle has a couple as well.

I think the cracks are caused by heat. iPhones get hot and so do Macbooks, chargers and Airport Expresses.

Apple just needs to stop making things out of plastic, imho.
post #5 of 109
I have noticed the same thing. I do have some tiny cracks around the headphone port on my iPhone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorlightfoot View Post

The same thing happens to nearly all of Apples plastic products. My Airport Express has cracks all over it. My Macbook has some on the underside and my chargers have them as well. I think my 1st generation shuffle has a couple as well.

I think the cracks are caused by heat. iPhones get hot and so do Macbooks, chargers and Airport Expresses.

Apple just needs to stop making things out of plastic, imho.

I have also had cracks all over my PowerBook and MacBook chargers, including the plug/adapter attachment. The grey plastic that lines the aluminum on my MacBook and PowerBook also has cracks in, and has even chipped away in some places on the older PowerBook. The plastic seems to go brittle over time, and crack. Though the iPhone hasn't had much time to go brittle, perhaps the plastic is too hard, Apple were trying to stop scratches but causing cracks instead?
post #6 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorlightfoot View Post

Apple just needs to stop making things out of plastic, imho.

For a phone, about the only other option would be ceramic. Metal doesn't pass high frequency RF very well and that's likely the main reason Apple switched to plastic.
post #7 of 109
Honestly, it serves them right for buying a white iPhone, which is clearly the ugliest thing since Kate Moss. In fact, I think the cracks make the white ones look better.
post #8 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBum View Post

For a phone, about the only other option would be ceramic. Metal doesn't pass high frequency RF very well and that's likely the main reason Apple switched to plastic.

what about using a softer plastic? something like the black plastic of the iMac. it also has a nice soft satin finish with a big gloss apple in the middle. that'll be
post #9 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post

I have noticed the same thing. I do have some tiny cracks around the headphone port on my iPhone.




I have also had cracks all over my PowerBook and MacBook chargers, including the plug/adapter attachment. The grey plastic that lines the aluminum on my MacBook and PowerBook also has cracks in, and has even chipped away in some places on the older PowerBook. The plastic seems to go brittle over time, and crack. Though the iPhone hasn't had much time to go brittle, perhaps the plastic is too hard, Apple were trying to stop scratches but causing cracks instead?

Is 3G too hot for plastic?
post #10 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

Honestly, it serves them right for buying a white iPhone, which is clearly the ugliest thing since Kate Moss. In fact, I think the cracks make the white ones look better.

I'm sorry but the iPhone ice is simply to die 4.
Go back to your cave.
post #11 of 109
lol, I'm sure hutcho is the king of style.

however, my white iphone has these small cracks around the camera lens too.. I never dropped mine either... hopefully they figure out the problem
post #12 of 109
It seems as though many of these problems can be explained by a part that isn't sized exactly. I've seen that happen far more often than I would expect. When that happens, the part is actually stretched or bent to fit. We're only talking about a tiny amount, not even enough for manufacturing to always notice, but enough to cause a stress fracture. Depending on how thick the part is, and how close to an edge it is, it may crack, or it may not. It also depends on the underlying shape. If a portion of the part is bent, and it's thin, it might not crack unless it's near an edge. But, if there is a sudden increase in thickness there, it will crack along the portion where it suddenly becomes thicker. It's a fulcrum effect.

An example would be a fishing rod. It gets thicker slowly, so that there is a gradual bend. but if it became thicker suddenly, the rod would crack at that point.
post #13 of 109
Maybe I was too harsh..
post #14 of 109
Funny, all of those cracks look like they were caused by compression.

If you stick your iphone in your trouser pocket and sit on it what would you expect to happen?

The curved design obviously does not spread the load like a squared off design would but hey ho, if your thick enough to sit on it !!
post #15 of 109
That's even harsher.
I thought they go for pink only
Does that same rule apply for a white iPod?
post #16 of 109
wow, gay bashing? are you 13 or is this 1980 where bashing gays is acceptable?

since when does white equate to homosexuality... this is utterly ridiculous.
post #17 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Funny, all of those cracks look like they were caused by compression.

If you stick your iphone in your trouser pocket and sit on it what would you expect to happen?

The curved design obviously does not spread the load like a squared off design would but hey ho, if your thick enough to sit on it !!

Yes, that's why Apple is replacing them no questions asked, because all of these people sat on their phone.

Who's the thick one here?

post #18 of 109
If this becomes a wide spread phenomenon it could really hurt Apple.
Let's hope it's limited.
Charko
Reply
Charko
Reply
post #19 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

wow, gay bashing? are you 13 or is this 1980 where bashing gays is acceptable?

since when does white equate to homosexuality... this is utterly ridiculous.

Don't feed the troll
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #20 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is 3G too hot for plastic?

No, there are a lot of other manufactures making 3G phones out of plastic which don't have the issue.
post #21 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadisawesome View Post

wow, gay bashing? are you 13 or is this 1980 where bashing gays is acceptable?.

Hey, slow down. It wasn't meant as an insult. I have nothing against people who are gay, my brother is gay. He also likes the white iPhone.
post #22 of 109
they should go to the local Apple store and see if the display models have the cracks. They should be displaying cracks if this is an Apple problem, right? I can't imagine that every store is constantly swapping out phones to keep them looking pretty for potential buyers - it would cost too much. Those display phones are probably handled more than a regular phone, so they should show all these cracks.
post #23 of 109
Remember that Steve Martin movie The Jerk? He had this great invention which made him wealthy, but then it caused people to go cross-eyed - he was sued and sent to the poor house. If people don't get these replaced - without hassle - the PR on this will be beyond damage control and tarnish AAPL for quite awhile. If this happens to my iPhone 3G and they don't replace it - I will be picketing every Apple store and at&t store in Dallas and handing out literature and photos from all these disgruntled customers to anyone that will look at them - and that will turn away quite a lot of customers. I will make sure the press is there, too and it WILL be on on youtube for the rest of the world to see. A threat? You bet your ass it's a threat and I encourage others to do the same. Oh, and while I'm at it - I'll show them my 0-1 3G and EDGE bars and the # of dropped calls and the message forums for that, too. Your ball.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
post #24 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Funny, all of those cracks look like they were caused by compression.

If you stick your iphone in your trouser pocket and sit on it what would you expect to happen?

The curved design obviously does not spread the load like a squared off design would but hey ho, if your thick enough to sit on it !!

Phones get put in pockets. If you design a phone that can't stand up to someone sitting down while it's in their pocket, that's still a manufacturing defect. Without question, I would expect a replacement.

I've sat on, dropped, stepped on, etc, many phones, and never had cracks appear. I have, however, had almost every white plastic Apple product I've ever owned end up with small surface cracks (even ones that have never left my desk or been unplugged from my Mac). Apple's white plastic is just too fragile.
post #25 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

No, there are a lot of other manufactures making 3G phones out of plastic which don't have the issue.

I meant Apple's designer white plastic.
post #26 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

If people don't get these replaced - without hassle - the PR on this will be beyond damage control and tarnish AAPL for quite awhile.

What they will do is fix the issue going forward, but not replace the ones that are already out there, because really, this is no big deal. It really only shows up on white iPhones, and only about 6 people have bought that colour anyway.
post #27 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I'm sorry but the iPhone ice is simply to die 4.
Go back to your cave.

I agree. And I'll take Kate Moss too. You guys are pretty harsh.
post #28 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

What they will do is fix the issue going forward, but not replace the ones that are already out there, because really, this is no big deal. It really only shows up on white iPhones, and only about 6 people have bought that colour anyway.

If you bothered to do any reading, and didn't spend all of your time projecting your latent homosexuality onto others, you'd know that the problem is widespread.
post #29 of 109
My very carefully handled iPhone 3G bought in Sweden:



post #30 of 109
Quote:
Ottawa, Canada resident has been turned back at retail and on the phone by Canadian iPhone provider Rogers Wireless, which said it would have to technically rule the flaws "customer abuse" and charge the full replacement cost of the phone.

No surprise there then!!

I think a lot of it would depend on how quickly the damage was spotted. Within a reasonable time frame any store worth its salt wouldn't hesitate to replace it.

I got mine from CPW so they might try it on. I reckon if you got one from Apple you'd be in for a quick replacement as i've always found their aftersales service very good. In the UK the phone is still fit for purpose so you might have a job arguing your case. Not sure about the rest of the world.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
post #31 of 109
Don't get me wrong I will never go buy a dell or hp, but come on Apple why do you keep using inferior plastics. This is the same exact problem we had with the MacBooks keyboard surface. Both my wife, sister, and sister in law all have the same problem with their computers.
If Apple truly wants to set themselves apart they cannot afford stupid errors like this. They need to switch to a better grade of plastic or just stick to aluminum. I am hoping this is just a mistake and not intentional.

Below are two pictures of my sister and wife's computers. Keep in mind these are taken after the plastic plate has already been replaced once.
LL
LL
post #32 of 109
I'll worry when I hear what percentage of the 2 million (or whatever) 3G iPhones actually has a problem This won't keep me from buying, since even a rare problem seems exaggerated in a support forum. People don't bother to post if they don't see the issue. (Pick any product, and any issue, post on it in a very active forum dedicated to that product, and when the replies roll in you'll think everyone has that problem.)

You can't take forum posts (or Web polls) as statistics to evidence a "widespread" problem. It's certainly something to keep an eye on though, in case it turns out it IS widespread, and not, say, one bad batch or something.
post #33 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Remember that Steve Martin movie The Jerk? He had this great invention which made him wealthy, but then it caused people to go cross-eyed - he was sued and sent to the poor house. If people don't get these replaced - without hassle - the PR on this will be beyond damage control and tarnish AAPL for quite awhile. If this happens to my iPhone 3G and they don't replace it - I will be picketing every Apple store and at&t store in Dallas and handing out literature and photos from all these disgruntled customers to anyone that will look at them - and that will turn away quite a lot of customers. I will make sure the press is there, too and it WILL be on on youtube for the rest of the world to see. A threat? You bet your ass it's a threat and I encourage others to do the same. Oh, and while I'm at it - I'll show them my 0-1 3G and EDGE bars and the # of dropped calls and the message forums for that, too. Your ball.

For a brief moment there i thought your iPhone had cracks in it.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
post #34 of 109
So it's true. The new 3G iPhone is all that it's"Cracked" to be.
post #35 of 109
Me thinks more content for www.ruinediphone.com
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
post #36 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

Honestly, it serves them right for buying a white iPhone, which is clearly the ugliest thing since Kate Moss. In fact, I think the cracks make the white ones look better.

Looking at Kate Moss.... you may be right.
post #37 of 109
Quote:
Below are two pictures of my sister and wife's computers. Keep in mind these are taken after the plastic plate has already been replaced once.

Remind me not to lend them any of my Apple stuff
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
Reply
post #38 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

Remember that Steve Martin movie The Jerk? He had this great invention which made him wealthy, but then it caused people to go cross-eyed - he was sued and sent to the poor house. If people don't get these replaced - without hassle - the PR on this will be beyond damage control and tarnish AAPL for quite awhile. If this happens to my iPhone 3G and they don't replace it - I will be picketing every Apple store and at&t store in Dallas and handing out literature and photos from all these disgruntled customers to anyone that will look at them - and that will turn away quite a lot of customers. I will make sure the press is there, too and it WILL be on on youtube for the rest of the world to see. A threat? You bet your ass it's a threat and I encourage others to do the same. Oh, and while I'm at it - I'll show them my 0-1 3G and EDGE bars and the # of dropped calls and the message forums for that, too. Your ball.

Micro-cracks in the plastic casings of iPhone 3Gs aren't likely to cause physical harm to the owners of the devices, so your analogy is something of a stretch. And picketing, as you threaten, may be a bit of an overreaction. Great movie though!

All the cracks do is make the device look used (as all iPhones most certainly are), though the massive crack around the headphone jack definitely looks like user abuse/carelessness to me. iPhones, like all mobile phones, are going to take something of a pounding. It's unrealistic for people to expect them to look pristine forever.

Caveat venditor? Could Apple have constructed the iPhone 3G out of different materials to better guard against early wear and tear? Perhaps. I don't know what all they did in R&D on the new iPhone 3G, but I'm sure they arrived at what they deemed the best possible combination of form and function that would still be affordable and marketable. Is it a bit early for the new iPhone 3Gs to be showing signs of structural fatigue? Again, perhaps. But like other posters have noted, such signs may have more to do with individual owners' treatment of their iPhone 3Gs than with possible flaws in the design or lack of durability of the materials used.

My iPhone 3G had its anti-glare screen protector affixed and was inserted into its Contour iSee hard shell case before I even turned it on! The case and screen protector, in concert with my diligence to protect my investment, have thus far kept my iPhone scratch- and crack-free (at least to my eyes).

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

Reply

"Be aware of wonder." ~ Robert Fulghum

Reply
post #39 of 109
too far... FAIL.

Just gave my iPhone a quick once over, no cracks
MacBook 2.1Ghz
iPhone 3G 8GB Black
Reply
MacBook 2.1Ghz
iPhone 3G 8GB Black
Reply
post #40 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

If you bothered to do any reading, and didn't spend all of your time projecting your latent homosexuality onto others, you'd know that the problem is widespread.

Never say widespread to a Gay basher.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › iPhone 3G owners report hairline cracks in their phone's casing