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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 109
    Hole crapola! Glass scratches? ...
  • Reply 2 of 109
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,341member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 109
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 109
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    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....
  • Reply 5 of 109
    moracitymoracity Posts: 26member
    That looks like a clear coat scratch. If so, the remedy:



    http://www.amazon.com/Simoniz-Clear-.../dp/B001P5TDM0
  • Reply 6 of 109
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Is that scratches or scratch? I only see one.
  • Reply 7 of 109
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,292member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 109
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,612member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 109
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 109
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 109
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 109
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,292member
    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...
  • Reply 13 of 109
    yup, dropped it a couple times on hard tile floors, and it's not scratched yet.
  • Reply 14 of 109
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,292member
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 109
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 109
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,020member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 109
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,609member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 109
    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...
  • Reply 19 of 109
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 109
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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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