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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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 don?t 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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 109
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    Come on Apple! Do the right thing.
  • Reply 2 of 109
    hugo44hugo44 Posts: 2member
    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.
  • Reply 3 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.
  • Reply 4 of 109
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,314member
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 109
    thebumthebum Posts: 58member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 109
    hutchohutcho Posts: 132member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 109
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 109
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 109
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 10 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
  • Reply 11 of 109
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,023member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 109
    hutchohutcho Posts: 132member
    Maybe I was too harsh..
  • Reply 13 of 109
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,603member
    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 !!
  • Reply 14 of 109
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    That's even harsher.

    I thought they go for pink only

    Does that same rule apply for a white iPod?
  • Reply 15 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.
  • Reply 16 of 109
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    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?



  • Reply 17 of 109
    charkocharko Posts: 84member
    If this becomes a wide spread phenomenon it could really hurt Apple.

    Let's hope it's limited.
  • Reply 18 of 109
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    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
  • Reply 19 of 109
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 109
    hutchohutcho Posts: 132member
    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.
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