Latest iPhone 4 design flaw leads to shattered glass back

By on October 8, 2010, 10:44 AM
Following the iPhone 4 antenna problems, nicknamed Antennagate, there are now glass shattering problems, nicknamed Glassgate. Citing sources "inside and outside Apple," gdgt says that Apple only recently discovered the weakness in its iPhone 4 design. Apple has purportedly set up a new lab and test program to understand the issue.

Non-bumper cases, specifically ones that slide on to the phone, significantly increase the danger of trapped particles scratching the back of the phone while taking the case on and off. Case-caused scratches may be annoying, but they are nothing new. This particular problem, however, results in the scratches leading to cracking and/or shattering of the whole back panel. In other words, if you put a slider case on your iPhone, there's a possibility the next time you pull the phone out of the case, the glass will be broken because of this design flaw.

As a result, Apple has severely limited its reselling efforts of third party cases from the Apple Store, even ones that are certified as "Made for iPhone." This really hurts the manufacturers who designed and built slide-on cases, and who pay Apple a cut to get the certification badge so they can be sold in Apple Stores. None of the third party cases still on Apple's website and in its stores are the slide-on ones.

It's not clear how widespread this problem is for those with slide-on cases, but we doubt Apple is going to comment unless the problem gets a lot of coverage. The company likely won't offer fixes or workarounds either. We can expect a completely different form factor for the iPhone 5 though.





User Comments: 34

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VonDisco said:

'but we doubt Apple is going to comment unless the problem gets a lot of coverage.'

Well seeing as it's Apple, I imagine it will get plenty of coverage! Makes me happier and happier that I went for a Desire...

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

I hate Apple more and more every day. This phone is miserable, I drop every other call I'm on in my house, which happens to be where I spend a lot of my time.

trparky said:

I have an iPhone 4 right now and I love it but with the way that Apple has been a complete douchbag when it comes to the issues with their phones, I'm not going to be getting another iPhone. With the way that the Android phones are getting better and better, the iPhone no longer has the appeal that it once had.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm glad I got the 3GS 3 months before this monstrosity came out

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My 3G iphone runs like crap 2 weeks after installing 4.1 update. I am very wary of getting another iphone and this is just one more reason to avoid

thatguyandrew92 said:

These people are obviously just not taking care of their phone properly.....

/sarcasm

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

My iPhone 4 drops way more calls that my old iPhone... and I use it in all the same places I used my old one. I'm not even left handed!

Guest said:

I love my I phone 4!!!

Guest said:

Your sliding it wrong:)

whiteandnerdy said:

does it make me a bad person if i get enjoyment from watching apple fail? who cares!!

princeton princeton said:

Guys there is obviously no issue. Steve jobs is magical.

List of huge apple defects that steve denied exist.

Ipad wifi issue. Everyones router is broken.

Iphone grip of death. 1. Doesn't exist. 2.Calculating wrong.

That's not even counting things like how it isn't actually a retina display ect ect. Now we have this. Did they even try their phone? Actually, did they even put effort into their phone?

Apple fanboys head's are just filled with air if they continue to buy this crap.

Leeky Leeky said:

'but we doubt Apple is going to comment unless the problem gets a lot of coverage.'

Well seeing as it's Apple, I imagine it will get plenty of coverage! Makes me happier and happier that I went for a Desire...

+1 here. Love my HTC Desire!

My 3 month old 3GS is now in its box in the cupboard.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Don't protect it that way. :P

RealXboxMaster said:

trparky said:

I have an iPhone 4 right now and I love it but with the way that Apple has been a complete douchbag when it comes to the issues with their phones, I'm not going to be getting another iPhone. With the way that the Android phones are getting better and better, the iPhone no longer has the appeal that it once had.

Don't blame Apple, Blame yourself for buying first sh.t batch Apple's HYPED product.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Apple has purportedly set up a new lab and test program to understand the issue.

This is one of the most ridiculous statements I've seen in a long time. Seriously, how hard is it to figure out that the design of the iphone 4, and the quality of the glass was substandard to begin with? This phone has more flaws than Obama has teleprompters.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Whoops, the top line of my post should be quoted, not the 2nd body of text :P

Seems there was a problem between the keyboard and chair when I made that post.

Leeky Leeky said:

Whoops, the top line of my post should be quoted, not the 2nd body of text :P

Seems there was a problem between the keyboard and chair when I made that post.

You sure you weren't posting from an iPhone 4?

tengeta tengeta said:

Can we stop with the everythinggate crap? Its a horse thats been beaten to death and resurrected to meet the same fate at least a few hundred times now.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

LoL ten.

It is easier to beat dead things?

By the way, I certainly never planned to buy iphone since its launch (as I never believed its worth the money); people who buy things only considering how they look, usually have thin air between two sound catching instruments.

Leeky Leeky said:

I only got mine because it was free on contract - Certainly not worth spending money on, and I'm glad I didn't.

Apple have plenty of 3G/3GS owners acting as worms stuck on a hook though...

Guest said:

iPhone 4's a pretty good phone. Every new innovation comes with flaws, and these are some of the unfortunate flaws that Apple's iPhone 4 is facing. Big whoop, not sure why you guys are having a cry and a whinge, especially if you're not using the iPhone 4. Those of you that have bought the phone, there are loads of positives around and easy fixes to these flaws. You're using one of the best phones in the market (in terms of features, functionality and aesthetics) so its not all dark and gloomy down the road!

I for one have both a HTC Desire and a i4, and reckon both are awesome phones. The new flaw outlined above appears to be only minor, and even then, the Apple customer service is top notch, so if you do encounter any such issues they will most likely give you a replacement so its all good.

I also wanted to add that critiquing is great, go ahead and do it, but having read all the posts I find it hilarious that people are just having a massive whinge about it. Seriously peepz, grow up.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

@Guest

Idk, Minor is like a button becoming loose and you have to press harder and what not. A Whole entire cracked screen? I in no way see that as minor.

True the iPhone may be good and a work of art in its own right, plus we gotta admit that its what got the entire market of android based phones chasing after it, speeding up the development of mobile computing and smartphone technologies.

While I'd hate to say it paved the way towards this, it certainly did help accelerate the mobile computing division.

Still, If Steve Jobs wasn't such a **** and denying everything, like I mean come on. Faulty routers? You've gotta be shitting me. And death grips? You'd think that with the money they're mooching off the common joe they'd have enough to extend their Q&A Trials.

Apparently Steve is more set on bathing is a pool full of blended 100 dollar bills.

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

iPhone 4's a pretty good phone. Every new innovation comes with flaws, and these are some of the unfortunate flaws that Apple's iPhone 4 is facing. Big whoop, not sure why you guys are having a cry and a whinge, especially if you're not using the iPhone 4. Those of you that have bought the phone, there are loads of positives around and easy fixes to these flaws. You're using one of the best phones in the market (in terms of features, functionality and aesthetics) so its not all dark and gloomy down the road!

I for one have both a HTC Desire and a i4, and reckon both are awesome phones. The new flaw outlined above appears to be only minor, and even then, the Apple customer service is top notch, so if you do encounter any such issues they will most likely give you a replacement so its all good.

I also wanted to add that critiquing is great, go ahead and do it, but having read all the posts I find it hilarious that people are just having a massive whinge about it. Seriously peepz, grow up.

Cuz they totally gave everone with the iphone 4 a replacement that had the antenna fixed. No they didn't, they made cases that bulked up the phone a large amount. Effectively ruining the aesthetic aspect of the phone.

Guest said:

Well I love all the guff about Apple, I used to be one of those people who hated Apple. After owning two Iphone 3GS's and now currently have four Iphone 4's...I love Apple. Sure Steve Jobs may come across as arrogant, but the Iphone 4 is an awesome phone. IOS is a great operating system and after owning these phones I'll probably always stick with Apple. They're products are typically always very high quality, and make it worth the money. I mean wtf is everyone whining about, I dropped one of my Iphone 4's almost two stories into the grass ( was working on the roof) and picked it up to find no damage whatsoever, with only a bumper case on it.

You can call me a fanboy if you want, but the majority of you hate apple, and enjoy anytime a story comes across that's critical of them. I for one am extremely happy and after 20+ years of owning Windows based PC's will probably purchase a Mac next time...

Bottom line, the Iphone 4 is one of the best smart phones ever made...and I'm still amazed everytime I use it... For those that disagree, I dont care.

Guest said:

how anyone can say your not using your mobile properly is absolutely beyond me!!

IT'S A MOBILE PHONE HELLOOO - a telephone that is able to be used whilst you are mobile

I have the iphone 4 all i can say is what a MISTAKE!

i can not use it so what is the point?

absolutely no coverage ,where i did have before with the same provider and it has to be wrapped in cotton wool or it might break

what were they thinking?....obviously they weren't at all

and have heard numerous stories of the 'cracked' or 'shattered' back

currently in the process of attempting to return the iphone, if anyone has a better suggestion i would really love to know about it

Thanks

Leeky Leeky said:

currently in the process of attempting to return the iphone, if anyone has a better suggestion i would really love to know about it

Thanks

Sell it. Someone will buy it for a silly amount of money, and then you can use the money to buy something that actually works as it should....

Flannelwarrior said:

Guest said:

I for one have both a HTC Desire and a i4, and reckon both are awesome phones. The new flaw outlined above appears to be only minor, and even then, the Apple customer service is top notch, so if you do encounter any such issues they will most likely give you a replacement so its all good.

3 month old phone shatters

Manufacturer replaces phone

"TOP NOTCH SERVICE!"

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Idk, Minor is like a button becoming loose and you have to press harder and what not. A Whole entire cracked screen? I in no way see that as minor.

I agree with the rest of your post, but when it comes to bashing Apple, people often take small leaps in whatever they are saying. It isn't a "whole entire cracked screen", its the back glass, which isn't the screen.

Gars Gars said:

umm Apple..

isnt this a (pr)launch campaign of WP7?

im apple hater but here, something stings

just joking but to produce something in china have cost - right?

aj_the_kidd said:

I have never been a fan of Apple and never will be, but the iPhone is a great phone. Still I prefer Andriod phones, its nice not being locked into iTunes.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

SNGX1275 said:

.... It isn't a "whole entire cracked screen", its the back glass, which isn't the screen.

Well, if a protected back screen (which should be very tough for use in non-cased scenarios) can shatter with some dirt particles rubbing around, I don't want to know what would set off the much more complicated and unprotected front screen..

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Obviously there aren't too many cracking, otherwise the story would be on bad front screens.

mylonite mylonite said:

I love MACS! If I didn't have to occasionally use a PC I wouldn't have the troubles that I have right now and I wouldn't be on this website.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

But your growth in the computer field would be stunted if you only used Macs.

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