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Apple Reportedly Heading Off iPhone 'Glassgate' 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the you're-just-not-holding-it-right dept.
alphadogg writes "Apple is reportedly working behind the scenes to address scratching and cracking of the iPhone's glass back panel by certain third-party cases. This 'Glassgate' story got rolling with a report in the gdgt newsletter by Ryan Block, who says he spoke with sources inside and outside of Apple about this issue, but was unable to get an official Apple comment. Block writes: 'Apple has apparently found that non-bumper style cases — specifically those that slide onto the iPhone 4, which are occasionally prone to particulate matter getting caught between the rear of the phone and the case — can cause unexpected scratching that could quickly develop into full-on cracking or even much larger fracturing of the entire rear pane of glass. To put it another way: Apple is afraid you might buy a standard slide-on iPhone case, put it on your phone, and then discover the next time you take it off that the entire back of your device has been shattered by no fault of your own.' Apple is said to be taking it seriously, looking to avoid the sort of backlash it got when reports surfaced over the summer that the iPhone 4's antennas didn't work correctly when users gripped the phones in a certain (and quite natural) way."
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Apple Reportedly Heading Off iPhone 'Glassgate'

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  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:38PM (#33838952)

    This is speculation right now, where are the pictures of phones with scratched or broken glass?

    The damn phone has been out for months and Gawker, Powerpage or any of the Apple fanboy sites have no photos of this "issue".

  • Re:Quality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:42PM (#33839024) Journal

    The antenna problem isn't really a straight forward thing, and there will always be someone who "said so" that you can find before hand. Their super-secret method of testing bit them in the butt on that one.

    The glass on the back not being scratch resistant bothers me, though. I have a 4, and I've got a little scratch on the back, though I've been fairly careful with it - careful enough that it shouldn't have scratched. It doesn't matter too much, since I don't use it as a fashion accessory. My issue with the phone is that it "feels" less natural than the 3 I had. Somebody definitely dropped the ball on the functionality side to try and make it look hip, and it came at the expense of usability in several ways (issues with proximity sensor, antenna, easily scratched back glass, poor vibe switch action, no reduction in bezel size, individual volume vs rocker, comfort in hand).

    I suppose you could call it quality, but its quality on the engineering and development side, not really in the actual assembly and construction.

  • by mrnick (108356) on Friday October 08, 2010 @01:53PM (#33839184) Homepage

    I thought making the back side glass was not overly bright in the first place. I'm not in the group that wants their phone to be all shiny and pretty so they can show it off anyway.

    I have not upgraded to the 4, still using the 3gs. Because of the front glass the iPhone requires a case. I have a rubber case that has tread on the back, like a tire. It helps it grip and keeps it from sliding.

    If you are the type of person that is going to buy a case that covers up the glass back of the iPhone are scratches on the back really going to bother you? If it cracks the back that could be an issue but how is Apple to blame for this? I would be upset with the people who made the case. It's their fault for the design flaw in their product. You won't see and Apple logo on any of these!

  • Re:Quality (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:03PM (#33839332)

    This is really nothing new for Apple. Every few years they release a product that has a number of fairly absurd issues they should have caught sooner. This isn't the first iPhone/iPod that's been prone to scratching, but the problems go back well beyond that. Remember the stupid puck-shaped mouse?

    Certainly, one of the problems they face now is that Apple has moved far beyond being a niche. In years past they could get away with more because their core base was quite forgiving. But it also seems that the number of issues seem to be growing. I suppose it's Apple's obsession with not compromising on aesthetics, being stubborn about their way of doing things and their experimentation with new materials and manufacturing processes.

    The funny think is that the glass used on the iPhone was trumpeted as being amazingly scratch-resistant. I recall reading a story on that glass. I don't recall how much better it was than regular glass, but even 25% more resistance might not translate into a whole lot under actual use.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:22PM (#33839546)

    "Oh I get it you made a funny because You don't have an iPhone!" - Fouad from Family Guy.

    I could live with a few scratches, I just wish I could have a WiFi connection on my Android phone for more than sixty seconds.

  • The seriousness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:26PM (#33839592)
    Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones...or particulates.

    Cracked or shattered glass on the back of the iPhone is a serious issue. Anyone who's been cut by glass can relate. Understanding that this hasn't happened yet, one could easily see why Apple is working to head this off. "Gushing blood caused by iPhone" isn't something Steve can explain away with "He was holding it wrong".
  • by sycorob (180615) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:36PM (#33839732)

    I admit, I have no data to back this up, just anecdotal observations, but does it seem like a fair number of people walk around with iPhones with cracked screens? I don't think I've ever seen people walking around with Droids and Blackberry's with shattered screens. When it's happened to people I know, they'll admit that they dropped it, but I drop my Droid at least once a week, and so far it's OK (knock on wood).

    I feel like the iPhone casing has gotten so minimal that there's not much to muffle the blow if you drop it on the edge - nothing left to give. I'll give Apple props for this though; even though the cracked screens look like crap, the phones still work, touch screen and all.

  • Why not sapphire? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swb (14022) on Friday October 08, 2010 @02:42PM (#33839796)

    My Tag Heuer watch has a sapphire crystal and it has ZERO scratches on it after 3+ years of continuous wear. I wear this watch all the time, including times where one might question the wisdom of wearing a $2500 watch (ie, crawling in the crawlspace working on a lighting/wiring project).

  • Re:Doin' it wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by semiotec (948062) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:17PM (#33840228)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNSHA3FBW2U [youtube.com]

    check out 1:15.

  • Re:Quality (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @05:08PM (#33841398)

    Remember the stupid puck-shaped mouse?

    How about the cracking G4 cube cases? But it goes back further. I've got beige era kit here -- ever pulled that stuff apart to make repairs? Pure Chinese puzzle-box. All sorts of sequenced tabs, sliders, and screws under clips that break. You cannot disassemble without consulting the individual unit manual.

    Why? 'Design'. To get design awards from other 'designers'. Grotesquely ignoring that the elegant, economical solution would be to place evident machine screws like normal industry does.

    Ive and Jobs have an undisguised Dieter Rams fetish. I've got a lot of respect for Rams, but Google around for his most famous pieces and you'll notice that even the design museums have had an awful time getting units that are unblemished. His designs damaged easily and show the scars bluntly. This is an design failure that no one likes to mention. Braun wasn't able to make Rams' gorgeous designs work until they went all-soft-plastic in the 70s.

    Apple makes very pretty kit. I'm _glad_ they push hard at aesthetic excellence. But they just as regularly fail to follow through to make these design /concepts/ into tested, engineered daily-use products before shipping. Hearing they've got fatigue cracks yet again really makes me wish Ive would get a signboard around his neck that says 'IDIOT', just long enough that he absorbs the voluminous engineering literature on material strength, and then can /truly/ deliver innovation. Right now he's _still_ a dilettante architect that makes leaky roofs.

  • Re:Why not sapphire? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HornWumpus (783565) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:03PM (#33841852)

    You can get an 'Invicta' at any pawn shop for about $60. Lots of selection.

    I've never herd of this brand except on the 'Home Shopping Network' and at pawn shops.

    I've got no need for a watch, got a cell phone.

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