Blogger stokes iPhone 4 shatter fears
We're not sure how seriously to take claims that some third-party iPhone 4 cases can cause the handset's rear glass panel to shatter.
To be fair, no one appears to have suggested that this has actually happened. But it is alleged by Gdgt.com that Apple engineers are busy investigating this potential problem, implying that the company is sufficiently worried that broken phones - and, by extension, a broken reputation - are a possibility.
Here's the problem, we're told. Slide-on cases can allow dust and grit to become wedged between case and glass. Said particles then exert pressure on the panel, potentially causing a scratch, or maybe even to crack and then shatter.
It has been said that Apple pulled third-party cases out of its retail stores to avoid this.
Except that the cases are now back on sale, Gdgt.com admits. So Apple can't be too worried about the problem. More to the point, while cases allegedly were being yanked from Apple shops, the company was perfectly happy to mail out third-party cases to punters participating in its antennagate case giveaway. In addition to its own Bumper wraparound, Apple offered a good selection of third-party alternatives.
I know, I've got one. It's an Incase Snap. It clips onto the back of the handset, and being transparent you can see any dust and such. There are some specks in there now, and I know from past iPhone cases that there will be with any such covers.
Surely a more likely reason for the absence of cases in Apple stores has been the only-just-completed giveaway? The freebies stopped coming on 30 September and - guess what - cases are now back in the stores being sold over the counter.
Then there's the fact that Apple claims the "aluminosilicate" glass used on the iPhone 4's front and back is "chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 itmes harder than plastic" and is "more scratch resistant than ever".
Even allowing Apple hyperbole, that doesn't sound like the kind of material to crack or shatter because someone got some crud in their case. ®
"that doesn't sound like the kind of material to crack or shatter"
Er, yes it does.
Generally, hardening a material will also make it more brittle as, while it's tougher and more resistant to scratching, you've also removed flexibilty making it much more likely to crack or snap under excessive stress.
...in order to avoid sand damage, you used something that could be designed to trap sand?
minus several million for good thinking.
Free clue for future reference: Sand. Gets. Everywhere.
Re: Maybe not cases?
You surprise me. There are no scratches on the always uncovered front of my iPhone 4. I don't put mine in trouser pockets that also contain keys and/or coins, but that's as much because it's bloody uncomfortable. Perhaps, though, you do.
I have to say, the glass fronts on the various iPhones I've owned have remained a darn sight clearer than the many handsets I've had with plastic fronts. Even my eight-year-old hasn't managed to damage the screen of the first-gen iPhone he plays Angry Birds on.
It says 50% of readers who bothered to respond to the survey don't have an iPhone 4 and 30% or readers who bothered to respond to the survey do, but it hasn't broken.
Given the nature of the article I'd imagine readers are far more likely to respond to the survey if they have an iPhone 4, and of those that have an iPhone 4 those with a broken one are more likely to respond.
Insurers must become sceptical
@Tony Smith: "My gut feeling is that many of those folk with broken phones have actually dropped them."
Oh no - I really, really didn't drop it, honest....
I also read a report last year that insurers had noticed a marked increase in insurance claims whenever a new iPhone was released.