First it was Antennagate and now it is Glassgate? A report from gdgt suggests that Apple is dealing with another iPhone 4 hardware flaw. The problem this time focuses on the glass backing of the iPhone 4 which is prone to scratching and even breaking when an iPhone 4 is housed within a third-party slip-on case. Ryan Block of gdgt 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.”
To lower the risk of scratched and broken glass on its iPhones, Apple sold only the Apple-branded bumpers and pulled the potentially offending products from its stores and online storefront. No third-party cases = no case-induced broken glass. The report goes on to assert that the iPhone team at Apple has assembled a testing lab and is reportedly working on this problem. Interesting.
Of course, it is possible that this report is incorrect. Apple may have stopped carrying third-party cases and started carrying Apple bumpers as part of its free bumper program, not because it is was afraid of some broken glass. Now that the bumper program is over, Apple has begun to introduce third-party cases to its online storefront. It is also possible that Apple is working on a new testing lab, but that lab could be used to develop new hardware materials for the next generation iPhone, not for fixing a flaw in the current version. Though this report may turn out be correct, it sounds a bit fishy to me. Anyone care to comment on the validity of this rumor? Are you buying it or not?