Apple suspends sales of iPhone 4 slider cases, fueling ‘Glassgate’ rumors

iphone-4-back

Just when I thought that “Glassgate” had come and gone – I hate scandals that end with “gate” – news comes up that Apple has suspended sales of slider cases at its retail stores. Apparently, the cause of the suspension is that dirt and debris are causing scratches and cracks to the glass backing on the iPhone. I’ve already covered this issue at great length before, and my skepticism remains, but there must be good reason that this issue has come up again.

Case makers and manufacturers have invested a great deal of time and money into making iPhone 4 cases that are certified “Made for iPhone 4.” While this does deal a blow to those manufacturers, many of them have pointed out that the cases are still available at retailers like AT&T, Best Buy and Radio Shack.

According to Cult of Mac:

“Glassgate is a real problem,” said the source. “Apple is not approving slide-on cases right now for its stores.”

I asked a Genius Bar employee at Apple’s Fifth Avenue retail store in Manhattan about the suspension of cases.

“I don’t know why they’ve been suspended. I see hundreds of people every day with iPhone issues and I’ve yet to see one that was cracked or scratched because of a casing,” the Genius Bar employee said.

The report continues:

The Glassgate issue may even not be a real problem. Tim Hickman, an iPod/iPhone accessory veteran and CEO of Hard Candy Cases, said there is no issue with trapped dirt — Glassgate is a perception problem, not a real problem.

“I’ve shipped 22,000 units and not heard a single complaint,” he said. “If there was a problem, we would have heard about it by now. I’m very suspect that there’s a real issue there.”

Hickman makes a very good point there. If there was a problem, why are we only hearing about it in two very isolated reports? Apple sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 units during its first three days, and sold over 14.1 million iPhone 4 smartphones in the fourth quarter. Where are the raging masses?

We’ve reached out to Apple and are awaiting comment.

[Via: Cult of Mac]

  • Anonymous

    No problem:
    slide iPhone in another way.
    Alarm problem: wake up another way.
    Antenna: hold your iPhone another way.

    • Max

      No problem:
      slide iPhone in another way.
      Alarm problem: wake up another way.
      Antenna: hold your iPhone another way.
      iPhone: Die another day

  • Dragan

    I’ve had an iFrogz case with my 3GS which was a slider, and it not only scratched but gouged the back of the phone. Isn’t it just common sense that slider cases would do this?

  • Dragan

    I’ve had an iFrogz case with my 3GS which was a slider, and it not only scratched but gouged the back of the phone. Isn’t it just common sense that slider cases would do this?

  • Dragan

    I’ve had an iFrogz case with my 3GS which was a slider, and it not only scratched but gouged the back of the phone. Isn’t it just common sense that slider cases would do this?

  • Anonymous

    Yup, I would have to agree, pretty much speaks for itself.

  • Anonymous

    Yup, I would have to agree, pretty much speaks for itself.

  • Anonymous

    Yup, I would have to agree, pretty much speaks for itself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaeldanderson Michael Anderson

    Why is everything a “gate”? Does it have to be *gate to be an issue?

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaeldanderson Michael Anderson

    Why is everything a “gate”? Does it have to be *gate to be an issue?

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaeldanderson Michael Anderson

    Why is everything a “gate”? Does it have to be *gate to be an issue?

  • D. Sanchez

    I just replaced the back of my iphone with a metal back plate.

  • Skuzz

    I had JuicePack Air 4 which was a slider case, it scratched the back of my iPhone 4.

  • Billy Smyth

    You know it may not be present in the masses since as a whole the media outlets are all pro-apple and wouldn’t listen to complaints. For example, if something ever came up on dig about it, I promise the apple fanboys would vote it down.

  • Dani

    I’ve got mine cracked. It’s not heavily cracked, just slightly. I have bought a metal replacement back to replace it when it breaks completely, because I’m not going to argue with Apple to get a glass back again (and therefore have the same problem in X months…)

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