It’s a day of exclusive’s today. First we had 9To5 Mac’s info on Apple’s future plans for Bluetooth headphones. And now Cult of Mac is reporting “exclusively” that Apple has suspended sales of iPhone 4 slider cases.
Apparently all of Apple’s Stores have suspended these items from sale amid fears that trapped dirt that gets into the cases during every day use can cause the iPhone 4’s glass to scratch or crack.
This has allegedly left manufacturers with hundreds of thousands of items of stock which have been approved under Apple’s certified “Made for iPhone” program, but they are not able to sell in Apple Stores. Often this means they have committed to manufacture setup in the 100’s of thousands of dollars, and orders for stock approaching the same outlay. And have seen sales slump, if they have made it to market, as the only sales they get are driven through their own websites.
“Glassgate is a real problem,” said Cultof Mac’s source. “Apple is not approving slide-on cases right now for its stores.”
But other industry commentators say that Glassgate is not an issue, but a perception problem related to the iPhone 4.
With 317 Apple Stores around the world, grossing around $2 billion in sales for iPhone add-ons alone, being kicked out of them is about as disastrous as being kicked out of Apple’s Developer Program. Your options are limited.
Whatever the truth of the matter, Apple is in the process of evaluating all the products again, to test if they are causing a problem for the iPhone 4. Each will then be approved if they pass.
Manufacturers simply have to sit and wait. This must be very frustrating to manufacturers who have worked within Apple’s guidelines, operate a profit share with Apple and are in a paid program with them.
Have you got a slider case on your iPhone 4? Share your experiences with us in the comments…[via Cult of Mac]