The issue, says Block, is with some slide on cases designed for the iPhone 4 which are causing scratching, . Info from sources both inside and outside of Apple leads the tech pundit to the conclusion that Apple is aware of, and indeed worried by a potential issue where some third-party slide-on cases are scratching the glass back, presumable during their installation.
The post on gdgt.com mentions that these cases have been pulled from Apple Stores both online and brick and mortar (though they are not starting to reappear) after Apple “created a lab and large new test program specifically to investigate this further”. Perhaps unsurprisingly Apple’s own iPhone 4 bumper is not affected by the potential issue as there is minimal contact between the rubber and iPhone’s glass. Coincidence? Probably.
If this turns out to be indeed a real, widespread issue, it would be another huge blow for Apple’s industrial design team. Still reeling from Antennagate – a design choice to place the antenna on the outside of the device, resulting in a perceived reduction in signal strength – the guys designing Apple’s iPhone hardware can ill-afford another knock. Antennagate lead to Apple giving away bumpers to anyone who requested one if they bought their handset before the end of September costing the giant millions of dollars. The move did seem to quieten those who at the time were calling for a full recall of a phone they deemed faulty by design.
The decision to clad both surfaces of the handset in glass was deemed a risky one by commentators even before its launch and these rumours lend credence to that.
Do you use a slider case with your iPhone 4? We’d love to know how it’s holding up – comments are below.