Sunday, August 3, 2008

Apple's latest headache: some iPhones developing cracks

Posters to Apple's support forums are complaining of what appears to be a defect in the iPhone 3Gs casing, which is causing hairline cracks.

It appears from a search of the initial thread in question that the cracks are most commonly appearing around the headphone jack, ringer switch, and volume controls.

That could suggest the manufacturing process may be causing some type of weakness near these areas, and put under regular use, the defects appear in the form of small cracks.

Affected iPhone 3G users say that in some cases the cracks have become more numerous. It is not clear if the cracks will grow over time, although the issue is enough to raise the ire of iPhone buyers who have had the new device for less than a month.

"Does Apple not stress test anything any more? They make these incredibly beautiful products, but what good is beauty if it's going to crack, scratch, turn yellow, have the paint peel off, etc with normal and even delicate every day use," poster Charles Laine lamented.

While initially it seemed as if the problem was isolated to owners of the white model, it now appears that cracks are occurring on the black version as well. The reason why it may not be noticed as often is due to the color hiding the cracks better, some have surmised.

Getting the iPhone replaced has led to mixed results. While some Apple retail locations and partners are replacing the phones at no cost, at least one customer in Canada was told the cracks would be ruled "customer abuse" and he would be charged the full replacement value.

It is also being reported that Apple Geniuses are turning customers away because the cracks are not a known issue and only cosmetic, according to one blog post.

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