After Antennagate, Apple Faces Glassgate; Blocks Sale of All Third-party iPhone 4 Cases

Written By Sam on 10 October 2010
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We all remember how Apple shut the case on iPhone 4’s death grip by explaining that no mobile phone is without ‘weak spots’ and announced free bumper cases to shield the sensitive areas of the phone. Subsequently, the company decided the antennagate issue was not so widespread after all and ended the free bumper case program on September 30 (free allocation of bumper cases was reduced to a ‘small percentage’ of users who could convince the company they were still facing antenna issues). Now, it looks like signal blues is not the only issue the iPhone is grappling with. The latest buzz is that the company is scratching its head over a new problem being referred to as ‘Glassgate’ (after technology website Gdgt’s Ryan Block dubbed it so). And it pertains to the bumper cases this time.

Gdgt reported:

“Although Apple has just this week reestablished a wide variety of cases for sale, as of only a couple of days ago the only iPhone 4 case Apple even so much as mentioned on its site was its own first-party Bumper — and still conspicuously absent from its lineup are slide-on cases. As it turns out, was by no means a cynical ploy to maximize profits… “.

So, it’s only logical to conclude Apple’s new headache has stemmed from third-party bumpers, branded MFI (Made for iPhone). Meanwhile, Gdgt cited sources “both inside and outside Apple” and revealed that “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.”

While Apple engineers are rumored to be on damage-control mode (even creating a dedicated lab to investigate the issue), there is no word on whether the company intends to replace shattered pieces. Well, no real solution has been forthcoming on the antennagate front. A prompt solution for Glassgate seems like a far cry. And some even claim there is no substantial evidence that there is actually such an issue called Glassgate at all. Others who believe in the Glassgate reports blame it on Apple’s lack of foresight.

Meanwhile, till Apple finds a solution to the Glassgate issue, it is expected to only sell first-party bumper cases. This is likely to leave third-party manufacturers, who had pumped in loads of money for manufacturing and shipping of the slide-on cases, in the soup. Gdgt suspects Apple may come out with an iPhone sans a glass back next year. Who knows?

via gdgt

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