Are you experiencing “Glassgate” with your iPhone 4?

Ian Hardy

October 8, 2010 8:07 am


It finally seems the reception issues with the iPhone 4 have settled down, this was commonly known as “Antennagate”. To help calm the situation Apple gave anyone who purchased the new iPhone 4 a free Bumper or 3rd party case. The free case program just ended on September 30th but there is now apparently another issue that’s causing the back of the iPhone to scratch, fracture and crack. The issue is only caused by 3rd party slide-on cases and has creatively been called “Glassgate”.

According to the article in gdgt it states that Apple is in “quiet lockdown” and that the engineering team is “very concerned” about the slide-on cases. “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. To put it another way: Apple is afraid you might buy a standard slide-on iPhone case, put it on your phone, and then discover the next time you take it off that the entire back of your device has been s hattered by no fault of your own.”

I can understand if the slide-on case scratches your iPhone 4… but for those with both the iPhone 4 and a slide-on case have you noticed it crack or fracture?

Source: gdgt

The iPhone 4 Unlocked is available at PureMobile.

  • Shnur

    Well I’m using a bumper case because I find it more sleek, my girlfriend had a snap on case and it doesn’t affect the glass for now; although she only had it for a week…

  • Craig

    “s***tered?”

    Teh intrarwebs have gone too far! The right-wing protectionists have won.

  • J Taylor

    I smashed mine with a hammer because I kept dropping calls… and the glass shattered.

  • Ahmed Eltawil

    Steve Jobs’ Response: “You’re using the wrong cases.”

    • Andy C

      the sad part is that will probably be Steve’s response….

      if he has any comment at all

  • CaptainZangetsu

    LOL, Though Apple said the Glass they use was indestructible or something, LOL!! Another fail feature by Apple that they get too cocky about.

  • EJ

    I’m still not seeing the advantage to upgrading from a 3gs. Facetime isn’t an advantage nor is retina display.

    • zorxd

      You can say that it isn’t worth it for you to upgrade. But how can you say that a 4x higher resolution isn’t an advantage?
      Also you forgot:
      -smaller
      -more ram
      -better CPU

    • Toysandme

      The camera, now with HDR, and a decent flash are good enough to replace my point and shoot. The convenience of being able to email those great pics and videos makes it difficult to keep my hands off my iPhone. Add to this Pano, a great Canadian product, and it’s unbeatable.

    • Dino

      Why not upgrade?

      Fragile
      Horrible Reception
      Needing to jailbreak to do things that android can do normally
      Fake multitasking
      It costs 1.5x what a good android phone costs

      Seriously stick to the 3GS or get android

  • Regulator

    I have to say Apple is losing their quality control. This is coming from someone who is a Mac fanboy!

  • Etthy

    well….now i know another reason why not to hug to iphone4 lol what about you guys?

  • cheenachatze

    Did anyone here actually USE this phone? It has no competition, build quality or software. I’m an Android owner, and I wish I had an iPhone 4.

    • sookster54

      Just go get an iPod Touch, no sense in paying a fortune. I have one and I stopped using it after a month of owning it, I find my Androids do way more, is way more customizable AND I can change batteries on long trips (rather than taking a stupid external battery pack), and not have dropped calls. :)

  • lewis

    I actually preferred the form factor of my 3gs. It was simply more comfortable to hold and was definitely lighter. I haven’t even gotten my free case from Apple yet. Wonder if they will let me trade it in on a bumper instead. This sucks the Big Kahuna.

  • Alex

    Ive just got mine since a week and … WOW. Great build, software is great, speed is awesome. Only thing is battery, lasting me a day for now, but i guess im on it all the time cuz i just cant get my hands off of it Lol Still waiting for my case tho, ordered a leather pouch so should have a probleme with it.

    • Alex

      shouldnt *

  • sookster54

    There’s a video on youtube of a guy just dropping the iPhone 4 (not throwing) on a sidewalk, he picks it up and there’s a nasty shatter crack across the front glass. An expensive $700-750 iPhone that’s way too fragile not to mention with a s**t antenna, no thanks.

    Steve, get a new job, no pun intended. :P

  • Vicki

    Iphone is just a fancy toy… To make quality product you need more than marketing and strategy. You need experience, and you need to make a slow step at a time in terms of technology.

    Thats why no matter of the shape, OS or keyboard if your background in making a device is poor your device will be never anything but lame…

  • Epgomez

    I don’t understand why they would design a fragile cellphone. I guess apple is still a newbee when it comes to cellphone design. The ui and touch is superb. This should have been thoroughly tested in the real world.

    • Lance

      So owners would be more likely to replace it. It’s bloody genius.

  • Josh

    no glass gate problem here… nor the antenna gate problem…. I use a bestskinsever in front and back of the phone then the bumper on top… perfect combination if you ask me!!

  • Jeff

    15 dollars to have the back glass on the iphone replaced, and that’s at the Apple store. Not the end of the world. A pain in the a*s, yes.

    • Skrutor

      Unfortunately this doesn’t happen after 1-2 years of regular use. Theoretically it could happen every time you walk past a beach on a windy day.
      I’m starting to doubt the trumpeted strength of gorilla glass. A buddy just destroyed his milestone screen because a coin in his pocket was pushed against it. Plastic would at least flex, and why do we need glass on the back of a phone? Cover it with a thick layer of clear plastic if you really need to have that deep glossy look.

  • Simon

    Thank goodness I did not end up getting this phone.

  • TNSF

    Oh please, there is no glassgate. It’s the same as antennagate. Just a bunch of people trying to get 15 minutes of fame by ragging on a successful company.

  • Cadet

    i just want to know if Consumer Report knows about this… add the glass thingy to the list… along with the antennagate…..

  • Mike

    Mine is perfectly fine! I use a 3rd party case and I’ve had no problems.

  • Alex

    id be curious to see a video of any smartphone surviving a direct drop on concrete or any other hard floor without a scratch or crack ? No smartphone is made to be dropped.

  • xxl

    why do all you haters post comments ?If you don’t like the phone don’t buy one . It’s no secret that the front and back of the phone is glass. Everyone bought them knowing this. Now , when glass falls to the floor it tends to break. We buy cases to protect the glass phone. if you’re clumsy and your glass phone shatters don’t cry , your should be more careful.

    • Skrutor

      The point of this article is that the glass shatters while inside a case with debris in it. It’s not about dropping a phone.

  • Rene

    I’ve had the iP4 for a couple months now. Works fine anywhere I’ve been. Got my bumper, but picked up a flip-holster and use that instead. I often take the phone out. Thankfully, no problems that anyone seems to be reporting. No dropped calls, nothing broken. My only complaint would be battery life, but that’s why I have three chargers!

  • Ranger

    This is bullshit. Just made up s**t. More made up than the overblown Antenna problem (what problem).

  • jugger

    Still the best phone on the market. Just android fanboys.

  • snapper

    This is why children under 18 should not even have phones. They do not how to treat them proper.

  • rm

    I wonder if this is just another thing that is just blown out of proportion… i mean if you drop any device theres a chance of something getting cracked or shattered or, worse case scenario, broken… i know the article is says its caused by scratches from a particular style of cases but i wonder how many of these people complaining just dropped their iphone at a weird angle.. in any case (pun intended!) no problems on my iphone other than I am noticing I’m using my htc desire more and more..

  • sookster54

    Oh rm the difference is this phone is made of glass on BOTH the back and front whereas every other phone are hard plastic or metal bodied and just the screen is glass or plastic meaning much less of a chance of cracking the screen- sure a scratched or cracked body sucks but a cracked screen sucks much more.

  • Someone Smart

    Buy an android

  • Nphone

    Nokia N8 looks pretty tough!

  • Amanda

    Buy a rubber case, put a screen protector on. It’s common sense when you spend $300+ dollars for something that needs to last you two years until your contract is up.

    Honestly we were pretty lucky that the iPhone was ever as tough as it was. I dropped my 3GS a hundred times without so much as a chip. I’ve dropped my 4 quite a few times too and so far, no glass shattering.

  • Navan

    I have a 4 and I’ve gotta say it’s not that fragile. I had a really thick “tough” case on it for the first week, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t that big a deal. Now I have a Scosche Bandedge case on it (to cover the edges, edges are my downfall) and it’s totally fine- I’ve dropped it several times with no issues- and I’m HARD on my phones. People need to use common sense- a GLASS phone isn’t going to be indestructible. NO phone is indestructible. Take care of your stuff and stop blaming the manufacturer for your lack of common sense. If the snap cases aren’t good for the phone, make a statement saying they aren’t recommended and leave it alone. Nowhere does it say that you should be able to attach anything to the phone in any way humanly possible and still have it be okay.

    People need to stop hating on the iPhone- I get that it’s not the right solution for everyone- but it IS the right product for many people. Just because it doesn’t fit your needs doesn’t mean you need to bash it- that’s like me saying Androids and Blackberries suck because they don’t run my work app. They don’t- they have their market and for the people that choose them- good on you- but for me the iPhone is what works best. Nobody thinks you’re cool because you’ve spent the time to figure out everything you hate about the iPhone/iPod touch- it just means you’re a loser with to much time on your hands.

  • Guin

    Is that apples fault, or the company who makes the cases fault for not testing to ensure their case is safe to use with the product?

  • Don

    Love my iphone 4. Otterbox defender keeps it safe, and scratch free. Lighten up people. Name one other phone, any phone, that sells anywhere near as many as the iphone 4. None. Reason? Great phone. Period.

  • Put any case on your phone is waaaay better then nothing!

    I have replaced over 100 back and front glass for the iphone 4. 99% of the time the glass brakes because the client has no case at all. Bumper case is useless if you drop it. After market cases work just fine. I always tell my clients to put a case on there phones!