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  (Source: TYCORP/Mac Rumors)

  (Source: TYCORP/Mac Rumors)

  (Source: thedarkhorse/Mac Rumors)
Apple's iPhone 3G is not all it's cracked up to be

Apple's 3G iPhone was met with much fanfare when it launched earlier this month. The new phone brought 3G download speeds, GPS hardware, and a new iTunes App Store among other things. The popularity of the iPhone brand along with the buzz created by Apple generated sales of over one million units worldwide within three days of launch.

All is not well in iPhone 3G land, however. The folks over at Engadget noticed that a number of people are noticing stress fractures/cracks in their iPhone 3G casings. The cracks seem to mostly affect owners of white 16GB iPhone 3G models, but owners of black iPhone 3Gs have reported problems as well (but to a lesser degree).

The majority of the cracks are showing up around the edges of the phone and near the headphone jack. Some people have reported seeing cracks as soon as a day after receiving the phone, while others saw cracks within the first one to two weeks of ownership.

Thankfully for most users, Apple's retail stores are replacing the defective units free of charge on the spot.

Many saw Apple's move to a plastic back for the iPhone 3G instead of aluminum (as seen on the original iPhone) as twofold -- the plastic backing allowed Apple to reduce production costs while at the same time increase reception for the greater number of radios within the chassis.

The news of the cracked iPhone 3Gs comes just a day after the phone was likened to Windows Vista in USA Today. The USA Today article pointed to supply problems, a cumbersome activation process, overloaded activation servers during launch day, and issues with the 2.0 firmware.

"Clearly, Apple is having manufacturing and software problems," said independent analyst Rob Enderle. "A star product like the iPhone does a lot of great things for Apple, but when things go wrong, it can bring down the entire image of a company."

"Vista wasn't finished, and that's what the iPhone feels like," Enderle continued. "It's been rushed onto market, even though it wasn't ready."

Apple 8GB iPhone 3G is available for $199 with a two-year contract with AT&T. The 16GB iPhone 3G rings in at $299 with a two-year contract.

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By psychobriggsy on 7/30/2008 5:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
"The news of the cracked iPhone 3Gs comes just a day after the phone was likened to Windows Vista in USA Today. The USA Today article pointed to supply problems, a cumbersome activation process, overloaded activation servers during launch day, and issues with the 2.0 firmware."

The difference is that the supply problems are because Apple can't sell them quickly enough!

I do think that Apple does use commercial launches to perform final beta testing of their software, and of course there are the issues that only occur in production use. I feel they could test their software a bit longer before launching things with flaws. As for the cracking plastic, that's really not a good sign and seems to be yet another example of the lack of 100% quality control at Apple, possibly due to putting form before robustness.

By gcarr4499gt on 7/30/2008 6:19:43 AM , Rating: 4
Vista never had supply problems, a cumbersome activation process, or overloaded activation servers during launch.

The USA Today article was referring to the fact that both Vista and the iPhone 3G felt like unfinished products at launch.

By audiomaniaca on 8/2/2008 3:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using Vista since it's release. Again, NEVER had any problem or felt unsatisfied with it. Ok, the UAC (user access control) is a ridiculous idea and some software may be
incompatible (yet), but since day 1, I was happy with Vista. I didn't look like something unfinished, like my 2g iphone does...

By kelmon on 7/30/2008 7:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'm beginning to think that waiting is going to turn out to be a good idea. The current firmware is not supposed to be very good and I hope that the issues that it causes will be nuked, along with hardware defects, before stumping up the shitload of cash that Apple wants for one of these things.

I think it will be interesting to see if this problem is widespread or just effects a small number of devices. If so then this could be similar to a screen issue with the original iPod Nano caused by a bad resin mix in the factory and I'm honestly not sure if you can test for that.

Next they need to get rid of the Non-Disclosure Agreement for developers that is still in effect. What's up with that?

By bohhad on 7/30/2008 9:30:09 AM , Rating: 2
when it comes to tech, i always thought waiting was a good idea. bugs get worked out, price usually drops

By lantzn on 7/30/2008 4:23:50 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand your reasoning here. The iPhone 1G was the "testing" product released over a year ago. The iPhone is now 2nd generation, the software has been worked on and the price has dropped dramatically since the first release. I saw the 1G iPhone and decided to wait for version 2. Now I've ordered two iPhone 3Gs and am looking forward to getting them..

By kelmon on 7/31/2008 7:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed - it's almost certainly the best idea but in practice it has to compete against the desire to have something first. That's always a tough fight and sometimes I am weak...

By robinthakur on 7/31/2008 7:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
Kelmon, I picked up an iPhone 3g White 16Gb in London last week, and haven't experienced any of the problems other people have seen apart from slow sync and very occasional slowdown in the interface (compared to my 2G's anyway) so I would not necessarily take a great deal of notice on the naysayers out there as they often have some axe to grind or are being thick and either putting it in their back pocket then sitting on it or keeping it in the same pocket as their keys . Why?? Someone please tell me would you purposefully place a highly polished, expensive and shiny device in the same pocket as something that you greatly suspect will scratch it? You can't protect people from their own stupidity much as one might wish to...

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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