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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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RE: That is so amateurish!
By jabber on 7/30/2008 6:16:52 AM , Rating: 3
Or maybe they knew of the problem but it was too late to do anything before release so they decided to do a Ford Pinto and just deal with the issues individually as they appear.

Hopefully though they will sort the problem in manufacture later. At least no one should explode over this.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By FITCamaro on 7/30/2008 7:45:45 AM , Rating: 5
But if that were the case it'd be ok since they're Apple. Their failures are still successes.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/30/2008 8:54:01 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think anyone would call the Newton a success...

Or Apple TV or Apple QuickTake Camera (most probably don't even remember that) for that matter...

RE: That is so amateurish!
By robinthakur on 7/30/2008 9:17:40 AM , Rating: 5
I'd say the Newton, while not a success for Apple was incredibly influential for its time. It just proves that good ideas often don't catch on and Apple should consider themselves very fortunate that the iPod proceeded to take over the world.

The Apple TV was just a medioccre idea to begin with and suffers from the fact that people just don't know what it does and how you would use it other than saying that it connects to a tv and allows you to play back your iTunes library through the tv, which is all I know about it. Maybe once people buy/rent more movies through iTunes it will make more sense, but I seriously doubt they have sold many of these devices.

Besides Jason, don't feed the trolls please ^_^

RE: That is so amateurish!
By lantzn on 7/30/2008 3:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
I own the Apple TV and love the rental feature. The biggest problem is the restrictions that the movie industry has put on Apple because they're worried they will gain to much control as they have with the music industry. It's really sad how they give other companies (i.e. Amazon) better deals with movies. Talk about paranoia.

Besides the iTunes Library (music, video, pictures podcasts) you have access to podcasts, YouTube, movie trailers and rentals. It's actually quite versatile. I just want the movie catalog to grow faster.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By cheetah2k on 7/30/2008 10:10:56 PM , Rating: 2
Compared to the old 2G iphone, the case quality is really lacking.

It feels so light, fragile and it scratches way too easy (without even having keys in your pocket)

The domed back casing is just asking to be broken as it doesnt even sit flat on a table or general surface.

When they make the rear in pressed aluminium (well finished like the macbook air) I'll consider getting one. Right now, I'll stick with my HTC Diamond

RE: That is so amateurish!
By audiomaniaca on 8/2/2008 3:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed! Aluminium is/was much better and better looking.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By fibreoptik on 8/4/2008 9:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yummm! It was a TASTY morsel wasn't it? ^_^

RE: That is so amateurish!
By mmntech on 7/30/2008 10:36:40 AM , Rating: 3
You forgot the Pippin.
I wouldn't call them failures though. Just failures for Apple. A lot of these products were ahead of their time. The spirit was willing but the hardware and wallet were weak.

Anyway, I thought Apple had been using polycarbonate plastic, which usually takes a lot of abuse before it starts to crack like that. They must have changed the materials to cuts costs.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By othercents on 7/30/2008 10:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
Might be polycarbonate on the black ones, but not on the white ones. I haven't seen any issues with my iPhone other than having to shutoff 3G since it reduces the signal strength and makes me drop calls.


RE: That is so amateurish!
By mondo1234 on 7/30/2008 1:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
They look like they are still selling well in San Diego. I was at the mall yesterday and the Apple Store (its quite big) was full of customers and there was a line outside about 50 deep waiting for iphones.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By othercents on 7/30/2008 7:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
They are and I doubt a few cracks are going to stop people from buying them. A friend of mine has one on back order.


By Performance Fanboi on 7/30/2008 6:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
The Pippin was actually a fantastic idea that was way ahead of it's time - a game console that could play media files and network. Sounds a bit like Media Extender on Xbox to me.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By audiomaniaca on 8/2/2008 3:29:11 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, never heard about it before!

RE: That is so amateurish!
By awer26 on 7/30/2008 11:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with the Newton, Apple TV, and Apple Quicktake Camera was that they forgot to add the little "i" before it. Had it been called iTV, it would have taken off.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By lantzn on 7/30/2008 3:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
When they first show the prototype (rarely done) of the Apple TV it was named the iTV. They must have ran into some trademark issues to have to change the name. Even when it was released as the Apple TV Jobs had difficulty not calling it the iTV.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By Senju on 7/31/2008 12:21:19 AM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute. AppleTV is not a failure. If you use it as a add on option to HP MEDIA Server you get a really cool combination set. I can stream all my movies from HP Media Server via itunes to AppleTV. It is sooo cool do do it this way! :D

RE: That is so amateurish!
By Sunrise089 on 7/30/2008 10:58:36 AM , Rating: 3
Or maybe this is just anecdotal evidence in the era of web journalism where it's fashionable to show problems with any hot new device, but not talk about overall numbers.

We have no idea if this is 5% of all iPhones, or it's 5 iPhones and all of their owners posted on webforums that got linked to and reported on. I suspect it's the latter.

Imagine if Honda, Toyota, etc. released a new model of car that suffered 5-10 transmission failures in the first 1,000 miles, but was otherwise totally reliable. The big car and consumer magazines wouldn't even report it because such numbers represent a tiny fraction of total sales and aren't indicative of one own likely ownership experiences.

For whatever reason no such standards exist with web journalism right now.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By mindless1 on 7/30/2008 6:44:12 PM , Rating: 3
The difference is with the cars there was a defect or assembly (or user abuse) problem while in this case the design of the casing itself appears inadequate. It would be like ALL of the transmissions eventually failing prematurely because the designer valued form far too much over function.

RE: That is so amateurish!
By jstchilln on 7/30/2008 11:14:53 PM , Rating: 3
OMIGOD, isnt this what they complain about and make commercials about Microsoft. The media whitewash or hogwash from apple is that it is the perfect product and they never make a mistake. A cracked case I could live with but it's the BSOD on the new phone that I would have a major problem with.
Have they figured the OS bugs out yet?

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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