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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 tallcool1 on 7/30/2008 11:51:46 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
C'mon people dont we test our products before we let them loose on the market?
Ask XBOX 360 owners whom have suffered the dreaded RROD.
So, no, Apple isn't immune to unexpected deficiences as other manufactures have likely faced. However they are handling it appropriately as MS did with the 360 by offering a free replacement. That doesn't give them a pass on the flaws, but is an acceptable response to the problem.


RE: That is so amateurish!
By mles1551 on 7/30/08, Rating: -1
RE: That is so amateurish!
By Alexstarfire on 7/30/2008 1:54:55 PM , Rating: 1
You'd think so, but companies only care about money.


RE: That is so amateurish!
By gcouriel on 7/30/2008 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 3
c'mon man... research before you post.

firestone was not solely responsible for the tire issue. ford was found to be partly to blame, because it was ignoring Bridgestone/Firestone's recommended tire inflation, telling consumers to underinflate the tires, which generated more heat than the tire could sustain, aggravating the problem

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/UpgradeTir...

Also, the GM truck fiasco was a setup by Dateline NBC. they rigged the truck with small rockets to cause the tanks to explode! GM sued the crap out of NBC!

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0...

yeah, i think apple dropped the ball, if it is true that this is a wide-spread problem. however, where's it's just a couple of isolated problems, then forget about it. i'm hardly an apple or MS fan, but i can tolerate some of the problems, so long as they address them in the long-run.


RE: That is so amateurish!
By lightfoot on 7/30/2008 4:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
Last time I checked, nobody has ever been killed by an iPhone or an Xbox 360. This is not a consumer safety hazard; it is an inconvenience.

It's a pity that you weren't able to play video games for two weeks, or that your phone cracked and you had to drive all the way back to the Apple store – it's not a tragedy. At least you and your family weren't KILLED because your car exploded when the tire failed. There is no way that any consumer device will EVER be held to the standards of safety that autos are.

That level of quality and safety is cost prohibitive. You really don't want to pay to have the government crash test your phone. You don't want government mandates requiring you to have liability insurance in case someone is injured when you use your Xbox incorrectly. You don't want to have to be licensed to use your phone or game console, and you don't want to have to take it in and have it inspected annually to make sure it is still operating correctly. To compare consumer electronics to the transportation industry is silly at best and downright ignorant at worst.

If the battery was exploding and people were catching fire that would be one thing, but we are talking about a cracked piece of plastic for goodness sake. Even the 360 only flashes red lights at you - it doesn't self destruct and explode. It might be nice if you could maintain just a little perspective.


RE: That is so amateurish!
By Alexstarfire on 7/31/08, Rating: 0
RE: That is so amateurish!
By lightfoot on 7/31/2008 10:53:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're going to ____ing nitpick about an analogy you're likely going to find differences. It's to make a similar comparison, NOT an exact comparison.


If you make an analogy while ignoring scale, cost and consequence, you have made a flawed analogy.

The iPhone to Xbox 360 is a good analogy: an inconvenience caused by poor design and a failure to fix it during testing.

The iPhone to Firestone tires and Ford Pintos is a bad analogy: death and bodily harm caused by systemic failures at multiple levels within a government regulated industry.

I agree with you that it is about money, but it is not because they don't care, it's because they cannot afford the cycles required to do the exhaustive level of testing required.

However I still don't get how a minor crack in the case constitutes a "glaring" issue. Any new product is going to have its share of defects, that's simply the nature of product launches. It is probably lucky that it is only a problem with the case - other defects could be far more troublesome and costly to fix.


RE: That is so amateurish!
By mindless1 on 7/30/2008 6:46:32 PM , Rating: 2
IF the replacement product has the same flaw and also breaks, it is not a reasonable solution. Customers buy expecting to never have to exchange it, that the company was diligent in designing it so that won't happen.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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