Glassgate Resurfaces: Apple Bans iPhone 4 Slide-On Cases in Retail Store

Posted November 9, 2010 at 2:41pm by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 9957 views

Apple retail stores have banned sales of iPhone 4 slide-on cases to investigate concerns about trapped dirt causing scratches and cracks in the glass.

"Glassgate" as the issue was first dubbed by gdgt was dismissed by many as inaccurate. CultofMac is now backing up the gdgt story with information from a source that claims the ban is real and is affecting at least half-a-dozen case makers.

"Glassgate is a real problem," said the source. "Apple is not approving slide-on cases right now for its stores. If they didn't have a glass back they wouldn't have a problem."

Apple is investigating whether the constant action of sliding cases on and off the glass-backed iPhone can cause scratches and eventually cracks, said the source. The iPhone 4's back is not made from the same toughened Corning Gorilla Glass used on the front. The Glassgate issue is not affected by snap-on cases, our source said.

Apple is slowly evaluating each and every iPhone 4 case at a secret case testing facility. Some may be approved before the holidays. It’s literally on a case-by-case basis (pun intended), the source said.


CultofMac notes that among the banned cases is Mophie’s Juice Pack Air. Their source says Mophie ordered over 100,000 of these cases manufactured but is still waiting for the green light from Apple to be able to sell them in Apple Stores.

Some case manufacturers believe Glassgate is not existent and suggest Apple is taking these extreme precautions to prevent any further damage to the iPhone brand, even if the damage is only a result of public perception and not reality.

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Leonick - November 10, 2010 at 12:07am
Well I can tell you that my silicone ipod touch case as well as the later more rubber like one i also had sure gave scratches too due to trapped dirt (that or the scratch magnet that is the ipod touch back simply attracted scratches trough the case :P)... Shouldn\'t come to a surprise to anyone that dirt trapped between your case and you phone will cause scratches and that is probably true for all types of cases no matter how you put it on the phone as long as they have a backside. And of course scratches in a glass backside is worse than scratches in a metal or plastic one as scratches and micro cracks weakens glass a lot
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