Glassgate Resurfaces: Apple Bans iPhone 4 Slide-On Cases in Retail Store
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. Its literally on a case-by-case basis (pun intended), the source said.
CultofMac notes that among the banned cases is Mophies 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.