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i took my black iphone 3g into the apple store tonight, because i just discovered a large crack on the back of my phone today. mine starts at the base where the charger plugs into the phone. when you run your fingers over the crack, you can feel it - so i'm not sure if this is the same as the other "hairline" cracks people are finding? well needless to say, the guy at the store was a little condescending and suggested that if i didn't put it in my purse, it might not have gotten this pressure on the back therefore prevented the crack. he said my crack is "different" than the others he's seen, that the others are always up by the volume/mute buttons etc. he basically said there was nothing they could do and that i should get a case to protect it.
i have not dropped my phone, and even if it is from pressure through plugging and unplugging it, the phone should not do that. and it should not be NECESSARY to get a $40 case to protect it, if the product is made correctly - a case should be an extra protection or for non-slipping etc, not to prevent thin cracks.
i am not a happy customer tonight with apply and would have appreciated much more consideration. don't we have warranties on the phones for a year? i got mine back in july... i do feel a warranty should cover a replacement for this issue, but how am i supposed to prove that it was not dropped?
i'm not sure what to do.
well, i hope you're not putting the phone in your purse, because that could cause ALOT of phones to crack. if you haven't, then he should have been more helpful... but it is true they look for specific places where the cases are prone to breaking. maybe because the case is thinner there, i don't know for sure.
try talking to someone else, or call their support line. sometimes you'll get different answers from different people.
Bring it back and ask to speak to a manager or go to a different Apple store. Putting your phone in your purse constitutes normal use. If there are no signs of abuse or major scratches, etc in the same area you should have no problem. This is a manufacturer defect and has nothing to do with whether you use case or not. I had a rubber case. Post a picture. These defects/cracks are not scratches or other abuse and are easy to distinguish. There seams to be a thin layer of metal or something applied to the back of the case that seems to break free after use( It has the apple logo on it). Apple is aware of this issue do not take no for an answer.
I will be taking my 3G back to the Apple store for a replacement due to hairline cracks. It will be my third 3G, as the first one developed cracks in the typical places, and the second one developed some pretty bad cracks since I got it two weeks ago. (the lock button is also defective, since half of it sits flush with the housing) I have the black model, so they're not really noticeable, but they bother me regardless. (I'm not paying $200 bucks for a device that can't even last two weeks without some damage) I baby my phones; every 3G I've had has spent almost all of its time in a case, have never been dropped, and are never put in a place where significant pressure is exerted on them.
I do believe, however, that the 3G has a design defect in the housing by the volume rocker. In the latest model I have, the most serious concentration of cracks (seriously, we're talking at least 40 hairline fractures in a little more than half an inch) is between the housing and the rocker. I was rubbing the housing with my finger nail to see if I could feel them, and noticed that that particular piece of housing is able to be bent in towards the interior of the phone. Because there is nothing behind it, and because the housing is thin, that pressure causes cracks to form. (just like you would expect with anything with a coating over injection molded housing like the 3G has, even though the actual plastic is not cracking) Even if you're not trying, the pressure required to activate the rocker would cause cracks to form. There's no way around it, short of redesigning the housing.
It's too bad too, because the 3G has generally been the best phone I have ever owned. Seriously, I would give up the HSDPA radio in order to get the 2G's metal backing. Sure, it causes reception issues, but it is also incredibly durable. Hopefully the next iPhone, even if it retains the plastic back, will have a better executed version of it.
I replaced 3 iphones with that EXACT crack, NONE of my iphones got the typical cracks near the rocker, they were ALL by the charger plug, and I didn't have one problem replacing any of them. I had ONE guy start to say "I've never seen a crack in THIS spot" and as soon as I said they'd already replaced two of mine with that same crack he shut up and gave me the new one (which, FINALLY, didn't crack).