13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2010 7:24 AM by richvid
Frank Guetter Level 1 (0 points)
Hi there,

I am just wondering if anyone is experiencing the same trouble as me:
I got my iPhone 3GS a little over a year ago.

Yesterday I observed two hairline cracks on the back of the housing close to where the charging cable is being plugged in. I fear this part may break off anytime soon and it reminds me of a problem I had with my MacBook some time ago.

I had been uber-obsessed with maintaining this phone as good as new and I am now in shock - this is the second device from Apple with a cracked plastic fault.

So yeah, let me know if anyone else is observing this, or has an idea as to what I should do?

I'm loving this phone so much, besides those cracks though!
Thank you,

iPhone 3GS - black, iOS 4
  • richvid Level 1 (90 points)
    My iPhone 3GS is suffering from the same problem - I've never dropped the phone and am very careful when using this phone - I fitted a protective case to it within weeks of buying it.

    My phone is now approx 10 months old and I have noticed a small hairline crack at the bottom of the phone near the charging point. I think it is caused because the casing is so close to the charging point so when you insert the phone into the iphone dock at an angle it puts a strain on the rigid case which eventually fatigues and cracks. For the sake of a few thou of clearance around the docking port, this problem wouldn't have reared its ugly head!

    I have to say it's a superb bit of kit which has revolutionised the way I access the internet as well as organising my life.

    Anyone else using a iPhone 3G or 3GS noticed the hairline cracks on the back of their phone near the docking port?
  • Jonathan Phillips1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I've had exactly the same issue on my 3GS and I know I've been incredibly careful with my phone. I went to the Apple Store genius bar today to have some one investigate. Pretty disgusted with the response.

    They were pretty well scripted in handling this particular issue.

    I was told that had my phone been in warranty (it's now 113 days passed), they would have replaced it but as it's not, it is no longer Apple's problem. Think that through. I put it to them that it's clear that that element is simply poorly designed and the fact that it cracked was not my trouble, evidenced by their willingness to replace the unit free-of-charge when under a year old. The well scripted reposte was that they replaced it as a a good will gesture -- essentially, they do not accept there is any issue with their design.

    I don't accept this. If it was user mis-use after 365 days old, then it was mis-use before. It's either their design at fault or it's my manhandling.

    I shall be putting this in writing to Apple and my trading standards officer (I'm UK-based)
  • Jon Lorrimer Level 1 (35 points)
    I have the exact same cracks on my 11 month old phone. I've read they will replace while under warranty so I'm going to have to make the hour long trip to my nearest Apple Store (Manchester)and hope this is the case.
    It doesn't affect how I use the phone, but it could affect resale value - plus I'm guessing I should get an extra 12 months warranty for the replacement.
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (21,530 points)
    I had the same problems with my 3G 16GB white, I got it exchanged, the phone was still covered by Apple Care.
  • richvid Level 1 (90 points)
    Pleased to hear that Apple exchanged your phone under warranty.

    Seems like a visit to the local Apple store at Meadowhall in Sheffield is in order to see what can be done to fix the problem.

    I need an excuse to take a look around at the other Apple goodies so this is as good as it gets
  • sujincho Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi sorry to hijack! but, I've been looking to get my iphone white 3GS replaced while it's still in warranty.

    However even with all my care I've dropped it a few times so theres some scuffs and scratches in the corners (my bf yells this is why we can't have nice things!) Also I've put a few stickers in the back to help with my iphone grip. The cases were never small enough for my pocket.

    But my phone literally has so many hairline cracks and none of them originating from my dents or scratches. They include
    1. running from metal border to silencer/volume switches
    2. several surrounding the power button and sim card cover
    3. several originating from my dock port, both sides including running up the rear curve
    4. A lot! running along the left side covering a space around 2inches long and .5 an inch wide.
    5. on the right side 2 small cracks that seem to make a y shape.

    Does anybody have experience whether the evidence of my er miscare and stickers make me ineligible for a replacement even within warranty? I tried looking around, but all the posts about replacements don't mention previous damage.

    Sorry for the overabundance of details, I'm not even sure if these cracks are manufacturing defects, but my good friend (apple freak) saw my phone and said I should definitely take it in for a replacement.

    Thank you for any help!
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 (123,395 points)
    It doesn't matter what any fellow users say in this regard.

    Each warranty claim is on a case by case basis. There is only one way to find out for certain and that is by making an appointment at an Apple store if there is one nearby.

    If you are denied an exchange under warranty, telling the store employee that you read on the Apple discussions that a fellow user received an exchange under warranty for the same thing or similar changes nothing. Impossible to see an iPhone that was exchanged under warranty for the same thing or similar to compare it to yours but each warranty claim is on a case by case basis regardless.
  • bbfc Level 3 (850 points)
    I have just noticed a small hairline crack on my 3GS, just next to the dock connector port. I'm thinking it maybe been caused by my iPod speaker dock, but it really shouldn't crack like that.

    I'm tempted to take it to my local Apple Store for them to look at it.
  • bbfc Level 3 (850 points)
    Took my iPhone 3GS into my local Apple Store for them to look at. The assistant took one look at it, said this is not your fault and went and got me a brand new iPhone! (There was more to it, but that was the jist of what happened!)

    He said that sometimes these can occur during the manufacturing process and they may develop over time. There was no fuss, no questions, just a new iPhone!

    Thank you Apple!

    Message was edited by: bbfc
  • Jon Lorrimer Level 1 (35 points)
    Took mine in to the Apple store in Manchester and got it swapped for a new one no problem. One week left on the warranty too!
  • NorthamSaint Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had the exact same problem. I booked an appointment at the nearest Apple Store, took it in and they gave me a new one with no problems. They did give it a good looking over and also checked the headphone and docking socket for water damage, (them little tags inside that go red if you get it wet). It is obviously something that Apple are well aware of.
  • richvid Level 1 (90 points)
    Just a brief update on my earlier post, finally managed to find the time to book an appointment with the genius bar in the Apple store at Meadowhall in Sheffield who exchanged the phone without any problems. Thank you Apple

    Incidentally, if you're never been to this store I highly recommend a visit, though take your credit card with you because you will need it.

    Small teething problem now that I'm back home... I've restored the phone without any major problems. Everything restored except my email passwords and yes you guessed it -- the dreaded wifi network password!!! Now no matter what I do in terms of typing in the enormously long password, it returns the same message "Unable to join the network xxxxxx". Any ideas anyone?

    Before anyone asks, yes the wifi did work before I exchanged the phone!
  • richvid Level 1 (90 points)
    Ah, sorted the prob, on the back of the wireless router there are two buttons, by pressing button 1 you have a few minutes to enter the password requested on the iphone and they are then paired up. Thank goodness for the internet. Keeping my fingers crossed that the iphone remembers the password.