Last month we reported about a potential flaw with the iPhone 4's back that would cause it to shatter if used with a sliding case. Dubbed "Glassgate," it was learned that when an iPhone 4 was used with a non-bumper case, particles could become trapped and end up scratching, and eventually shattering, the glass backside of the device. The folks over at Cult of Mac have investigated the situation and learned that Apple stores have suspended sales of iPhone 4 slider cases due to "Glassgate" concerns. Because of this, many case makers have found that their holiday sales numbers may be much lower than anticipated because customers aren't able to buy their cases in Apple's stores. Cult of Mac's source said that Apple is currently testing each iPhone 4 case at a secret facility, and some cases may end up getting approved and placed in Apple stores before the holidays.
On a separate, but still related note, warranty company Squaretrade found that while the iPhone 4 is one of the most reliable smartphones on the market when it comes to malfunctions unrelated to accidents, it also has the highest accident rate among the devices in the study. The iPhone 4 has a failure rate of only 2.1 percent when it comes to non-accident malfunctions, lower than both the iPhone 3GS and all other smartphones in the study. Accident-related problems are a different story, though, as the iPhone 4's rate sits at 13.8 percent, nearly two points higher than the nearest competitor.
There haven't been widespread reports of any shattered glass due to sliding cases just yet, but I'm sure Apple would like to avoid any potential backlash, especially after both the Antennagate scandal and the saga of the missing white iPhone 4. For what it's worth, Tim Hickman, CEO of Hard Candy Cases, says his company has shipped 22,000 cases and hasn't heard any complaints about trapped dirt or anything like that. So, what do you all make of the situation? Is Glassgate for real?