iPhone 3G ringer/silent switch broken [after 48 hours]

As an owner of the original iPhone, I patiently waited for the white iPhone 3G to be made available as an upgrade option from my network operator. 2 days ago I noticed my network operator (O2) had stock of the white iPhone 3G (44 days after its launch) so I headed to my local store and half an hour later I walked out with my new white iPhone 3G and tossed my original iPhone to one side [i.e. gave it to my girlfriend].

48 hours later and it’s already broken, the little ringer/vibrate switch has snapped and fallen off. I did notice the switch was much stiffer than my original iPhone, which I thought was a good thing as it would prevent mistaken switching of modes but unfortunately when I flicked it across the button popped off and landed on the street somewhere, never to be seen again.

There seem to be plenty of reports of this across the web too:

MacRumors – Broken Ringer Switch (and here too)
AppleiPhoneApps – Broken Ringer Switch
Apple Support – here / here / here and many more

Perhaps a faulty batch, design flaw or simply the result of substituting the expensive build quality of the original iPhone with much cheaper and more fragile plastics?

If you look closely at the photos you’ll notice a large rectangular green/blue area on the remaining stump where the button once lived. I wander if this is some sort or air bubble or impurity in the plastic from the moulding process? Also, when looking at the macro photos, the cutting of the casing around the switch seems rather jagged and rough, or perhaps I’m getting a little too fussy now?

 Back to the O2 Store tomorrow for a swap!

Here’s the obligatory photos, click to get larger versions.

UPDATE (27th August 2008): The local O2 store had no problems in issuing a replacement handset, and after a slow and painful restore I’m back up and running. The new handset switch feels even more stiff and fragile than the last one so I’m not holding out much hope of it surviving too long.

UPDATE (29th August 2008): The replacement iPhone has failed already! Exactly the same fault, the ringer/silence switch has just fallen off. I’ve been back to O2 and they’ve offered to replace with a 3rd unit (NB I got my first one 6 days ago) but I kindly pointed out to them that I think they’ve got a faulty batch so same thing would just happen again. I’m currently on hold to the Apple Store in the Trafford Centre to see if I’m allowed to exchange a faulty iPhone bought at an O2 store in the Apple Store.

8 Replies to “iPhone 3G ringer/silent switch broken [after 48 hours]”

  1. Hello to all iphone users,
    is it me or is the ringer switch a little to easy to accidentally catch, and thus make your phone silent. Then of course you miss that all important call from the lottery to tell you are a zillionaire.

    Its`only money anyway who needs it.

  2. Glad it’s not just me.

    iPhone #1: big scratch on the top of the screen straight out the box.
    iPhone #2: silent switch fell off after 3 months.
    iPhone #3: silent switch was very stiff, fell off after 1 day.

    It seems to be quite a widespread problem. The Genius I talked to said he’d seen quite a few of these, and he was just waiting for it to happen to his phone.

    Time for a recall?

  3. @Edo – Mine were replaced by my provider (O2 in the UK) but that was because I was within my 14 day money back guarantee period.

    iPhone #1 = switch fell off, replaced by O2 (2 days in)
    iPhone #2 = switch fell off, replaced by O2. (~4 days in)
    iPhone #3 = cracks all over the back, replaced by O2. (about 10 days in)
    iPhone #4 = cracks along the edges and back again, not yet been replaced but will be replaced by Apple. (today)

    I was told by the O2 store manager that the 3rd replacement would be the last one they could issue me with within the 14 days, after that I’d have to take up the issue with Apple themselves. I politely pointed out this is not the case under UK law but didn’t make too much of a fuss as they were giving me my 4th one anyway. When she asked me to check the 4th one they were about to give me I rejected it immediately as the silent ringer button was wonky and very stiff, she opened another box and I accepted that one. The ringer switch on my current one has been perfect, it’s just got stress fractures all over the back casing again.

    If you have an Apple store nearby just drop in and they’ll replace it with a new one if your switch has fallen off. If, however, your nearest Apple store is over an hour drive away, then see if you can find an approved reseller that is a certified Apple repair specialist and ask them to fix/replace it under warranty.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  4. Hey, sorry for bringing this up again…

    Was it then replaced by Apple in the end?
    Got mine already replaced once by the phone provider, but exactly as in your case same thing happened…

    I would appreciate if you have any news, as Apple and the provider keep passing the issue one to each other…

  5. Hmm thnx for your digg, i’m trying to delete my Digg so please use my Twitter for updates 🙂

    Is it stuck btw? Or can you still use it with long fingernails? (don’t guess you have 12 of those ;p)

    Keep me updated!


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