iPhone 3GS Discoloration Due to Covers?
The French tech site Nowhere Else broke the story, on June 26,
that some white iPhone 3GS handsets were heating up to the point of
causing discoloration. Now, FrenchiPhone.com is reporting that the
discoloration was simply due to contact with an iPhone cover.
Cnet.com offers a very helpful translation of the FrenchiPhone site, which reportedly wrote: "The problem seems to come not from a hot 3GS but contact with some covers! This was evident by ourselves on a device with a small sticker (a warning not to listen to music too loud) remained stuck, part of the hull below remained white."
FrenchiPhone, in Cnet's translation, goes on to instruct users with discolored phones to lightly clean the back of the device with a bit of alcohol, which for their test device did the trick.
News of overheating 3GS phones has been accompanied by reports of the smartphone's battery life not being all that Apple promised. Some suspect the latter is a problem that will be fixed once OS 3.1 is rolled out later this year.
Neil Mawston, a U.K.-based analyst with Strategy Analytics, told eWEEK that the battery issue could be any number of things, and is an expected bump in the road as devices become increasingly complex.
"The problem, if it is widespread, could be caused by badly designed components, poorly written software, suboptimal manufacturing processes or even clumsy users," Mawston wrote in an e-mail.
Mawston continued, "What is clear for all smartphone vendors is that the more complex devices become, the greater the risk of hardware or software failures. We are going to see more of these types of headlines about smartphone vendors in the future."
While these - and other problems - are worked out, are more consumers likely to check out this summer's crop of Apple competitors? Namely, the Palm Pre, Nokia N97, BlackBerry Tour and even the HTC Touch Diamond.
"The negative headlines for this problem are not doing Apple any favors, but Apple fans tend to be very loyal," said Mawston, "so if the firm can resolve it quickly and cheaply, the impact on its core customer-base should be limited."