Is there such a thing as a Grade A iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dented, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Dented macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Here's a long story which turns into a rant. You don't have to read it..

    Starting back in 2008, I got my first iphone (the 3G) which I loved, because it was an iPhone and so much better than the succession of crappy smartphones I'd had previously. But there were light leaks down one side of the screen, and just after it was a year old, part of the case cracked near the silent switch. I put up with these things at the time, in retrospect I'm not sure why.

    I traded that in for a 3GS, and then had to send that back due to a very poor quality blotchy screen. And then I immediately sent the second back for the same reason. And the third, when that also came out the box looking terrible. The fourth wasn't perfect either, but I settled for it because things were getting stupid and I just needed a phone; four months later it developed a serious fault (regularly crashing mid phone call) so it went back to apple, and I got a refurb back. It was a very scruffy refurb, with an ill fitted seal around the screen and marks on the chrome surround, but it worked and it actually had a perfect screen - finally - so I kept it.

    Next was the 4S, delivered on launch day. Once again there were cosmetic issues - tiny but noticeable gaps between the glass back and the steel band, trivial but annoying. Worse than that, it started crashing randomly; the Apple store would only suggest a DFU restore, which did seem to solve it for a while, but then at almost a year old (near the end of my warranty) the crashes came back. This time they replaced it, and you know what, that replacement 4S was perfect.

    My first flawless iPhone ever after four years, three models, and eight individual phones.

    In what turns out to have been a mistake, I then traded that for an iPhone 5 last month. The first was cosmetically ok but had terrible wifi, purple lines in the camera, and a stuck pixel on the screen. Last Sunday I got it replaced with a refurb that, when I got it home, I realised was again a bit shabby - and it also has terrible wifi. Today I realised that although fine initially, it now has *two* stuck pixels on the screen.

    I mean I'm not being funny but Jesus Christ.

    How is it this difficult to get an iPhone out of Apple that actually works the way it should and doesn't look like ******? How much more do they expect me to pay for a good one? And why on earth am I still bothering with them?
  2. luckydcxx macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2013
    You are a very unlucky person. I'm not trying to rub it in but I have had every model iPhone and I can say that I have never had anything but perfect. Hopefully if you decide to get the 5S or 5C you will have better luck. :apple:
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Had the 4 & 5 both without issue. The Home button on the 4 did get a bit tired just before I traded up, otherwise all good.
  4. Spacial macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2013
    The good news is there is no perfect phone. Only OCD leaning people who live with the challenges seeking perfection brings. Of those I know, it's not a fun condition to live with.

    I'm more than happy with excellent & a minimum of bugs.

    Without bugs it wouldn't be a smartphone, or tablet, or computer. No matter what some of the dreamers say :)
  5. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I've never had to return any Apple products due to defects, and I've been through alot of them.
  6. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Is there such a thing as a Grade A iPhone?

    The thing is, I know I'm not alone in this; my dad's iPhone 5 has many stuck pixels which, luckily for him, he's just not bothered by. My wife's 4S meanwhile developed the same crashing fault (logging "panic.plist" hardware faults in the diagnostics) that eventually got my own 4S replaced. I know it's possible to prove any fault with google but there have been so many consistent and recurring faults in each iPhone model; I just don't understand how they can get their quality control so continually wrong and still maintain a rep for "build quality" and design.

    I love apple's ethos, I love what the iPhone is intended to be, I'm just so frustrated by their constantly crappy delivery.


    And yes, maybe fretting over stuck pixels and scuffs out of the box can seem a bit OCD, and if you can live with this stuff without it bothering you then obviously you're going to have a better time. But really, I'm not holding Apple up to some unattainable standard here; I just expect a new, sealed, comparatively very expensive product to (a) work as advertised, and (b) be in new, unmarked condition.

    Some of the "new" phones I've received from Apple have been in a worse state than the average used version I could have bought on eBay. That's in no way exaggerated.
  7. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Happens with TVs, cars, and many other manufacturers/equipment. While some might actually be seen as sub-par, it happens even to those that are seen as high class if not even luxury ones. It's the reality of mass production essentially.
  8. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    It sounds like isolated cases or you just have crappy vendors in your area. As with most products, there are always going to be imperfections. The 3GS had a lot more imperfections than the more recent ones but even the screen issue and the cosmetic wear marks are due to consumer grade materials that make the phone. Your 4S was undoubtedly going to have cosmetic anomalies due to the way it was constructed. All of these products are consumer grade products. The same goes for the iPhone 5 which I thought was a poor design that needed a human process called matchmaking in order to get pieces to fit correctly. Overall when speaking of Apple's QC, they rank among the highest in the world in terms of data. The problem with that is that QC is a very human thing and if you build your product with a human eye that is designed to show flaws, you'll end up with much higher quality as a result. If you think Apple's QC is bad, you'll probably find a LOT of other companies insanely atrocious. If you want to spend some money though, I hear Vertu is insanely expensive and may possibly disappoint you more than Apple.
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
  10. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Seems you've had a lot of anomalous experiences. I'd suggest, rather than having your next device delivered to you, you pick it up at the store and give it a thorough inspection before accepting it.

    (The "blotchy" screen might have resolved with time. Discoloration and other effects from adhesives and such tend to settle out over a couple weeks.)
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, when you are producing tens of millions of devices there are bound to be a few with problems.
  12. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Is there such a thing as a Grade A iPhone?

    The thing is I buy other consumer products, from other manufacturers, and I don't generally have these problems. If the implication here is that high numbers of faults are just part and parcel of mass productions then, well, I don't buy that.

    People often insist that Apple's QC is comparatively high but where's the evidence? Apple certainly don't publish figures like that, so it can only be anecdotal and subjective, just like my own experience.

    Should I also mention at this point that my username comes from the fact that the first MacBook Pro Apple sent me when I bought one a few years ago had a big dent in it, straight from the factory?

    Can't blame it on the vendor either - all these phones have all come either direct from major UK networks or Apple themselves, and they were all sealed in box etc, it's not like I'm buying them from some shady bloke in a pub. And how would examining them in the shop have detected the stuck pixels that didn't appear till days later, or the crashes on the 4S etc?
  13. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    There are people that have had bad luck with cars, like a few different models of BMWs even that were lemons and/or simply had way more issues than normal especially for BMW. Can't really be explained all that well given how many people have amazing experiences with BMW cars and yet there are some (I know of one such person personally) who went through a few (brand new ones) with horrible results. Reality can be kind of strange at times and it actually happens more than we think.
  14. Makaveliarts macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010
    Everything about my 4s is perfect except since I bought it, when I use flash in a low light area, it creates a blue distortion in the picture :mad:
  15. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Try a warm filter on your camera app.
  16. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    Not that difficult at all. The only real issue that I've ever had with an iphone was on my 2-year old iPhone 4; power button got stuck over time. When I got my 5, it was perfect out of the box. You've just been unlucky I'm afraid.
  17. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Do you have it in a case? Often the cutout for flash and lens in a case isn't really big enough, and can cause the flash to reflect back over the surface of the lens, causing the sort of colour cast you mention.

    If it's not in a case then you have faulty iphone, and you should take it back to Apple. Welcome to the club!
  18. watchthisspace macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2010
    First iPhone 4 lasted 6 months then the Home Button started playing up, I found out it was a common issue. Wasn't too bothered as my replacement has been perfect ever since.

    My friend had the same problem, got a replacement only for the Cellular radio to pass out after 3 months. Not a problem, she got a second replacement.

    Another friend of mine had a 4 and its Cellular radio died too, he was upgraded to a 4S for free.

    Out of the tens of millions of iPhone Apple sell, a few are bound to be prone to issues, just as well Apple's awesome customer service is there ready to help.
  19. ARSC macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    I have been using iphone since 3G days and never had any problem with them. problems starts when we start looking into each and every detail and stop enjoying the product.
  20. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    Ok, so lets assume I'm desperately OCD and just looking for issues. Why didn't I find any at all with the eight mobile phones (including four smartphones) that I owned prior to the iPhone?

    Software bugs and shortcomings sure - but not a single hardware problem. Compared to the many I've had with all four generations of iPhone I've owned since?

    Most "stuff" is actually pretty reliable now. Most things, whether made in china or wherever, are generally well put together. In all honesty I'm struggling to remember anything else I've had to return for a fault like this, other than a blasted iPhone. So no, in my experience Apple quality control and build quality is actually unusually bad, and that saddens me as make no mistake, I like the company and I want to like their products.
  21. Makaveliarts macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010
    IT does happen while nude and while In the Lifeproof case I have. DO you think apple will take it even though it's two years old?
  22. rabidz7 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2012
    I've always been a total apple fanperson, until I realized how apple was going.
    When I got my PowerMac G5 Quad, I knew that it wouldn't be able to natively run 10.8 (even up to this day every emulation attempt has failed, but I still have hope, I spend an over two hours a week trying to get it to run). Anyways, when I got it I assumed, "well this will just be a slow mac to play around with, maybe be a web server and for writing HTML". When I got it, and installed my 20GB of RAM, a 120GB SATA III SSD, an AMD 7970, and OS X 10.8, it was just as fast for anything that I did on it, from text editing, to 1080p YouTube (it enrages me so much when people say that a G5 Quad can't play YouTube, they need to shut their mouths and use a Quad), light games (minecraft etc.), as one of the Mac Pro 12 cores at the apple store, and that is with none of the first hardware and software actually working at all (I use 12GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD, a 7800GTX and Debian 7.10).

    Why didn't the first hardware work?
    It has come to me that the answer is apple.

    How hard would it be to for apple to update their northbridge firmware to make it work with up to 64GB or RAM like IBM said it should?
    As easy as getting a team to work on it for a week.
    How hard would it be to for apple to update their SATA firmware to remove bugs that make it not aggregate link bandwidth with SATA III HDDs?
    As easy as getting a team to work on it for a week.
    How hard would it be to for apple to create firmware for modern GPUs?
    As easy as getting a team to work on it for a week.
    How hard would it be to for apple to recompile OS X for PowerPC?
    As easy as pressing the compile button.

    So why don't do it?
    Apple is perfectly able of doing so

    For crying out loud they have billions of dollars sitting around!
    Because they want us to buy some more Macs from them so that they can use some of our cash to build green paper airplanes, and dollar sign napkins, instead of supporting their products!

    Never to use a mac again
    I am on a commitment to not get any new apple hardware, as I can no longer justify buying products from apple. Who knows, if they switch to ARM will they drop support for intell users like they did to us PowerPC users?

    I got an HTC One when my iPhone 5 was serviced, and the software upgraded to 6.1.3, which is unjailbreakable, and that was the last straw.

    I am now in paradise with my HTC One running Cyanogen Mod, it has root, is open source, and is a 1.72GHz quad core.Every issue that iOS had has been resolved with Cyanogen Mod. Anytime I have a problem with the HTC I remember, "it would be 100x worse with an iPhone".

    Try it - You will like it
    I invite everyone to try a Cyanogen Mod phone at least once.

    The HTC One is the perfect "iPhone" for me.
  23. LithePanther macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2011
  24. Springsteen macrumors member


    Aug 5, 2013
    You started using PowerPC long after Apple decided to end support for such machines. Let's not forget that the Quad is from 2005, and Apple aren't required by any laws to support such an old machine. Developing two OS;es for two different processors would be a huge waste of time, especially considering the tiny amount of PPC users.

    And lets not forget the power requirements. The PowerMac requires a lot more electricity to perform the same tasks as a Intel Mac, and thats just not sustainable. Besides, Apple would never work on old, unsupported technology with such few users (just look at the first iPhone!).

    Ok, the guys over at the Apple Store serviced your iPhone and upgraded it to 6.1.3, and that was the last straw? Everyone knows that jailbreaks are temporary and are caused by security flaws in iOS. Apple are required to fix these flaws before they can be used for bad intentions.

    BUT HEY,
    good that you found a phone you like!
  25. Dented thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    It's worth a shot but I'd have to say its unlikely, sorry. Their support is good (in my experience it has to be) but not unlimited. This is why, these days at least, I leap on any problems immediately and get them sorted before it's too late and I'm stuck with a sub standard phone.


    I'm not ready to ditch the iPhone yet. Part of me wants something different, and a bigger part of me is VERY annoyed with Apple right now, but at the end of the day it's the comfortable pain of someone very cosily embedded in the ecosystem. I like how iPhones work, I like the simplicity, I like how *when they're built right* there's really very little to worry about with them, they just work and do incredible things very easily.

    Both I and my family are hooked into iMessage, iCloud, photo streams, all those things that I'd lose with any other decide. My iPhone 5 still has every text I sent since my 3G in 2008. I don't want to lose all that and I shouldn't have to. I just want Apple to build me an iPhone that's actually to spec!

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