Thursday, 13 September 2007

Updated: If you're wondering how this was resolve by Apple in my particular case, you can read about it here.

Ugh, this just had to happen.

I went to an Apple Store up in Bellevue, Washington yesterday before the nerd dinner and picked up a couple things, namely a Jawbone Bluetooth headset (which is awesome, more on that later), a touch-screen glass protector and a leather holster for my iPhone.

Don't buy the leather holster. Long story short, it's too tight, there's no way you can keep a good grip on the phone when you try to pry it out of the holster on your waist, and when it does come out you'll be lucky if it doesn't have some real velocity and inertia behind it. Like I said, you'll be lucky if.

I wasn't that lucky.

As I left the hotel today a text message chimed in and I went to pull the phone from the holster. It was hard to pull on, and when it finally gave way it came out fast, bounced off the palm of my hand, down my leg and to the floor. Actually, it didn't really hit that hard. Nowhere near as hard as every other phone I have ever had.

But the metal case that encloses the iPhone is apparently pretty soft. As in, it bends easily. The "power" button (that one on the upper right top edge) is now stuck and won't operate because even though the fall was broken and slowed, the soft-ish metal bent just enough to tweak the opening where the plastic button sticks though. So, now it's effectively jammed. Argh.

I was near the Apple Store (same one) when this happened and so I went there to see what I will have to do to get it fixed, but the wait for one of their "experts" was like three hours, and I had to dive into Seattle traffic to make the trip back home to Portland. So, I'll cal Apple or take it to the local store in the next day or so.

I'd recommend a couple things based on this experience. Again, don't use the leather holster, it's just a poor design, and one that a friend of mine has has loosened up over the month he has had it, but to the point where it no longer properly holds the phone (it went from tight to too loose, go figure). Also, if you're prone to dropping phones, go straight out and get one of the rubber armored slip-on cases. I sure wish I had chosen that instead of the holster. Hopefully this will help someone avoid a problem and the expense I am sure to be faced with when I get this thing fixed.

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Mobile | Tech | Things that Suck
Thursday, 13 September 2007 19:11:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Friday, 14 September 2007 09:34:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Odd. Ars Technica did some stress testing, including dropping the iPhone and skimming it along the sidewalk (three times) and it seemed pretty durable. Though they were more interested in how scratch-resistant the screen was, I think.

Sorry your iPhone is broken, though.
Monday, 15 October 2007 10:37:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
did you ever get this fixed? i've just experienced the same mishap!
Sunday, 04 November 2007 07:00:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I was also wondering if you ever got this fixed? I had the same thing happen this past week.
Just curious on how apple is going to handle it when I go to the store.
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 08:11:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I dropped my phone last night while using the same leather case and the power button got stuck in just as you explained. Wish I had read your article beforehand! please let me know how you went about getting it fixed
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 08:24:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Everyone,

I got my phone fixed (and I will update the text of this post, as well as this comment). Not everyone has had the same luck. I outlined my experiences here (click).

Judging from the communications I've received and the comments here, it looks like there's a common thread and possibly a repeated critical weak point in the case. Might need to point it out to Apple.
Thursday, 20 December 2007 20:28:15 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I also had this incident happen. Seems farely widespread.
Thursday, 24 January 2008 06:37:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Same thing happened to me! It was not a very big fall and it was the only time I dropped my iPhone and now the power button is stuck. I think this is a design flaw in the iPhone. I've had other phones that have had harder falls and managed to survive.
Anand Dharmaraj
Tuesday, 29 January 2008 18:34:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
The same thing has happened with my iphone. I went to an apple store and the people there where rude. What do I do now?
Tuesday, 12 February 2008 14:43:31 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Same thing happened to me. Contact a local ipod repair place in your area if there is one. I got mine fixed for $30.00.
matt Kurvin
Monday, 14 April 2008 10:11:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I am in Buenos Aire and the same thing happned to me. My iphone worked for a week and today it is not working anymore.
Do you have any suggestions. Does anyone know how they fix it. Maybe ı try to do it by myself.

Please let m know.

Sunday, 20 April 2008 18:13:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Same thing happend to me this weekend in a hotel room.. pulled out Iphone when I got back.. dropped it on carpet none the less and the power button is jammed in.. I'm a salesmen so this phone is my life. Going to apple store tomorrow. Wish me luck!
patrick mckinney
Sunday, 20 April 2008 21:19:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Had same thing happen here.

Hopefully i can find a place that services these things, as it's really f'n annoying.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008 21:28:26 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
temporary solution for everyone...

go to settings - general - autolock : set to never
then go to screen brightness set to minimun to reduce power use

this will prevent turning off the phone and just keep it powered on til you the phone replaced or repaired.

Sunday, 14 September 2008 10:36:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Dropped my iphone as well and my powerbutton got stuck on - the phone just restarted itself over and over until the battery went dead. Managed to fix it though. I surmised that the button itself probably wasn't damaged by so small a fall but the metal case might have gotten dinged just enough that the plastic button itself was pinched in. I disassembled the iphone (using the instructions from ifixit and youtube videos), removed the two tiny screws that hold the button in place, then popped the button out of the case. I then shaved the plastic button itself down with an emory board, just enough so that the button moved freely. Reassembled and voila, worked like a charm.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 10:25:35 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
same thing happened here its definatly a falty design
ryan robi
Friday, 28 November 2008 13:11:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Same thing happened to my iphone after it fell out of the poorly designed Griffin Elan leather holster case. Power button stuck on, phone cycling until dead. I read about the disassembly to fix, but figured that was out of my comfort zone.
I fixed it though, sort of.
I took an old Bic disposable razor and using a pair of wire cutters, I trimmed away the blade protector , leaving the plastic base and blade protruding. I broke off the handle and had a makeshift thin razorknife-like tool.
I inserted the corner of the thin razor blade between the metal case and the plastic button and pried the button up. Took two tries and the button was no longer stuck in the down position. The phone works now!
Of course, if I try to push the button back down it will probably stick, but I didn't usually power it off very often anyway.
I might try to grind the case with a dremel tool or something like that to keep if from sticking, but haven't tried that yet.
Hope this helps someone else.
Friday, 24 April 2009 08:11:34 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I dropped it. I crushed the case by the on/off button and the button got stuck down. I cried!!

I read the guide here and elsewhere. They all said "very difficult".

Think about it - the button only moves about 1/32 inch, and it is stuck down because the case is pinching it (because I dropped it!)

Simple fix - take an exacto knife and carefully scrape the black plastic button on both sides where it is pinched. The button pops back up and works like new! It is still a little dented and all but I didn't do any more damage by trying (and screwing up the effort) to take off the case.

Good luck - let me know if it works for you.

dennis Kirkwood
Monday, 15 June 2009 18:23:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Wow - just dropped my first generation phone. Really bummed since the button is stuck down like everyone else mentioned. The 3G S comes out on Friday so the AT&T store had no advice - they said to go to the Apple store but I think they push me to buy the new one. Boo!
Sunday, 28 June 2009 16:54:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
hey people,
Dennis Kirkword was right. I just went to the corner store and bought a razor blade, and followed the instructions above. It worked like a charm . The button looks like someone chewed on it a bit, but it's barely noticeable, and saved me $199, thanks Dennis
marr edmond
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