Synopsis: Don’t buy the Case Mate iPhone 3G case as it can seriously scratch the back of your iPhone.
The Full Story: My wife and I recently got iPhone 3G’s and are very excited about the phones. Not wanting to damage our shiny new expensive phones, we purchased two Case Mate Naked Cases for the iPhone 3G on the recommendation of Cali Lewis’s review of the Case Mate Naked Case for the first gen iPhone. We slipped or shiny new phones right into their naked cases in the Apple Store.
The phones come out of their cases each night when they sleep in our JVC dual iPhone dock (review to come later but it is awesome). Anyways we picked our phones up on August 26th (day our Verizon contract expired). In September I noticed a few scratches on the back of my phone. I was really confused as the phone lives in the case except at night when it is in the dock and I couldn’t figure out how it got scratched.
Cut to a few weeks later when I noticed the scratches were getting progressively worse. Then I checked out my wife’s phone and bingo hers has identical scratches! Since the back of the phone never touches the dock the only thing they have in common is the Case Mate Naked Case. Taking a closer look at the engineering of the case it looks as if the tab that locks the two pieces together scratches on the back of the phone as it is pulled apart or put back together. If you run your finger along the case it feels a bit scratchy and with the new plastic back of the phone the combination creates scratches on the iPhone 3G.
The first gen iPhone was aluminum so it would not have been easily scratched by a plastic tab of the Case Mate Naked Case. We are VERY VERY careful with our phones and I can see no way we could be causing this via mis-use. If this scratching is the result of normal use then that is even more unacceptable.
Final review: The Case Mate Naked Case is a DON’T BUY. It protects the phone very well but in the process scratches your phone every time you take it in and out. If you use a dock you have to pull the phone out of the case this may lead to scratching. For
Resolution: Sadly not good. I recently emailed Case Mate to let them know about this and try to get some resolution. My complete email exchange with them is below along with the pictures I sent. Anyways short story is they said too bad and shove it since I must have abused or misused the naked case.
There response was a caned quote out of their legal agreement and completely unacceptable. Once again a company chooses to give a customer the finger instead of trying to help them. What did I ask for? Either a replacement case if they felt ours was just defective since we were some of the first to get them (we pre-ordered) or exchange it with a different case/combination that would appropriate this. IE: a screen protector and leather case.
For nearly $40 + shipping and handling each I would think they would be a bit more willing to help out their customers. At least some attempt at a discourse and resolution would have been helpful but they instead chose to give me a caned response. They left me with no recourse but to write up my dissatisfaction on my blog and send my experiences into the blog’o-sphere for others to be warned not to buy the Case Mate Naked Case.
Update for Case #12982 – “Iphone 3g Naked Case – Scratching iPhone”
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From: Anonymous Customer
Sent: Friday , October 03, 2008 04:18 pm EDT (GMT-04:00)
Subject: Iphone 3g Naked Case – Scratching iPhone
We have two Naked Cases (for my wife and my iPhone 3G’s). We love the
functionality of the case but have a major issue with them as they have
caused both of our iPhone’s to be scratched.
I have attached pictures of the scratching on my phone. I know it is
impossible to prove to you that I didn’t scratch it some how else but I hope
I can try as I think this is a design flaw that could cause issues. We
placed our phones in our Naked Cases at the Apple Store. The phones come out
of the cases every night and go into our dual docking station for the night.
Then in the morning both phones go back into the cases.
There is identical scratching on both my wife and my phones (both black mine
16G and hers 8G). I can only guess that the closure tab on the back side of
the cases causes the scratching when the case is removed/replaced or both.
I am really worried that this kind of scratching will lead to my iPhone
warranty being voided because again it looks like the phones have been slid
on the concrete.
We pre-ordered our cases and we were some of the first to get them (as they
didn’t even come with “real” packaging just a note from Case Mate saying
they wanted to ship as soon as possible and didn’t want to wait for the
fancy packaging to delay our order). I really like the integrated screen
protector and fairly slim profile of the case but the scratching is a HUGE
I am not sure the best way to remedy the situation. We do enjoy the cases
but not sure we can keep using them since they continue to gouge the back of
our phones. If you have found this to be a problem with a certain run of the
cases etc please let me know and we would be willing to swap for a new
version. Otherwise, I suppose we could try another case but none of the
others seem to have the full protection of the Naked Case.
UPDATE: If you are having this problem too, join in the conversation at Get Satisfaction