My iPhone 4 has a hairline scratch - from normal use

iPhone 4 Scratched

I have a hairline scratch on the screen of my iPhone 4 and I have no idea how it got there. I've had my iPhone for just over 24 hours and I'd like to think I've treated the little girl pretty well - it goes in my pocket, sure, but solo. I also have been using the bumper for most of the time. However, the bumper has been on and off and at some point I must have set it face down on a table with a bit of grit or something underneath there.

In other words, the phone has a small scratch from what I would definitely call normal use.

It's a tiny, hardly noticable scratch. With the screen on, it's invisible - but it's there and I can feel it. I've preordered the Case-Mate Clear Armor Screen Protector for iPhone 4 and am trying not to let the scratch on my shiny iPhone 4 become a scratch on my mind.

After the break, a slightly photoshopped version (just over-sharpened, really, to better show the hairline scratch.

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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My iPhone 4 has a hairline scratch - from normal use

114 Comments

I had front and rear InvisibleSHIELD waiting at home before my iPhone 4 arrived. Installed without a problem and it still looks gorgeous. I don't care what the glass is made of, I still want some piece of mind.

OUCH! This thing is very delicate. I swear, I didn't take off the protection screen that came on the front and back until I got to Best Buy to get a ZAGG and a cheapy plastic case til my Otter Box arrives. The 3rd party vendors should really do better at getting this stuff out with the hardware...in the actual Apple Store! Scratching is not fun after day 1...sorry Dieter.

Meh, its like the first scratch on that shiny new car. As long as it doesn't affect the use of the phone put it out of your mind. A year from now you'll get a new one anyway ;)

I got a scratch too. Slid off the arm of my chair and onto hardwood floor. But you have to hold the phone to the light a certain way to see it. I think it could be buffed out but I'm afraid to do anything to the screen. I really can't see it unless i try, so I don't let it bother me. But the screen is not as tough a Jobs claims!

wierd.. ever considered the idea that there could be deffective screens? some that they forgot the chemically strengthen.. lol.. sucks.. i hope mine holds up cause i'm mr no screen protector or case

Wow...that's crazy cause I had my iPhone 4 for a day and this morning I noticed a hairline scratch too.. I thought this glass was " scratch proof "?..and what about the gorilla glass?.. My scratch is on the front

Common guys its just a phone!(a very good and nice one but still...)
It's an object for use.

I am the same as @ack154. The screens on both my new iphone 4s got InvisibleSHIELDs straight out of the box. I am willing to sacrifice an ounce of sexy for a ton of prevention.

I left the plastic film on my phone until I get my screen protector and case, I am taking no chances!

@Ack154 I agree 1000%. I also had invisibleSHIELD waiting at home when my iPhone 4 arrived. I also had it on my previous iphone.......no scratches!! It's an investment everyone should make no matter how scratch resistant someone tells you an iPhone screen is.

As has been stated here before;
1. Glass scratches. Get a cover if you want one.
2. Don't set it down face down! Pardon me but that's just stoopid in the head.
Personally, I'm going without a cover because I live the feel of naked glass in the morning. I also reserve the right to moan and carry on for too long when I get my first scratch.
That is all. Carry on.

I also installed InvisibleSHIELD on the front and a ZAGG custom skin on the back. I need to keep this phone for awhile....

i too had the invisible shield at my house the day after i got the iphone4. for me it was a bit tricky to get on but i like knowing the front and back are protected. before i had the invisbileSheild i wrapped the phone in a microfiber cloth to ensure it's protection.

I love this site! The playfulness here is just too much fun!
The bright side is now you won't be so nervous about handling your phone- everytime I get the first ding on my phone I become a littless obsessed with babying it and just enjoy using it.
But it still sucks!!! Sorry!

Hey man i feel for ya but who put there phone down face down gotta say on my normal use i never put my phone face down

Well, the iPhone 4 is not scratch-proof. It's just more scratch-resistant than the iPhone 3GS. This can mean that it might be 1 times more resistant, 2 times, 3 times or just 0.0001 more resistant.
And fact: glass doesn't like grid, or sand. Or any of that stuff.

Hey, this is Dieter we're talking about!! He will have new phones coming down the pike every few weeks or so!!
PS: Sorry about the scratch, that sucks. :(

My personal opinion is, you should have used some common sense. I don't care if the screen was made out of kevlar, I would still put on a screen protector aka Zagg Invisible Shield... Wait i did, and a case until Otter Box has their cases available.

I'm heading to BB to grab a ZAGG screen after work and probably a cheapy case until iSkin gets their $h!t together.

I agree Adam. I had my 3GS for a year, no screen protection whatsoever and have 0 scratches. So now I potentially end up with scratches on a more scratch resistant screen?

IMPOSSIBLE! It doesn't scratch at all...we engineered the screen and the antenna using the same methodology and they are both PERFECT!

After severely scratching a brand new smartphone some years ago, I am super-paranoid about putting the screen protector and case on before I leave the store!
I even tried to buy them earlier this week but no one would sell me any iP4 accessories until yesterday. Because I got my phone Wednesday I left the shipping protectors on both sides until Best But opened yesterday to install them!

The first thing I did was put a full body Zagg invisibleshield on my new iPhone 4. I chose the full body because I also did not want to scratch up the back.

I preordered my Zagg Invisible Shield and it came a few days before the iPhone 4. I removed the protective covering and replaced it with the IS before I turned it on. Looks great.
Zagg has been advertising it for over a month.

Let's not forget that this fool placed his phone face down on what he claims "on a table with a bit of grit or something underneath there". So pay attention not to place your phone on grit DUH!

The new glass is tougher, not harder, than the GS. That means it flexes more without breaking. But with increased toughness comes decreased hardness. The 4's are going to be delicate babies. Take a picture of your new phone and then wrap them up in cases and screen protectors.

Wow that's messed up. I've had all three iPhones (iPhone, 3G and 3GS). Never put a screen protector on any of them. And not one scratch. If this is gonna happen on my iPhone 4 I may have to put one on.

You should have gotten the Zagg Screen protector the second you bought the phone. Hopefully you can get that fixed.

iPod touch here. Dropped it once, and it fell face down. Very small hairline scratch. Zagg after that, plus leather case. Something else to think about. Folks wearing diamond stud will scratch for sure. Get the Zagg, or whatever you like.

I got a scratch on the back camera lens and couldn't believe it either. I carried it naked and I did the same with the 3GS and never got scratches. I'm afraid this will continue to happen. I predict many scratches starting on all edges front and back for those of us that like to carry it without protection. I'm still gonna carry it naked and I'll get to see if this is gonna be thing...I'll be like a guinea pig.

good idea to replace it with the reason of the antenna :)... here we go, the wait for iphone 5 begins.

I cant believe how silly this all is. I am surfing to find an answer for an iPhone question and found this post. You are freaking over a hairline scratch? I've had more electronics than anyone I know. If you are freaking out over this you must still be a virgin living in your mothers basement. Please don't take offence just cool out!! Its a scratch dude!!You have a great phone and your not fighting in afghanistan where you would be worrying about loosing your hand instead of a hairline scratch on an amazing phone. Please get out and explore the world. Put your game controller down and go on a date date dude with a real girl not a virtual one with a hairline scratch on her face.

My iPhone 4 has 5 pits in the glass! You can feel them with your finger. You can only see them when the screen is off. I've not dropped the phone or touched it with anything more then my finger. My old 3GS screen is perfect and I've never used any screen cover on it.

So basically the iPhone 4 is not as "scratch-proof" as it has been advertised by Apple?
Hopefully there are protectors for the front and the back glass panel so I wouldn't have to worry about the back cover as I usually do with my iPhone 3G and 3GS...
Apple, hurry up and send the iPhone 4 to Australia! We're waiting for it....

I've got a scratch on mine as well, and its less than 20 hours old. This is my third iPhone and I carried them all naked in my pocket and never had anything like this. I'm going to take it into Apple tomorrow to see if they'll fix it.
And to those saying everyone should get a protector, I didn't pay £400 for a phone with a stunning display to cover it with a crappy £20 piece of plastic. If you need a protector, there's a design flaw.

Six days in and I just noticed a hairline scratch on mine as well. Normal use, never set the phone face down. This is ghey.

I've had a case on mine as soon as I got it home from the Apple Store, and it has NEVER been in my pocket or on any surface without being wrapped in a soft microfiber cloth... and the front has still gotten a scratch. Some scratch-resistant coating...

Yeah got mine 2 days ago, fine yesterday, woke up this morning and theres a scratch??? No idea where it came from, its only been in my pocket but pretty p1ssed off. Hope something goes wrong with it so I can get a new one :)

Bloody useless - never had a scracth on my 3GS and the Iphone within 2 - 3 days - scracth on the left ..
Stupid O2 provider has refused to replace it.. blaming me for wear and tear :(

I brought the iphone 4 on the day of released and waited 5 hours in the line to get it, 6 days later after treating it like its sacred i noticed a HUGE line going halfway across the screen, i almost fainted lol. I then said to myself why should i have a phone which cost me 600 pounds and then have to live with a scratch that covers half the screen, so you know what i did? I took it to the apple store after booking an appointment with the care team and told them a lie and said that i've been having MAJOR problems with my 3G signal and that it keeps fading on and off in areas that i usually have 3G and that my 3gs on the same network can even recieve 3g serivce in the same area and that i wasn't satisfied. The guy at the apple store then said to me he'll replace it with a brand new phone. He must of noticed the scratch though but probably thought my issue was genuine as the iphone 4 is still pretty new and has many kinks still, and there and then i got a new iphone 4 without any hassle. I think the fact that i was still within my 30 days right for a refund too if he didn't do something about the "supposed" 3g issue i had, lol. As soon as i left the apple store i went to the market and brought a screen protector which isn't the best but will do for now until apple brings out there official iphone 4 screen protector. 2 days later after getting another iphone 4 i noticed 2 very minor hair line scratches on the back of my iphone 4 where the apple logo is (for some reason on all my previous iphones, this logo is one thing thats easiest to scratch) so i then brought a bumper for the phone which also covers the back and it helps with the signal issue ALOT! So i killed 2 birds with one stone there! lol

I got my iPhone 4 in the mail on launch day. I only carried it in my pocket or placed it carefully on a desk for charging. A few days ago, I finally got my bumper in the mail and I noticed a really significant scratch on the back. The unit is less than 30 days old. How is this possible? I booked an appointment at the genius bar at my local Apple store and waited to speak to the genius. I told him my story and he listened politely and then explained that this was a cosmetic issue and not covered by Apple's warranty. I pressed on, reminding him of the entire sales presentation about how this is the most scratch resistant glass made to date. He countered with the fact that the glass is strong and is resistant to breaking but could still get scratched. I pointed out that they did not carry screen protectors in the store and the rumor mill said the reason was to protect the image that the screens were so scratch resistant they didn't need them. He replied with the fact that that was merely speculation and they simply haven't started carrying them yet. So I said, ok so since I couldn't get a bumper on launch date, and you didn't carry screen protectors, AND the glass could be scratched, I'm at a disadvantage so you guys should give me a new phone. He asked if I'd like to speak to a manager. The manager and I had basically the same conversation lasting about 15 minutes. It ended with him saying that it is not Apple's policy to replace phones that are scratched. I said that's why I came to you, the person who has the authority to make that descision on a case by case basis. Checkmate. He have it and I got my new phone. As I was walking out of the store, I stopped to chat with a woman who was waiting for her new iPhone to be activated. I told her to buy a screen protector. She said that the salesperson told her that she didn't need one because only a diamond could scratch the glass. This was less than 10 feet from my conversation with the store manager. When I got home, I immediately ordered a BodyGuardz screen protector. Until it arrives, I'm keeping the phone inside a satin glove.

I just noticed 2 significant scratches in my iPhone 4. One of front/back side each. Just from carrying it in my pocket in freshly washed pants. That sucks! I can't feel anything sharp there. Cant explain how this could have happened. Never had such problems with 2g/3G iPhones.
Very disappointing.
Can the glass covers be replaced? I normally see no problems with having usage marks on a product. But the fact that Steve Jobs especially emphasized on the robustness of the new material leaves me in deep disappointment. Clearly, the design perfectionism of iphone4 makes it harder to oversee them. They shine at you, with a special glare, reminding you, in your face, again and again, that you didn't care... ;-(
but you DID care. And it still happened. And apple doesn't care at all.

@Hastemal i am in the same boat as you. i want to find a way to replace my screen but the only way i have found so far is either take advantage of Job's return offer (for the whole antenna hoopla) or you can buy a new screen and install it yourself but that seems way to difficult for me

My iPhone 4 front screen is also scratched, in upper left portion of screen. Only had it for 4 days before noticing scratch. Never dropped it once, kept in my pocket only. What a Apple marketing crock...so much for 'gorilla glass'.

Haven't had my phone for a month and i treat it like a baby. Just found a scratch on the front. Unbelievable! I am going to the apple store tomorrow to demand that they do something. I never even put the phone on the table or anything

PISSSSED!!!
Dropped my phone from about 2 feet twice in the last 2 days and was "gifted" a scratch each time.
Why am I pissed? Because the FIRST thing they point out on the design page is how durable this glass is. Apparently not.
Called Customer Relations and they, somewhat understandably, are only willing to give me a replacement for $99. The scratches certainly aren't worth that much.
But, DO NOT BELIEVE THEIR CLAIMS OF HOW GREAT THIS GLASS IS. It's glass. It WILL scratch. Get a screen cover.

I recently upgraded from an iPhone 3G S to the iPhone 4. There are already deep, albeit short, scratches on both sides of the phone. I can feel them when I touch the screen, and if I hold the phone at a certain angle, they are definitely noticeable.
I've been treating my phone with extreme care. With the 3G S, I had no scratches, even after dropping the phone several times and so forth. The iPhone 4 seems to scratch very easily and I'm highly disappointed.

I also have scratches on my iPhone 4!!
On the front ánd on the back..
I have it for two weeks now and have been really careful, but still.. the scratches are there.

I have had my iPhone for 2 weeks with a bumper case since day 1. I got a scratch on the 2nd day and sice then I can tell that's it's been growing WTF.

I have the iPhone since 1 month and even if i had big care i have 2 scratches: 1 in the display and 1 on the rear glass. I don't know How it got there, very disappointing.

I've had my iPhone 4 for a few days and I have noticed a few hair line scratches, and to be honest I was pretty guttered. I paid so much for a device that would scratch within 48 hours. Anyways whilst having the iPhone I have experienced some shut downs and a few faults, so I booked a genius bar appointment and it was obvious that there was some problems, so within that ten minute margin I had myself a new phone

So heres the thing its scratch resistant not scratch "resistance"
Yeah it sucks having an iPhone 4 that scratches but what it means by being scratch resistant is that you can only see the scratches in certain light like sun light. Have you noticed that apples srore lights are always bright and white its so they dont show the scratches. But i understand why people are frustrated. Lieing will get you a new iPhone 99.9 percent of the time. After awhile like a 3GS and a 3G, you just dont care anymore if it gets a scratch. I had a ZAGG invisible shield full body and you guys it really helps. Cases eh on the other hand will not work with the zagg. Most of the cases i have and i have 13 cases dont work with the zagg.

So heres the thing its scratch resistant not scratch "resistance"
Yeah it sucks having an iPhone 4 that scratches but what it means by being scratch resistant is that you can only see the scratches in certain light like sun light. Have you noticed that apples srore lights are always bright and white its so they dont show the scratches. But i understand why people are frustrated. Lieing will get you a new iPhone 99.9 percent of the time. After awhile like a 3GS and a 3G, you just dont care anymore if it gets a scratch. I had a ZAGG invisible shield full body and you guys it really helps. Cases eh on the other hand will not work with the zagg. Most of the cases i have and i have 13 cases dont work with the zagg. ALSO GET A OTTERBOX DEFENDER CASE. THOSE WILL HELP OUT THROUGH A TON OF STUFF.

I didn't pay $300 for a phone that get scratched so easily. If you don't mind wasting your money Billy Jean, that is fine. I work hard for my money and don't think I should have to live with my phone being all scratched up just because apple makes a crappy product.

I have had my Iphone 4, for about 3 weeks. Yesterday I noticed a hairline scratch on the front face. I thought that I was being very carful with my phone. This morning I went to radio shack to get a screen protector. It was on for about an hour, as I could not handle how it distorted the display. Maybe I will try a different brand.

I've had my iphone 4 for less than 2 weeks. dropped it once today while talking to my friend and its got lots of scratches over the front screen! :( utterly depressed as i'm a student and i've thought long and hard before buying the iphone 4

Yup. Same here. Bought the phone 3 days ago and there is now a significant hairline scratch across the apple on the back. Only a diamond can scratch it? Yea right.

I got a lot of scratches on the back of the iPhone, centered around that shiny Apple logo in about 4 days. I took it back to the Apple store where someone asked if they could help me. I told them I'd managed to scratch their gorilla glass phone, and since it was within the first 30 days (after the antenna thing), he just put it down as a return, credited to a gift card and used that gift card to "buy" me a new one. I didnt' have to see a genius or anything, and he insisted that it WAS scratchproof and that the phone must have been a dud. Anyway, another week and lo and behold, a multitude of scratches on the screen. Not impressed. Takes it back to the Apple store where they look at me as if I have 2 heads when I say I scratched it, and replaced it again with no fuss whatsoever. I also brought a screen protector (matte = awesome) and a Speck fitted case (very nice case, liable to fray and snap) which together have kept my iPhone in mint condition, at least until the Speck case broke. I have abt 4 tiny scratches on the back from goign bareback for about 3 days.

Most phone scratches are as a result of putting it in your ?Pocket, You might think it's clean but small pieces of sand and dust remain so if you want a perfect phone don't slip it in unprotected. I've had my Iphone 4 for 3 months without a front screen protector and I never put a phone in my pocket without slipping it into a pocket pouch.

I have an iPod touch4 gen there's like a thousand scratches on the back and it wont go away

I'm really upset because I just opened the box of my iphone today and it has a scratch on the inside of the screen. How could it have gotten scratched when I didn't even use it? I didn't even get the chance to baby it :( I asked an apple rep if this was covered by my warranty and sadly it is not. I'm just afraid because in my experience, scratches get deeper with daily use and temperature changes. I'm super sad because it runs through the entire screen diagonally so it's kinda mega noticeable.

I recommend to You and everyone the best otter box You can find and WELL worth the money.All otter box that I recommend to you is of great quality and a lot of detail. Do You want Your phone didn't ever have a single scratch and still works like normal everyday? So If you're looking for otter box to really protect your iPhone,visit
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To you guys belittling these posts:
1) when you spend $1000 (Aussie) dollars on a smartphone you expect quality and when Apple make a point of going on about the durability of the screen, you expect just that - durability.
2) why did you post in this forum? The posters here are either verifying the problem, looking for a solution, or offering one. Their posts are therefore not a waste of their time - what about yours?
3) what about just good manners? The anonymity of the internet doesn't excuse you for being an a$$hole. Get back in your caves.

i know how it feels really. i put my screen protector too. i usually hate protectors but now i have to put it on... and just remove from my mind that my iphone 4 got scratched because i dropped it.

Mine got thrown across the room and now the back is all scratched up and it's so annoying and then I put it on a table face down bc I have a protector on te front but not the back and it scatched the screen protector up really bad bc it was an outside table but it's ok bc it's just a screen protector and u can always buy a new one; but the best screen protector that ur finger slides over the best is the one from att...