When the iPhone 4 launched in June this year, one of the talking points about the new model was the material used for the glass panel. Steve Jobs had noted in his keynote speech that the front and back panels of the new iPhone 4 was made of aluminosilicate glass that has been chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic.
Apple has also advertised this panel as being "more scratch resistant and more durable than ever".
However, folks at iFixyouri had refuted these claims back then by demonstrating that the glass panel was in fact susceptible to shock and sudden impact. More recently, there were reports that suggested that the slide-on cases that are distributed by third party accessory manufacturers had a tendency to gather dirt between the glass back panel and the case causing scratches and also shattering of the rear pane in some cases.
The susceptibility of the glass back to scratches and cracks has brought in some really interesting solutions. Hong Kong based CNN (Cellular Nationwide Network) is selling a new metal backplate that can replace the iPhone 4 glass back panel with a really good-looking aluminium alternative though I must admit I really like the glass back panel, one of the primary reasons for settling for the iPhone 4 bumper.
Replacing the back panels should be incredibly easy – You have to remove the two screws on either side of the Dock connector port, replace the glass back with the metal plate and secure the screws back. The aluminium backplate comes with nicely beveled sides that makes the panel all the more attractive.
Metal backplates have been known to block RF waves and therefore affect call quality. However, according to Wired, the external antenna design of the new iPhone 4 should ensure that the call quality is not affected due to this aluminium backplate. The units are currently back-ordered at a price of $13.99 and are available from the "CNN" website in two colors – silver metal and black.
Please note that these metal backplates may not be available for purchase for long. As Wired points out, the units come imprinted with the familiar "Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China" tag that may soon be targeted by Apple for trademark violations.
Let us know your thoughts on the aluminium backplate in the comments.[via Wired]