One of the disappointments many people felt when Apple announced the iPhone 4S was the lack of a redesigned chassis. After so many rumors of a new design, many were unhappy that Apple had decided to stick with the iPhone 4 design we’re all familiar with.

We all consoled ourselves with the fact that our existing iPhone 4 accessories and cases would fit the new iPhone 4S, but it seems that might not be the case (if you’ll pardon the pun!) after all…

The key to the issue is in the placement of the hold button, as well as the two volume controls. While the iPhone 4 and 4S handsets may look the same to the untrained eye, they actually aren’t, unless you happen to have a CDMA iPhone 4.

As the image above shows, the iPhone 4S is actually the same as the CDMA iPhone 4, which isn’t quite the same as the GSM release of the world’s best-selling smartphone. Notice the ever-so-slightly different placement of all three controls on the side. What this means is that some cases may not fit the new handset. We suspect that all cases made since the CDMA iPhone 4 was released earlier this year will fit fine, due to being made with wider gaps for the buttons.

Apple itself altered their own iPhone 4 bumpers back in January, thanks to the Verizon iPhone’s new design. This is likely the reason the company says their current bumpers will fit both the iPhone 4 and 4S. Will other cases fit? We’re not so sure.

What this all boils down to is confusion amongst iPhone owners as to which cases will and will not fit their shiny new handsets. Confusion which is usually reserved for those carrying Android phones around!

We’ll find out exactly what the outcome is on Friday, when we all start to receive our new iPhone 4S units, but we foresee more than a few existing iPhone 4 owners finding their (probably free) bumpers just won’t fit.

Let us know in the comments if that happens to you!

  • Will

    Will see …. It doesn’t matter to me , I dont even own a case . I didn’t ever buy a case for my iPhone 4 . Sold it for 300 bucks cash . It was in perfect condition without a case . Treated that phone like it was my baby lol

    • theadobeflash

      you should still put a baby in a crib

      • Sharpe340

        Lmao! How very true.

  • @Max_Kas

    I read an article where Steve Jobs was being interviewed and the person doing the interview pulled out an iDevice to record the conversation. Mr. Jobs looks at the gel case the person had around their iDevice and just sighed… Never put a case on again haha

    • Joel

      Could you give us a link? I would like to see that lol

      • You know people can make up anything on the internet?

    • Asad

      Link man link… We we we so excitet buf its not friday lol

    • AMB

      ^yeah i second that, plz give us a link i would love to see this XD

  • How I loved to see the video. Anyone knows what is Max referring to here. If any of knows, pls post the link…

    I, too, don’t use case for my iPhone 4. People laugh at me, but my answer to them was, it just like making love without a condom. It’s just feel great!!! Hahaha!!!

    Anyone agree with me???

    • jgr627

      LMAO haha true but at the end of still and always will be dangerous… if u like walking that path then by all means…..but as far as me…..def strapping up

  • bc

    Hold button? There’s no hold button on an iPhone.

  • Justin

    It’s the silent button not the hold button

  • Dodgerdeezy

    My iPhone 4 case fits my iPhone 4 so I’m happy

  • @Max_Kas

    Not sure if there was a link to it online. It was in the June 2011 issue of wired magazine on page 76 titled Running for Cover by Steven Levy.

    • @Max_Kas

      I took photos of the story itself so you can read it there. Find me on twitter at @Max_Kas and I will send them to anyone who wants them.

  • XepptizZ

    Hmmm, nothing a little lube won’t fix.

  • The Wizard’s Baker

    They’re no even side by side evenly

  • Frankie

    Hopefully my Mophie juice pack air case fits 🙁

  • Dumb

    You’d have to be a douche to want to re-use a case on a brand new iPhone do you re-use your screen protectors too wth! Why people why? Every new iPhone from day 1 first gen I have purchase a new screenprotector and a case for all my iPhones and installed them before I even powered them on for my first time my i4s will be skinned completely, screen protected, and case by the lifeproof case as the otterbox fell off after the perfect 3g&3gs case I still to this day have all my iPhones and all there boxes and contents and are are in out of the box condition not a scratch!

    • TT

      Cool story bro.

    • Sigh

      That is so awesome. It is so perfect that every iPhone you’ve owned is still pristine. No matter what else happens you’ve always got that.

    • fdxgncgfn

      according to info-graphics posted on idb and many other sources, that means you qualify as a fanboy.

    • Edgar

      Don’t know why… I’ve owned the original, a 3G, a pair of 3GS (one stolen), a 4 and I’m waiting for the 4S. None out of the 5 got a minimal scratch on the backplate or screen and never used a film protector nor case, just the pocket of my jeans. Seriously ppl, what you do with your gadgets? My laps, desktops, palms, media tanks, game consoles and all the electronic components I’ve owned never had a single scratch on it and I have a 5 yo son.

  • kokhean

    This is probably because the phone is made compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks. Since the CDMA phone has to be modified, the entire iPhone 4S design must follow the CDMA design.

    • fdxgncgfn

      the reason they used the cdma one and not the gsm design is because the whole point of the redesign was to stop the antennagate. In the iPhone 4s, they use the modded anti-antennagate design and added dual antennae to make the antennae back to perfect.

  • Has anyone thought about the camera lens placement? As the volume button will become the shutter button (also) this means that the existing lens placement would not be ergonomic. I am suspect that it will move diagonally across. This also means that any cases won’t support. Who cares anyway.

  • jackson

    What a half-assed pix! What phone is where? Sheesh!

  • SoCoMagNuM

    this is actually a plus for me. if and when i decided to sell my iphone4 i can tag along my free otterbox case un-used along with the phone and jack the price up a bit more. my friend argued with me stating im stupid to pay $200 and up for basically the same phone. im like not only is it not the same phone (spec/software wise..maybe asthetics) but i can actually get paid to uprade. he didnt grasp that concept either so i snapped a photo of ebay on auctions closing at that time for the same exactly phone i have…USED and JAILBROKEN…it sold for $435. if i decided to purchase the iPhone 4S 16gb version id still have $200 bucks to toss around with a brand new phone. matter fact i could bump myself up to the 64gb version. so i would have 4x the storage…double processing power…better camera…utilize on the new iOS features exclusive to the device… no cost to me.

    iPhones FTW!!

    • fdxgncgfn

      and when the iphone 5 comes out, you have a 64GB iPhone 4s. I don’t even want to know how much you can sell that for.


    link to that steve jobs iphone cover sneer story

  • garrison brems

    I have an incase case and it doesn’t fit my new iphone 4s. my mute switch is covered and unable to be used when the case is on.

  • j0rdan

    if it has the same design it will fit…

    if it doesnt , tuff