After noticing some hairline cracking around the speaker, screws, and volume switch, I decided to bring the phone in to see if something could be done about it. After calling my local Apple store(the only one we have in the city) and making an appointment with the Genius Bar(highly recommended to save you the hassle of waiting in store for someone available) I brought it in. The employee closely examined the phone and the cracks. I mentioned that I had seen other cases of this which seem to be deemed as a manufacturing defect, to which he replied that he has delt with this situation before. He asked me for the basic questions, one being if I have ever dropped the phone(he said that it wouldn’t change whether or not the would replace the phone) and went to the back to get a new one. He activated it, inserted my sim card, got me to sign a paper and was on my merry way. The overall experience was seamless and excellent. The only thing I lost was my screen shield that was installed but he even offered to try and salvage it, to which I replied that it wasn’t a big deal. Being my first time using the Apple Store for warranty, I didn’t know what to expect. My expectations were well beyond exceeded and would definitely go back for any future issues.
There has been a lot of discussion as to whether Apple will replace an under warranty iPhone that has these common stress cracks and the answer is yes. Providing you have not dropped the phone or it doesn’t look like its been through the war, you should have no troubles getting it replaced. Make sure that you backup your iPhone to iTunes before going to your appointment, because your old phone will be replaced. He did ask me if I backed it up, so I assume if you haven’t they would do this for you!
Feel free to post your experience regarding this issue or any other warranty issue.