In what can now be argued as more than a few isolated incidents, it seems the white iPhone 3G's plastic casing is suffering from cracks and splits.

Reports are coming in from Apple blogs, and the online Apple support discussion forums, that suggest the problem is widespread.

The cracks appear to be primarily hairline fractures that most often appear on the plastic shell near the corners of the device, particularly near the headphone jack, ringer switch, and volume controls.

Similar fissures have been reported as appearing on the black model too - although not in such great numbers which some speculate is as they are harder to see.

Apple's response seems to be mixed with no official statement and although reports suggest that some retail stores are replacing cracked handsets, other have not been so lucky.

One Canadian iPhone 3G owner writes on the Apple support pages: "The store could (or would) do nothing. I'm now on hold with Rogers ... 15 minutes on hold only to get someone who says he can't do anything about it because it still works fine".