THE TRUTH ABOUT STICKING LOCK & HOME BUTTON ON APPLE'S IPHONE 4
There aren't enough articles and blog posts about this issue, so I'm going to add one to the pile to help searchers verify something they are trying to confirm: There is a definite issue with the home button and lock screen button with the iPhone 4.
There are 250,000 known cases, to be exact, of users with iPhone 4 smartphones that have a sticking lock screen button that feels like a wad of gum has been jammed underneath the button. With this many cases, you better believe it's not a random occurrence. And there are probably as many or more cases of the home button sticking or feeling "mushy".
I had a friend of mine send his teenage son to me to attempt fixing his iPhone 4 that had the stuck lock screen button. To make the button activate, you had to dig in with your thumbnail as hard as you could, or mash it up against a hard surface.
I did the research for the fix, and found out that it would be more of a pain in the rear end than replacing the LCD/digitizer panel. You have to gut the entire phone and take out the intricate pieces and parts along the inner edge where the lock screen button sits. Most people don't want to pay the labor it would take to do this.
I was so disgusted when I discovered that this was a very common issue. But I was happy to find out that several customers were successful in making Apple replace their phones free of charge, because they are totally aware that this is not the fault of the user.
I advised my young friend to call Apple and explain to them that the stuck lock screen button was verified by a technitian, and to demand a replacement phone. Surprisingly, they sent him a new iPhone 4. I was impressed.
If this is something you are experiencing, you may want to call in to Apple before you pay $100 or more to have your buttons worked on. You might get lucky and get out of the situation without paying a dime.
But there are no guarantees on how long Apple will acknowledge this as their own fault. Just remember "antennagate", and the amount of time Apple spent denying the existence of a problem. That pretty much sums it up.
If you have a story about a sticking lock screen or home button, please share it here. I'd be curious to know if anyone else was successful in getting a free replacement as we were able to do. Sound off!