updated 02:30 pm EDT, Sat September 22, 2012
New iPhone appears to be more readily scratched by metal contact
Some Apple iPhone 5 purchasers are taking to Twitter and other social media to complain that their newly-purchased phones are cosmetically damaged straight out of the box. According to the complaints, a small amount of launch-day phones are being delivered straight from the factory with scuffs and other defects in the anodized coatings on the metal band surrounding the phone.
Similar reports of damage were seen around the launch of the 2012 iPad, suggesting a manufacturing flaw or lax quality control at some point in the assembly process. MacNN took a random sampling of 200 of the complaints on Twitter and found 71 percent were from owners of the black phone, 13 percent from the white model, and 16 percent not identifying which phone they purchased.
Repair shop iFixit has posted a video testing the durability of the black iPhone 5 against the iPhone 4S. From the test, it does appear that the new phone's metal is more easily damaged by objects commonly found in pockets, such as keys and coins. As with the iPhone 4 and 4S (though not for the same reasons), a "bumper" or other band-protecting type of case is recommended to avoid cosmetic damage, even if and when Apple addresses the anodized coatings issue.