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Some iPhone 5 orders arriving with cosmetic damage

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ClickSpace

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-23-99

    And if I did that to my car, the same thing would happen. If I tried to scratch the window on my car, I wouldn't notice any scratches either. So I guess my whole car should be made out of glass too.

    This was a stupid experiment and proves nothing. If you were to take keys and scratch the hell out of the back of a Samsung Galaxy SIII you'd scratch it all up too.

    I never keep my iPhones in any pockets that have keys or coins in them. Even from the very first iPhone. The iPhone 5 will be taken care of just as carefully.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02 obvious concern from the get go... do many not use a case ? I still like the ergo pebble shape of my 3gs better as well...

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    crApple is just finding new ways to generate revenues. Nothing new, and if it falls apart, oh well. It's all part of their plan. Eat it up.

  1. stubakka

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-30-10

    Mine also arrived with a Ding and scratches near the top Case, I called Apple care this morning and after talking to a rep for about 20 mins they offered a Brand new replacment, Express Shipment to me Free of charge as long as i return the old unit when i get my New 32GB Black Replacment!, Very easy process and unusual for an Apple product to have defects out of the box. Call Apple care if you are having this issue.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    If you want your phone to be pristine throughout it life span then get a case, there must be a million available for all taste. I do think they should arrive looking factory new and agree with those that are particular about that.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    One could just not post this type of drivel because some marred finish iPhones ship from the factories every year.
    Not news

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