Some iPhone 5s arriving scratched and nicked

Mark Hattersley
22 September, 2012
View more articles fromthe author

Reports from around the internet are saying that some black iPhone 5s are arriving in a pre-scratched condition, with others suggesting that Apple’s new black smartphone scratches easily, and may be susceptible to scratching and scuffing.

Concerns have been raised about the ‘slate’ backing and sides of the new phone, which are made of anodised aluminium. It is claimed that the black slate covering wears off easily, making the model look scratched or scuffed. This issue does not seem to affect the white iPhone 5.

It is unclear whether this is just the case with a few early models. MacRumors has run a reader poll looking for information and approximately 39 per cent of owners are reporting scratched or scuffed black iPhone 5 models. user decryption started a forum thread when he took his black iPhone 5 out of the box to discover a number of unsightly nicks on the edges (pictured). Some other forum members are reporting nicks, chips and scuff marks.

Pocket-Lint has also suggested that the iPhone 5 has problems. Its review states “we’ve already noticed that on the black model the edge has started to wear, revealing the shiny silver aluminium metal underneath the ‘slate’ coloured coating and, indeed, we’ve witnessed it on two separate models, ruling out a fluke manufacturing error.”

A forum poster at Overclockers has abused an in-store demo iPhone and took this photograph of the scratched surface. Not that we condone this behaviour but the result might be worth considering if you keep your iPhone in a bag with a set of keys.

It may just be that what we are seeing are a few production problems with the first run of products, which typically show some defects. Although Apple is typically quite highly regarded for the quality control of its physical products (software is, arguably another matter).

The switch from glass to aluminium is regarded as sensible overall, as glass units are prone to cracking if dropped. But if the iPhone 5 is susceptible to widespread scratching on this level then it could well take over from Maps as the big talking point about the iPhone 5 release.

Until we have investigated further we would like any readers to share their experiences of the black iPhone 5 with us below.

One Comment

One person was compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Michael kish says:

    Yesterday I went to a local AT&T retail store and upgraded from a 4s to a black 64gb iPhone 5. Later that night I removed the plastic from the back and discovered a ding on the edge just below the volume down button. Called apple the next morning and they told me to return it to the AT&T store where I got it from and exchange it. So I did and upon a full visual inspection of the new replacement phone I found a worse ding on the plastic trim between the home button and the dock port. The manager then said that I had to choose between the two phones. I said I will not accept a brand new iphone with any kind of scratch/ding and I wasn’t going to choose a white one either. He told me that he couldn’t provide me with a black iphone 5 in perfect condition and that other customers have been ok with the flaws. I then said that I wasn’t ok with the condition of either phones and got a refund.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us