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Apple SVP: Scratches, chips to be expected with iPhone 5

updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue September 25, 2012

Aluminum may be more prone to cosmetic damage

Some cosmetic damage to the aluminum band around the iPhone 5 is "normal," according to an email from Apple's senior VP for worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller. The message was sent in reply to someone who noted that his and other black iPhones were showing "scuffs, scratches and marks" along the band. "What should we all do? Any plan to fix this?" the person wrote.

"Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal," Schiller emailed in response. Still unaddressed is the issue of some iPhone 5s shipping with damage already inflicted.

While the design of the iPhone 5 is similar in many ways to the iPhone 4S, it does use a notably different construction, for instance switching from Gorilla Glass to an aluminum back. Apple may have made the switch not only for aesthetics but to improve the iPhone's ability to withstand drops. While the glass backs of the iPhone 4 and 4S were less prone to scratching or chipping, there was a risk of them cracking completely if they hit a hard surface.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99

    Why do people care so much? Do they just stare at the case of their phone all day? Does it affect call quality? App performance?

    No. No, it doesn't. Relax people. It's a property of anodized aluminum. It happens.

  1. Chip Before PC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-25-12

    While all the above is very true, Apple still has not learned by its mistakes. They tried to explain away imperfection in G4 Cube and ended up with a mess on their hands. I hope that they have a fall back plan better than their handling of the G4 Cube.

  1. Drew Hall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-25-12

    My iPhone 5 shipped with a bent and scratched aluminum band. I called Apple and they are shipping me a new one.

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    Some of my first comments to friends when the leaks started were 'it will scratch' and 'why black' when silver on black looked so good on my i2... While most will have a case this is just not good design. Promoting phone as fetish object on build quality & then have it visibly scuff on light use is just not clever. SS might be too heavy of course, but might make a more durable option. I also miss the pebble shape of the 3gs for pocket comfort...

  1. shmoolie

    Junior Member

    Joined: 05-30-02

    If it's shipped scratched or cracked return it and it will be replaced. If it's shipped OK then buy a case. There. No need for 10,000 comments.

  1. darkelf

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-21-03

    feh. you should see the kinds of scratches and nicks my truck gets, and that's a heck of a lot more expensive.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    Originally Posted by darkelfView Post

    feh. you should see the kinds of scratches and nicks my truck gets, and that's a heck of a lot more expensive.



    That's why I won't let you drive my iPhone.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by Chip Before PCView Post

    While all the above is very true, Apple still has not learned by its mistakes. They tried to explain away imperfection in G4 Cube and ended up with a mess on their hands. I hope that they have a fall back plan better than their handling of the G4 Cube.



    You hold a grudge a long time.

    Phones are tools...I'd only be worried the glass would get scratched or the device will stop working. Scratches are expected so deal with it...or buy a case.

  1. Pilsner6910

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-17-10

    its aluminium, its gonna happen. but dings from the factory isnt cool but being dealt with by Apple.
    Maybe the next iPhone will be made of titanium to shut the whiners up.

    I dont have a case for mine yet and i work in construction and its still not showing any wear even though it slide across a concrete floor. Im quite happy with it!!

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    Originally Posted by Pilsner6910View Post

    its aluminium, its gonna happen. but dings from the factory isnt cool but being dealt with by Apple.
    Maybe the next iPhone will be made of titanium to shut the whiners up.
    I dont have a case for mine yet and i work in construction and its still not showing any wear even though it slide across a concrete floor. Im quite happy with it!!



    With the iPhone being a product chosen mostly for it's aesthetic value rather than leading edge tech, and all the money Apple charges for it's year old tech, the chassis might as well been made of titanium; or liquid metal like the Vertu.

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