The new iPhone 5 has an aluminum chassis that covers the sides and back, and in the case of the black and slate model, it's anodized to be black on black. As anyone who has ever owned an iPod knows, metal is a scratch and scruff magnet. With the iPhone, however, the combination of the polished bezel, matt back, and anodized black appears to show the wear and tear more prominently than ever. You can literally write into it with the fingernail, tilt it into the light, and see what you wrote. While some people may like the worn and torn, aged and destroyed look, those who want to keep their iPhones in mint condition, are less than thrilled by this. Apple doesn't seem overly concerned either, if this purported email from Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller is any indication. Seth Weintraub of 9to5Mac scored the copy:
Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.
There's no adamantium/vibranium alloy in the real world, and even that somehow gets battle damaged in the movies these days. The iPhone 5 certainly scratches far more easily than I'd like, but then the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S back shattered far more easily than I'd have liked, and the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS back cracked far more easily than I'd have liked. Pick your poison.
Hopefully Apple will find away to toughen up their aluminum finishes at some point. Until then, if you want to keep your iPhone in factory-fresh condition, you'll need a case or skin.
Are you worried about scuffs and scratches on your iPhone 5? Rage in the comments.