Apple reportedly comments on iPhone 5 scratches and scuffs, says they're normal

Apple reportedly comments on iPhone 5 scratches and scuffs, says they're normal

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.

Source: 9to5Mac

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Apple reportedly comments on iPhone 5 scratches and scuffs, says they're normal

124 Comments

I love how apple cares so much about their customers.
My iPad holds up pretty well with no case. I don't own a iPhone.

I love my 700 dollar super high quality product too. Especially when its scuffed up before I even touch it. I love how apple has awesome quality products unlike the competition, I hate it when the product is in pristine condition before I open the box(Samsung)...

I so freaken agree! I was toggling Samsung s3 but decided to upgrade my 4s to the 5 and i can say this is a large disappointment. I am a huge apple fan but I had scuffs on phone even before my phone was activated for use. $849 (retail value) phone should be flawless!

I know, right? Samsung made me take my GS3 out of the box and then send it skidding across the black top to get that authentic iPhone look!

Be careful. You don't want your Samsung phone to get scratches like the iPhone 5. iScratch was the iPhone 5's biggest innovation and we don't want Apple to sue Samsung for copying that feature. :) However, after years of having Samsung phones with no case and not even a tiny scratch yet; I think it's safe to say that Samsung will be safe from the iScratch lawsuit. Especially since you have to jailbreak/root (intentionally scratch) the Samsung phone to get the new iScratch feature and they do not provide it as a built-in straight out of the box feature like Apple does. :)

Wow with all that money you should let me invest it for you I am Nigerian Royal so I have many contacts at the BP oil refinery simply give me you full name date of birth and your bank account and credit card information and I'll see what I can do if you. Give me $1000 processing fee I will offer a return of $1,000,000 to your investment LOL stupid spammers

A few years ago, Sony came out with a digital camera that had a titanium coating on the outside. I kid you not, I used my keys on that thing, even a knife, and it wouldn't scratch at all.

Sure it would get dented if you dropped it, but it was virtually scratch-proof. I'm guessing it was expensive to do, but it gave you a great piece of mind knowing you had a premium product.

I don't know, my camera was the DSC-W300, had a titanium coating and you could scratch it with anything you wanted and it wouldn't get so much as a scuff. It also repelled fingerprints as well. Maybe it's the way they apply the titanium on, as opposed to making it out of a sheet of titanium. Look it up, the DSC-W300 I believe.

From Sony's site

"DSC-W300 Cyber-shot Digital Camera-
Anti-scratch Premium Titanium body:
The titanium coating on the body is approximately five times harder than anodized aluminium-treated camera bodies, offers excellent protection from scratches while offering a premium look."

Very interesting.

So much for the precious jewel of a design .... Guess the Otterbox folks are going to be busy ....

I don't know so much about Otterbox now. There are many other brands out now that are making just as good if not better heavy duty cases. Lunatik Taktik, Stanley and Incipio have collaborated on a few cases, Griffin Suvivor, Seidio, Lifeproof, Kraken and some others.

for something that will be thrown away in 12-24 months, i'm not sure it's a big deal. especially now that the used market for iphones has gone commodity - there's not much benefit in having it arrive at the grave in pristine condition.

If you're throwing away your iPhones could you just send them to me? In most of the modern world we can resell iPhones for what we paid for them.

That is THE stupidest thing I heard all week! iPhones hold their value better than just about any other phone. NOONE would ever through one away. wow, what a douche

Really, is this an issue? I haven't seen an iPhone or Android phone not get scratched from general use. It's really a shame you have to cover up a work of art like the iPhone but, until they start manufacturing phones out of titanium, buy a case.

In saying all that, the real story should be, "What cases scratch the hell out of your phone instead of protecting it."

I don't think people are angry that it gets scratched but rather that it happens so early I mean if it's showing these sign so early on can you imagine what it'll be like after 6 months or so of usage?

The issue isn't that it can get scratched, it's that it's so prone to be scratched that some of the phones are actually coming out of the boxes scratched.

My Lumia 900 doesn't have any scratches and I never use cases.
Like I said I don't own the iPhone, but I do own 2 ipads and they hold up well with no case.

Wait, wait! So it's normal to have scratches, scuffs and chip marks on aluminum backed iPhone's fresh out of the box before you've even touched it? Damn Phil, that's weak.

I scratched my beautiful 3rd gen iPod right out of the box. From that incident on, I have a case or skin before the device arrives. Out of box into case, top dollar at resale. Yes, I know it covers the great design, but we have to make choices. For me, it's early cases from eBay. Anyone need a skin for a teardrop shaped iPhone?

the difference between a flawless iphone 4 and one that is in good condition is $5 on gazelle these days ... just saying ...

any one selling a phone on gazelle is stupid you can get far more on ebay for any iphone product i took my iphone 5 back and got the evo 4g lte i like it much better first time using android i am not a huge fan of it but i am really not happy with the ip5 :(

I'm very careful with my phone, but I recognize that the phones are tools and will get nicks and scrapes as part of their intended use. No big deal. I think this issue has been overblown.

Phones are going to get scratched. I'd rather use the phone with its natural form without a case and have th natural signs of use.

Write into it with a fingernail? You must have finger nails made of steel or something. I tried doing that, hard, and any mark left easily wiped away.

Scratches and scuffs included in the box is pure shit! This is intolerable for $49 DVD player from Best Buy!! I'm no Best Buy fan, but they would take back a $12 set of ear buds if they came out of the box scratched!

It's a testament to what you can expect as Apple moves from boutique hardware provider to mainstream, big electronics provider. Apple's flying high now, so was PanAm for quite a while!

Yup, throw a case on it.. lol, guess it doesn't matter what its built out of.. The iphone5 is just another smartphone, they couldn't even get the build quality up there.

That's not normal. I would understand scratches once the phone is in ones hand but before unboxing it ?.. It's a problem in the assembly line.

Haha. You guys are asking for an indestructible phone here. I agree the phone being scratched upon opening is bs. First thing you should of done is call apple and report it. It happens. Build quality isn't up there? Show me one phone that doesn't scratch or break....it sure as hell isn't the galaxy s 2 or s 3.

I didn't know the black iPhone 5 came with a free scratch from the factory! What a bargain! Apple could use this as a marketing tool....The black iPhone 5, with iScratch!

For me, the issue isn't about the iPhone scratching from normal use. Every phone scratches! It's about manufacturing defects. How many new phones have you purchased that had a scratch out of the box? What phone manufacturer would allow this? Apparently, Apple.

I choose to ignore my iScratch, and focus on the killer A6 chip inside, the screaming speed, and the beautiful display. Would I have rather received a scratch-free phone? Sure.

I could see a huge market start to develop for aftermarket backs to this phone built out of a more scratch resistant material. I am not a huge fan of the two tone anyway, so I was hoping for some more options via the aftermarket regardless of the purported scratches.

Unfortunately the insides are completely adhered to the back of the phone so there is no way to detach the backplate for replacement. The screen on the other hand detaches easily for replacement. This is how they are able to achieve the svelt design and reduced weight just as they did with the retina MBP.

Not too worried about resale value if scuffs and scratches are the norm. The screen is the most important part. No way I'll use a case.

I have a tungsten wedding ring and it can't be scratched by any normal means. They should use that metal next time. Of course the iphone would weigh about ten times as much.

With that said, I like the design so it is staying caseless and when it's gets scratched, oh well.

I purchased a black 64 GB ($998.94 iPhone + AppleCare+ AT&T) at the Apple store at Buford, GA. It was around 8:38 am. Went home and opened it. Found a scratch near the home button on the aluminum frame. At around 3:30 I went back to the Apple store and they looked at me with skepticism but proceeded to swap it. I opened the new unit in front of them to verity and it had a scratch almost at the same spot. The rep went back to get another one and had a scratch next to the silent switch. Came with another and the last one for the 64 GB and it also had a scratch. It was smaller (almost unnoticeable) at the bottom right corner of the aluminum frame. Asked for the manager and asked them to throw some sort of discount for the inconvenience because it was the last one and refused to discount it. I chose to keep the unit. I'm going back sometime this week to see if I have some luck and find an unscratched one. That was 4 out of 4 scratched units. I can only imagining the many unhappy customers that after shedding $$$ like I did, were caught by surprise while opening their boxes and finding the units to be blemished.

Mine had a scratch along the top left the goes about halfway down the left side of the phone. i thought it was un acceptable that something came from the factory like this but I also figured apple would do nothing about it either... looks like I was right

For all of these problems I'm hearing over the Internet, no one I know that has gotten the iPhone 5 (only 4 people), all the phones are flawless. So there's 4 out of 4 there to that are flawless

I would like to point out that not only did my Galaxy Note not include scratches when I bought it, 4 months, there aren't any scratches. No scratches on a "cheap" plastic phone. You all enjoy your scratched up aluminum.

A) Literally nobody was talking about battery life. This is a topic about a phone's durability, not how long the battery lasts.

B) I unplug my phone at approximately 6 AM. When I go to bed at 10 PM, I have more than enough battery left over. That's with 75% brightness, listening to music on the way to/from work and in the gym, medium Facebook, Twitter, browsing, and texting, and a couple 20 minute or less calls. Unless you have personally used this phone, do not comment on the battery "lasting only a few hours a day" when it clearly lasts all day.

A) Battery life is because you phone doesn't do anything except achieving boredom for the user.
B) Your phone sucks, but is ok for poverty level customers

I'm using a sunglasses soft cloth pouch until I can find a suitable case for my iPhone 5. It's been good so far. Did have one guy look at my phone and then slid it back to me on a plastic table we were sitting at! I think most damage occurs right now by others who don't care about other people's property. I'm very overly cautious with my new phone.

typical apple comment and certain people will accept this type of response and give apple the pass... yes aluminium scratches bla bla but when you buy a new device it should be 100% mark free out of the box and should not pick up marks so easily... Apple logo on the back is going to pick up so much scratches as iI have seenit in so many reviews and also from experience of my ipod touch the back gets scratch so easily and the apple logo seems to be the same material on the iphone 5 but am sure apple did this by purpose right to give the phone a antique furniture feeling... You what else is funny how everyone is saying how they love the lightness of the phone and before when the iphone was the heaviest they used to say iI prefer the heft as it givesit a premium feel any phone that was lighter than the iphone was said to be feel cheap as it was too light... love how the certain people will change there mind the moment apple do something lol

Phones are designed to scratch..and get "worn" thats why youre able to have up grades..or you buy them out right if you bank account is up to par. Even a $120,000 porche thats garaged most of the year will recieve surfave scratches eventually. I don't feel like any company should be concerned about something scratching..or wearing out..their designed for that.

Yea and imagine the reaction someone would have if their $120,000 porche came out to them after signing the papers with a scratch before even leaving the dealer's lot...

oh yh love it when apple fans say just use a case when they hype about build material lol if you going to put a case on it then does it matter what it's made out... put the iphone 5 and a plastic made phone in a case... guess what they will feel the same.

I agree. Nothing will keep the phone from any damage unless it sits in a box. If it were indestuctable apple would never make money

That's not true my iPhone 4S was bought on the first day it was for sale and I use it everyday. I can say I don't know if I could even find a hint of a scratch on it. I never keep it in a case either just full body film and it was on my new iPhone 5 within a hour of receiving it.

Really I don't see why everyone doesn't use full body film, especially on the black iPhone, you had to know it would scratch but I wouldn't have thought it would scratch so easily. But that is why I bought white and it had no scratches. On the white you can't even see the film on it without close inspection.

some people are obviously missing the point. scuffs are normal, but having dents, nicks, scuffs, etc. right out of the box on a brand new apple product is not normal or acceptable!

I think you may have missed the point. Nobody anywhere since the iPhone 5 release has been whining about it scratching over time. What people have been very vocal about is a brand new phone coming straight out of the box looking like it's been slid on the floor or dropped. That is what Phil was directly responding too. Aluminum phones will come from the factory scratched, scuffed and banged up. It's 100% normal and acceptable to Apple.

Very pathetic! It will be many years, but I see Apple following the path of other former great phone manufacturers. One of their greatest sales points was its integration with other Apple products. Now with the new connector (which has its own problems) the fragmentation has begun. An old os (think blackberry) and the writing is on the wall.

Not to mention one of the writers at Forbes had this happen and wrote an article posting pictures of his, many of the scratches were not on the new aluminum parts and he also had a chip in the corner of the glass out of the box. Seems like a cop out for shoddy QC while trying to ramp up production. And for those white knighting this as your phones gonna get scuffed up with use anyhow, that may be true but that doesn't mean you should be paying top dollar for a product that is already showing wear and tear, people don't accept that in appliances (which I sold for 6 years), furniture or other household items why should they for a phone that costs about the same?

Just get a front and back screen protector and a bumper.....under $10 from MonoPrice etc etc etc. No brainer for anyone complaining about use AFTER unboxing a phone without defects.

I wonder how many of the people giving Apple a pass for bad QC (scratches out of the box) and bad design (a material that scratches THAT easily) are the same ones that have posted any of the many disparaging comments about Samsung phones and tablets having plastic backs or bodies? Personally, my non-Apple phone is 6 months or so old and does not have a scratch on it anywhere and my non-Apple tablet is about 6 weeks old and it does not have a scratch on it, either. Unfortunately, my iPod got scratches on the back somehow (even though I was super careful with it) in the 2 days between when I got it brand new and when I was able to get it Ghost Armored.

this to me isn't a deal breaker, still planning on selling my S3, i had my S3 naked, and sure enough scratch magnet. so had to put on a case lame, the only phone i had naked was the HTC 4g LTE that was built rock solid just to bad about the phone sucking. i'm still getting the iPhone 5 the only difference is now i have to dish out some cash for some super clear skin. no biggie. i'm tired of my S3 overrated phone in my opinion

Exactly. That had to be the most ridiculous comment ever. An iPhone user saying the S3 is overrated. Forget the sheep who go crazy over a phone that has no new innovations; just more speed. The iPhone has still not even caught up to Android or Windows Phones. :)

For crying out loud. Surely if you don't want your brand new iPhone damaged, you buy a case. Why can't people just give Apple a break. Rather than looking at the good, the fashion is still to immediately try and find fault. I bought a shiny new car some years ago, put it through a car wash and hey presto, you could see tiny marks made by the brushes.......my fault for not hand washing it....but that's life!!!!!

"Why can't people just give Apple a break?" Because people should not receive a $650+ item that they spent their hard-earned money for brand new straight out of the box with scratches. You said you bought a shiny new car. Did the car have scratches when you bought it brand new? No, it got scratches from YOUR use. As for using a case, who wants to use phone cases anymore? Especially if the phone is claiming to be the lightest and thinnest smartphone. Putting a case on it will not make it so 'light and thin' anymore. The same people who complain about other phones being made of plastic are probably the same ones who put a plastic case on their non-plastic phone. Well, guess what? In my many years of using the "cheap, plastic" Samsung phones, I have never had to use a case and I have never gotten even a tiny scratch despite the drops etc. Having any product come straight out of the box scratched is unheard of let alone a $650 one! Heck, people return $2 figurines for being chipped or scratched. If even the smallest companies can have such great quality control, surely Apple should be held more than accountable for their lack of quality control which is ridiculous for a company with so many billions of dollars. What the heck are they doing with all of that money? Certainly not anything innovative. The least they can do is at least make sure their products are built correctly. So, no. If even the smallest companies are held accountable for the quality of their products, then Apple should definitely not be shown any mercy. This is perhaps the first iDevice that truly lives up to being "made in China".

No Scratches on mine so far. Hoping it stays that until I get my iCarbons carbon fiber skin in the mail. Personally, I don't care about how sexy it looks, its a material object, not a woman. As long it can take a punch, and the software is up to par (*sigh*), then I'm happy with the product.

I'm not giving Apple a pass, but I also just don't care enough to go back to an Apple store and force a "Genius" to open every single iPhone they have until I finally find one that's "perfect." Last time I checked there was no such thing a perfect either. Exhibit A: iPhone 5!!!

MY GOD! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO YOURSELVES?! Do you really expect your iPhones, or whatever other precious devices you might own, to be constructed of other-worldly materials and be eternally indestructible?! Do you inspect every square inch of a car for little scuff marks before you buy it? And after you've purchased your car and have driven it around for a few days, and you notice some scratches that weren't there when you drove it off the lot, do you then blame the car company for building an inferior product?! NO! You friggin' deal with it because your car is gonna get scratches regardless! How and when did we Americans become so shallow?! It's no wonder we're the laughing stock of the world! There are much more important things to complain about than scratches. Seriously, get a life!

Yes scratches are acceptable but not in this case as the phone was just released so the phones have barely used and are already showing signs I mean can you imagine what it'll be like after 6 months or a year?

Polycarbonate phones, anyone? Although I agree that aluminium feels better than plastic, at least the recent HTC and Nokia phones don't show up a different colour when scratched

Question for all the apologists here: do you have to buy your Free Passes individually, or can you get them by the gross... or perhaps through a group-buy?

My problem is that it would be easy for Apple to have used a much better process (type III HA and TiN) instead of cheaping out.

It's not otherworldly and it's not that expensive, but it does cost more, but I expect the iPhone to last better than a MagLite. Look up SureFire to see a type III HA coating that can saw through a MagLite and that is tough as diamond. My flashlight in my pocket had a few bright edges after two years in my pocket with my keys, the iPhone should be this tough. (It's not a SureFire, it was $25, but it is Type III.)

Thoughts:
- planned obsolescence through sensitivity to shabbiness?
- reduction in qc standards, reflecting a ship at all costs mentality (seen now in both recent h/w and s/w releases)?
- will people soon be clamoring for glass backs again?
- previous antenna band was stainless and very robust, how poorly will alu band perform when subjected to drops? Will it deform, or will upper and lower glass panels break or be dislodged from phone?
- does loss of coatings from band affect antennae performance?
- how much space has apple created for the competition by trading cosmetic and physical robustness for weight and package savings?

How might apple influence opinion and "sell" this weakness as a feature? If slut walks can change perception, perhaps a "Shabby Chic" campaign comparing nicks and scratches to the fading, fraying and tearing of a favorite pair of Levi's, I.e. "Your favorite pair of jeans only became that after they were 'lived in and broken in', Apple iPhone 5, live with it, break it in, love it!"

Love my iPhone 4 with it's Stainless Steel surround. Love my watch with it's Stainless Steel case.

So disappointed that they have gone with an anodised black aluminium for the edges. Wouldn't be quite so bad if it was silver so dinks wouldn't show.

What is wrong with everyone?? If I take a set of keys to my BMW, it will scratch. If I spray the Mona Lisa with bleach, the painting will be ruined. Does that make them inferior? No! If you don't want the phone to be scratched, treat it properly or put it in a case. Jesus! Stop complaining over every...little...thing.

Those are things that YOU, the OWNER of the product, are doing to YOUR products. There is a HUGE difference between you doing damage to your own product that you paid for and having the product you paid for come already damaged brand new.

Wow.. I Can Really Tell That The Scratches Are Going To Get Bad If You Don't Have A Case.. I Had My Black One Since Launch Day And It Already Scratched Because I Grazed A Wall (as soft as i possibly could) and the paint scratched easily.. Black needs a case right out of the box or take advantage of refurbished phones when they become available like i always did with my ip4.. I always had a fresh phone.. Lmao..

It's a design problem, not a manufacturing one. Anyone who has ever used a product that is painted/coated over metal like aluminum knows how easy it scratches and the color underneath comes through. Apple should have spent the extra money and infused the color into the aluminum, rather than coating it.

People like me who take care of their phones will have higher resale value thanks to all of the people out there scratching up theirs. Thanks!

Sounds good. I'd go for a couple hundred off for a scratched up casing (not screen). I'd just be tossing a shock case on there anyways so would never see it after that anyways.

an extra $20-$30 for a more mint condition phone is not enough for me to worry about, especially if not Jailbroken & Factory Unlocked. That just means a lesser final value fee and I won't deal with people who are full of it. 15 hours since this was posted and there is still not a scratch on mine.

This comment fails to address that most people are not scratching up their iPhone 5's. I'm sure most people take excellent care of their $650+ products. However, having a brand new phone come straight out of the box with scratches already on it is a completely different story. Stop blaming the consumers who spend their hard-earned money and expect to get a NEW and obviously undamaged device.

My Blackberry Bold 9930 is 13 months old. Naked and no signs like those being reported on the i5.

Don't care though. I am awaiting my delivery and looking forward to trying something new. Who knows I might become one of those guys that has 2 phones and swaps sim's.

Can any one comment if you have a WHITE iPHONE 5 and let me know if the scratches are more prominent? or does the lighter stainless steel and white glass hide the scratches better? also from your experience, did the white iphone come with less scratches from the factory?

This is why I got a white one. If the aluminum on the black one scratches, the silver showing through is obvious against the black, but the aluminum on the white one is already silver so scratches are MUCH harder to see.

You notice it less because it "blends" in... meaning you'll see a slight silver mark on the bright white. Whereas on the black version, you'll immediately spot the steel scratches or nicks on the black.

The back of the white iPhone is silver, not bright white, so the scratches are the same color. Its aluminum isn't anodized or painted like on the black one.

It's actually slate silver, while underneath is aluminum... So when the slate silver gets scratched instead of the nice matte design, you get shiny silver. It's still noticeable but not like it is on the black.

I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't be scratched out of the box but that should be expected through normal use if you don't cover it with a case (which some people don't want to di. Either the QC has dropped or their packaging needs to be improved. I know they want the whole unboxing experience to be impressive but if its not protecting the phone in the box from being scratched and scuffed, that's a problem.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this be akin to a fellow buys a brand new Ferrari and it comes delivered with a big parking lot dent in the door and some scratches. Ferrari explains that because it's a car and cars get scratched that this is normal.

No, it's not normal for your brand new thing to already look damaged. It's not, and letting Apple convince you that it is is the problem.

I'm an Apple fan just like most, but this is wrong. I was pissed enough after "You're holding it wrong" because that seemed arrogant enough. I'm holding my phone wrong? It's a phone..... I thought the idea behind the iPhone was it didn't have rules, right?
No, if you open your box to your brand new iPhone and find scratches, there is an issue and the issue is not "Oh it's normal and you're being a baby"..

My plastic Samsung back looks shiny and new with no scratches.

Until you fanboys learn to voice your opinion and take your money somewhere else, Apple will continue on THEIR own course regardless of what the consumers want.

I remember when the iPhone was the greatest thing ever. I felt this way until the 4S came out and its been downhill ever since.

Seriously, who expected a different response out of Apple? Not only have they shown this arrogance before, but it's not something that can be fixed.

For the record, it's not normal for aluminum, at least not like the reports are stating. My HTC has an black anodized aluminum frame and it can't be scratched with a fingernail. It's not scratch proof by any means, but after being naked for almost a year there aren't ANY scratches on the aluminum, just a few pin-point-sized chips. In the HTC forums many people complained bitterly about this ability to get chipped, but it's minor compared to the iPhone's scratching. Anodizing is typically used instead of paint due to how durable it is. How Apple managed to make it so fragile and with such bad quality control is pretty baffling. There's really no excuse. You can find better quality anodizing on a $5 flashlight.

I am not happy that my iphone has scratched so easily (I am not going to return it),
scratched the first one while charging, I fixed it with a thin coat of lacquer.
The second phone purchased has a bigger problem. I have light leaking from the power button and the screen has a large bubble forming in the middle. Apple is going to replace the unit, but I must wait two weeks for the phone.

Stop bitching about the back of the iPhone 5 being scratchable. If they would have made it glass, you would have bitched about it shattering like with the 4/4S. If they would have made it plastic, you would have bitched about it being cheap and feeling like an S3. Just because it is a new iPhone doesn't mean you have to point out every flaw. I'm sure you can find such minor faults on may other phones but oh wait, because they are not an iPhone, no one declares thermonuclear war about it.

When you build your brand image on supposedly superior quality and design, these are the kind of consumers you attract. Apple should have known that the same people willing to put up with a glass back because it looks cool would have an issue with this.

Plus, as I mentioned above, there's really no excuse for it. I've never seen such poor quality anodizing on aluminum.

That said, yeah, it's overblown, other phones have had similar issues in the past. Problem is Apple fans concerned about it won't have another option for at least a year, and in the meantime the perception of Apple being superior quality takes a hit.

M i seein a trend among us that no matter wat apple sells we should always blind fold our eyes n buy it. we Apple users use to always brag abt our iphone being a complete finish product n have premium feel. When we start exceptin scratchy products out of box.. we r being stupid fanboys, doesn't matter which company u r.. untill we get a product in our hands.. it should look 100% new. N i expect Apple to be more concern abt it.. few mistakes like aluminium body, not including google.. poor maps.. bad tower reception n then u know u r heading blackberry n nokia path.

After reading the above article,I just wanted to add that for every phone that I have bought,I have also bought a case,after all,these are expensive devices. But I also must add that the iPhone 3 & 3gS plastic backing cracked,when dropped,the iPhone 4 & 4S glass backing shattered,when dropped.
The iPhone 5 backing scratches when wiped with a cloth!!
So comparing this issue to that of the previous models is a bit far fetched,the casings of those devices did not diminish the value of my phone when wiped! It must just be said that quality wise,this time Apple fell short. This is not the best phone that they have ever made,in my opinion.

WOW! what a long thread. In my view, it's quite simple. If you like the iPhone 5 get it. You would know what its made of before you get so dont complain if its scratches. if its scratched out of the box, then put it back in the box and head over to the closest Apple store. I have purchased the last three iphones and the newest iPad and they have been in pristine condition out of the box.
If you like the s3, then get that. This iPhone vs Samsung thing is getting a bit old. They both appeal to different types of consumers, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages as smartphones.

I got iphone 5 4 days after the launch date and it didn't really have scratches when I opened it. Unfortunately, it's true that I got a lot of scratches when I used it without cover :(

for every person who's sad about the scraches buy a navjack trim series for the iphone 5 it has a protective film on the front and on the back also has the bumber that hides the sides from the scraches/chips