Apple Says Scratching on New Aluminum iPhone 5 is Normal

The back of the iPhone 5 is anodized aluminum, unlike the iPhone 4S and 4, which both had a glass backing. The problem with this new material is that it scratches quite easily. As in, some of them are coming out of the box already scratched. The scratchability of this new material was recently demonstrated by iFixit and an adorable toddler the site has retained for such scientific experiments. 

Despite the test showing that the iPhone 5 does scratch much easier than the iPhone 4S, Apple VP Phil Schiller says the scratching is normal with aluminum products. 9to5Mac has posted a verified email exchange between a reader and Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller discussing scuff marks on the iPhone 5. The 9to5Mac reader apparently noted that his black iPhone 5 saw some "scuffs, scratches and marks" around the band and wondered if Apple had plans to address this issue. Phil responded that this was normal for any aluminum product after some use.

"Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal," he's quoted as saying.

What Schiller doesn't address is the fact that some phones are arriving with scratches or scuffs. While aluminum does scratch very easily, it goes without saying that if you're shelling out hundreds of dollars for the iPhone 5, your brand new smartphone should arrive in pristine condition. After that, it's up to you if you want to put a protective case on to prevent marks, or if you're happy enough to let wear and tear take its toll. Apple hasn't formally commented on the reports of scratches upon delivery, but we'll let you know if we hear anything.

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter.                     

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

  • hotroderx
    I am sure they will come out and say its user error during un-packaging. They could say its the carriers scratching the phones when they go to set them up or activate them. In any case I am sure they will find a way to pass the blame on to the other guy.
  • Ragnar-Kon
    Personally, I'd take scratching on an aluminum back over a shattered glass back any day.

    And I'm sure people are happy Apple is using metal rather than the typical plastic... but if you are gonna use metal then at the very least put a scratch resistant coating on it before you sell it.
  • lahawzel
    Nah, those "scratches" you get on arrival are really the dried blood and tears of tormented Foxconn workers. Spray it with a lens cleaner solution and you should be able to wipe them off easily.
  • jenesuispasbavard
    That'll buff right out.
  • syrious1
    some idiot actually tried to say that the scuffs and scratches are okay since you put a case on it anyway.

    Anodized Aluminum does not scratch easily if the coating is applied thoroughly and not just once like it sounds.

    GG Apple and Foxconn
  • atminside
    Apple will just say "you are just scratching it wrong"
  • dalethepcman
    Your holding it wrong
  • headscratcher
    Geeze, I envy apple. They can just insult the intelligence of their customer base and it works, they sell millions more. It's supposed to be scratched up, you're not holding it right, you don't need multitasking, you don't need a better map app....
    Microsoft (or anyone else) does stuff like this and they are lambasted mercilessly from every corner. Gotta envy that Apple business model.
  • nbelote
    What? It scratches easily and/or comes prescratched? That's a new feature!
  • bigpoppastuke
    Scratches are the "Next big thing since the iPhone4S"