iPhone 5 Owners Seeing Scuffs and Scratches Out of the Box


Apple announced this morning 5 million weekend sales for the iPhone 5 (earlier they announced 2 million pre-orders in 24 hours). With the official launch in Canada on September 21st, it appears some iPhone 5 units have arrived with scuffs and scratches right out of the box.

Now, of course yield rates are never perfect, but this time around it appears the issue is more common than we think it is. Our own black iPhone 5 arrived with a hairline scratch on the aluminum back. Other writers have experienced the same thing with their new iPhones out of the box, and this thread over at the Apple Support Communities relays similar experiences (plus this MacRumors forums thread also shows extensive discussion about the issue).

This issue is different than what we previously discussed about the backs scratching easily.

What can you do? New iPhone 5 purchases have a 14 day return window, so I would suggest calling Apple to get a replacement. Apple Stores can mail back online pre-orders for you. Alternatively, you can call Apple and they’ll send you out a box to return your iPhone 5. If you want to use your existing iPhone 5 while a new one arrives, you’ll be required to have a pre-auth charge for the incoming phone on your credit card.

Have you seen any scuffs or scratches on your iPhone 5 out of the box? Vote below (you will have to visit the site to vote):


  • bradg17

    When it comes to something like the iphone 5, the quality control manager(s) should take it pretty seriously. The iphone 5 is something people buy for beauty, and the foxxconn workers/managers obviously let too many slip that already had marks. I understand that they’re trying to cut costs, but they are a little to lenient with the iphone 5. However, maybe the supplier for the back plates sent over a bunch of marked ones, and they had no choice to send out marked ones to try and keep up with demand.

  • dillyh

    Does the process you’ve outlined apply for only purchases via the Apple Store? I purchased my iPhone 5 from a Virgin Mobile store and I realized that there’s a scratch on the front screen (under the InvisibleShield that I put on as soon as I purchased it). I’m not sure if I should call Apple or bring it back to the Virgin Mobile store.

  • derek

    Small mark next to my volume button, and a greasy ass finger print smudge on the product plastic on the screen

  • Drkpassengr

    I had a couple marks as shown in the image above on my white iPhone 5, went to an Apple store the day after and showed it to them, they replaced the phone with no problem. the funny thing is that the first replacement he brought over had the same issue! the second one was perfect. I do have something else that’s annoying, when tapping the top back the phone makes a ‘loose’ sound as if parts are loose inside, has anyone else experienced that? i had the same thing with my iPhone 4 and 4S so maybe its just how it is.

  • Drkpssengr

    Best to take it to an Apple store, i bought mine through best buy and had a couple dings, took it to Apple store at Yorkdale and they replaced it right away.

  • James K

    your replacment was it brand new in box? or was it out of a black kinda small box?

  • wuju

    I called Apple and wanted to replace my black iPhone 5 to a white one so it’s far more scratch resistant. Just so I have a phone to use in the meantime, I order a new white one and wait for it to arrive and return the black one before the allowable window time to return a new iphone 5. The guy on the phone says I have 30 days to notify Apple for a return and 14 days to return upon notifying them for full refund.

    So what does it mean whey the article above says “New iPhone 5 purchases have a 14 day return window, so I would suggest calling Apple to get a replacement”.

    Who is right here? Do I have 30 days or 14 days???? Can anyone verify this?

  • Drkpassengr

    It was out of the black replacement box, they don’t open retail boxes for replacements but its a brand new phone anyways as its only been a day after launch day when i went there and obviously apple wouldn’t be able to make refurbished units in one day:)

  • James K

    Yeah thats what i figured but its stupid it should come out of a brand new box just handed to you .

  • James K

    Does any one have a home button issue?, where it isnt as fast as it was when you first got it?
    mine is really slow now,

  • Drkpassengr

    Agreed but as long as its new i don’t mind it.

  • Drkpassengr

    I noticed that as well, especially when you double click to bring up multi tasking it takes a bit longer and sometimes it ‘misses’ and thinks you just clicked one and takes you to the first page or the universal search.

  • I picked up a white 16GB from the Coquitlam Apple Store and luckily it’s perfect. I love the device. I’m curious if all the people getting scuffs / dings on theirs, bought their model through pre-order or at retail stores.

  • Try this.
    1. Open some stock app, like weather for example.
    2. Push sleep button for few seconds till the slide to turn off appears
    3. Push and hold home button till your iPhone returns to home screen.

    This should reset your home button response and help. I do it every couple of months and it really helps. cheers

  • Try this.
    1. Open some stock app, like weather for example.
    2. Push sleep button for few seconds till the slide to turn off appears
    3. Push and hold home button till your iPhone returns to home screen.

    This should reset your home button response and help. I do it every couple of months and it really helps. cheers πŸ™‚

  • James

    The guy’s IMEI number is visible publicly now..

  • That is the camera I belive the iPhone 4 had the same type noise this is considered normal ..

  • Krazyed

    issue with Telus pre orders.. phone has vertical scratches on the screen. top of the screen under the receiver down till about half of the screen.. called telus, they said they are getting lots of calls like this

  • I got a black 16gb have have looked over it 2-3 times now even taking the case off those 2-3 times and still yet to find or see a single scratch anywhere .

  • Can’t you take it into an apple retail store and exchange it ?

  • wuju

    Nope. they say order online must be return and refund online.

  • Mine had a scuf on the al band. :/

  • gerry

    As soon as I got my white one (no scratches), I had some dude at a kiosk install a full body protector around it.

  • Thankfully nothing on my 32GB black either

  • Cocobear

    Mine has a white dot on the screen right above where the wifi signal is. It’s pretty anoying, but the worst of all is when I buy app or song, where the keyboard appears for entering the password, it has white horizontal long lightening across the black keyboard….Bringing it back to Applestore tomorrow. Hopefully they will exchange for me, i got the iphone throuht telus preorder on line. I am so upset and mad. ????

  • 1His_Nibs1

    You’re welcome Gary ; ) BUT with this AND the light leak issue I’m about ready to say F*** It and either wait until the quality control improves or go the SGIII route. I’ve hung onto my 3GS FOREVER patiently waiting with much anticipation for this phone but with all the issues of build quality coming out I’m beginning to doubt if I still covet this phone anymore!

  • kyuusei

    Nope, not when I got it… although it has a couple of scuffs on the bottom NOW because I’ve dropped it (less than one foot mind you) a couple times. πŸ™ I did put a case on it right away, but the case doesn’t cover the entire bottom. Oops.

  • Agent

    same…on TELUS did the pre-order…my phone looks like it was used as a demo. Paint chips at the top band..and bottom.

  • Chris

    Okay- can Anyone tell me why my lifetime cellular usage is 11 days? I just got the damn thing.

  • you most likely restored from the backup of an old device. “current period” represents your new device!

  • jon

    That is good to know I use a screen protector from a company that fills in scratches . Looks like it may be the only way to repair that without replacing the back. Currently using this company for many phones and tablets in my home, Definetly something worth having

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Care to share the name of the company?

  • Drkpassengr

    Thanks for reminding me about the home button reset, works great.

  • rpret103

    ya i had an issue when restoring from backup and it popped up asking me for apple id and password but the id part would already be filled in with a random e-mail that i’ve never seen before…..and when i tried playing PvZ after there was already a user name created that actually wasn’t my name at all…..?!?!!

  • Chris

    My phone also had someone else’s apple ID in there… WTF??!!

  • Al_will_scratch

    With the Aluminium back you will have scratches, it is a soft metal, there is nothing to be done about that. It either gets scratches now or later. If you put a case on it, you won’t see it anyways πŸ™‚

  • LoWd0Wn

    Mine came in today via UPS and it was pristine. After reading this post I was a bit worried. Although my covers wont be in for awhile as they did not ship until after they got the iphone on the 21st and then finished their R&D and then started shipping so I am going to wait till I get the skins before I use it as that aluminum does scratch easy.
    I was so hoping they would ship prior to getting the phone themselves but I guess they wanted to make sure it fit properly.
    But coming from the states I will have to wait another week. I wonder if I can wait that long before using it. πŸ™‚