Phil Schiller Of Apple Says Scratches Should Be Expected On An Aluminium Product


Apple consumers are mainly happy with the iPhone 5; from the taller display to even the faster hardware. But one of the largest complaints about the device is the two-toned anodized aluminium finish added to the back-plate. People are receiving the iPhone 5 and scratching the aluminium in their pocket, on the table, etc. Various people have even received the iPhone 5 scratched out of the box.

The issue hasn’t been acknowledged by Apple yet, until today. This is unfortunately a problem that Apple senior vice-president of marketing, Phil Schiller, views as ‘normal.’

A customer named Alex had an email conversation with Schiller, and stated the following: (via 9To5Mac)

“I love my Black & Slate iPhone 5, but I’ve been seeing some scuffs, scratches and marks throughout the band around the phone along with many others. What should we all do? Any plans to fix this?”

Phil Schiller being a great businessman, answered the email within 24 hours with the following:

“Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.”

This probably isn’t the result everyone was hoping for. We know that any aluminium plate is prone to scratches, but the point is we don’t want a scratched up device. The only way to prevent scratches currently is to purchase a case, or a protective shield for the iPhone’s back panel. We could also purchase the white model over the black, as the silver scratches would match the panels tone.

What do you think Apple should do about the easily-scratchable aluminium panel?


  • Hmmm, I don’t disagree that the phone will get scratches and wear but certainly wouldn’t expect shipped units to already be damaged. General wear and tear with use over time, yes. Brand new units or units only days old, no. I do have to wonder though, what sort of conditions are these folks putting their phones through? I will be buying a sleeve to put mine in so that I can safely transport it in my pocket. Right now, I’m using a sleeve I had for my iPhone 4 – the top of the 5 sticks out but the bulk of the phone is protected for now.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    “What do you think Apple should do about the easily-scratchable aluminium panel?”

    release a new bumper plz

  • djepsilon

    You’re holding it wrong.

  • Drkpassengr

    The email didn’t make it clear that the flaws are coming out of the box on brand new units and seems like Phil Schiller’s response is related to wear and tear caused by customer usage which is normal as he stated. I would love to see a response from Apple as to why units with manufacturing flaws passed their QC and made it to customers.

  • o_clement

    If scratched when the box is opened, this is utterly inacceptable. Companies find a way to deliver completely perfect Piano Black plastic TVs and what not, I can’t believe they would have the slightest issue to put a perfect, mint aluminium plate in a small box.

    Anodizing Aluminium can be done to different hardness if I’m not mistaken. One should look at what the standards are for that kind of application and how the i5 relates to that. I know I’d be curious about that.

    That being said, you scratch it, bite the bullet and deal with it

  • RyanStOnge

    Good question, I’m sure they couldn’t be scratched in the box after the QC. But as for wear and tear from usage, I would expect it after a few months, not the first day when setting it on a table or in your pocket.

  • gtasscarlo

    It’s your fault it damaged so easily.

  • Dan

    I have Samsung Galaxy S3 and it doesn’ t scratch at all. Apple should of been more on the ball when designing the case. Another reason why I’m glad I went with Samsung.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    ill take scratched alluminum over cheap plastic, any day

  • Thomas Bernard

    It,s so cheap that when droppped it never cracks or scatches. I’ve had mine for a month and it still looks brand new. Thanks Samsung for using cheap plastic that doesn’t scatch or break.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    thanks dollar store stupperware for using cheap plastic that doesnt scratch or break

    ps: tonka trucks rule

  • lol

  • Farids

    I agree the phone should be shipped in physically perfect shape. In regards to people that scratch their phone and complain, there’s no material on planet that’s scratch and break proof!!! A healthy mind thinks: if you want to expose your phone to stuff in your pocket and still enjoy the good looks of the phone, purchase a screen protector and a polyurethane clear case for $15 (or $2 in two months from dollarama). The alternative is contact superman and ask if he can spare some indestructible Krypton material to build your iPhone exterior with!