Apple iPhone 5

Will Scuffs & Scratches Force an iPhone 5 Recall?

Apple iPhone 5Voices around the web are getting louder for a possible recall of Apple’s new iPhone 5. The main reason being discussed in chat rooms, web forums and comments on blogs point to a high degree of scuffs and scratches on the black color versions of the phone.

Extremetech writes: “If hundreds of consumer reports are to be believed, it seems that 30 to 40 percent of all the iPhone 5’s are arriving with scuff marks — damage to the sides and back of the case that range from minor abrasions, all the way through to nicks where the coating of the phone has been completely removed, exposing the aluminum chassis beneath.”

The biggest reason for this is Apple’s switch in the manufacturing process for the iPhone 5. The company decided to use a new coating of anodized aluminum on the iPhone 5. It had previously used stainless steel as the body metal for the iPhone 4.

Apple notes that the switch to aluminum made the iPhone 5 thinner and lighter than its predecessor. From its site: “It’s hard to believe a phone so thin could offer so many features: a larger display, a faster chip, the latest wireless technology, an 8MP iSight camera, and more. All in a beautiful aluminum body designed and made with an unprecedented level of precision. iPhone 5 measures a mere 7.6 millimeters thin and weighs just 112 grams. That’s 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than iPhone 4S.”

Some buyers of the new iPhone 5 might’ve noticed the scuffs on their phones right away. The marks appear to be more noticeable on the black color versions of the phone, rather than on the white versions, as our eyes see the contrast of the scuffs easier on the black aluminum case.

Reports cited at note that Apple representatives are aware of the scratches and at least one customer service rep mentioned to a user that it was a widespread issue. Many of the comments are focused around user reports that the most easily damaged area appears to be on the sides of the iPhone, which means that you might scratch the iPhone taking it in and out of your pocket or when using everyday cell phone accessories. This is where some wearing away of the anodized surface occurs, and it creates what users call a  “shiny” look that’s uncovered in the coating.

This is a problem for Apple, as many users expect a durable and pristine product for their $500. Nicks, scuffs and scratches can leave even the most ardent iPhone user somewhat deflated. After all, isn’t the iPhone design, aesthetics and overall physical appeal part of its draw?

The new version of the iPhone has some technical capabilities that are minor advances over the iPhone 4. There are some changes to its appearance and its connecting ability, with a new lightning connector cord (another minor problem for existing iPhone users), but the overall strength of the phone’s speeds, connectivity and Internet power make it still one of the world’s most sought-after mobile Internet devices.

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