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Sep 23, 2012

Factory-Sealed iPhone 5 Units Arrive with Scuffs and Dings

Some factory sealed iPhone 5 units are making their way to customers with scratches and other types of marks that could indicate improper manipulation of the handset during manufacturing.

After reports broke out that Apple’s new iPhone was prone to rapid wear and tear, some actual iPhone 5 owners reported that their units arrived already damaged. The images on the side are just a couple of “scuffgate” examples from iPhone 5 buyers who claimed to have discovered these scuffs and dings prior to using their new Apple smartphones. Some say it could be a flaw in the manufacturing process. Another theory is that the Foxconn workers assembling these units could have manipulated the aluminum casings in an improper manner. While all smartphones are bound to exhibit signs of damage after a few months, the iPhone 5 seems to be most susceptible to wear and tear after very little usage.

Following these reports, repair shop iFixit conducted a “highly-scientific” test of the “scuffability” of the iPhone 5 (video embedded below). MJ, who usually makes the YouTube introductions for iFixit's popular hardware teardowns, invited her two-year old daughter to take some keys to the iPhone 5’s aluminum enclosure and, sure enough, the process ended with the same scuffs and dings visible in the photos on the left. Like with the 2010 “antennagate” fiasco that plagued the iPhone 4, Apple might need to recommend strapping a case or a sleeve over the iPhone 5, to preserve its sleek finish.

The Cupertino company hasn’t released any protective accessories of its own for this particular iPhone model, but third party manufacturers are already scrambling to offer a variety of solutions for customers looking to keep their iPhone’s enclosure intact. Of course, many customers buy the iPhone 5 not only for its advanced functions, but also for its attractive design. For these people, protective cases are not an option.

It's less than 24 hours after our iPhone 5 Teardown and we have received a lot of questions about it. It's come to our attention that a lot of you are concerned about the scuffability of the iPhone 5's aluminum rear case, so much so that there's already a scandal brewing around it, which the Internet is calling "scuff-gate." We set out to find out just how much truth there is to the latest scandal surrounding a Apple product release, and have a little fun while we were at it.
Video credits to iFixitYourself


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