Apple Tells iPhone 5 Customer Scratches and Chips are "Normal"

For a company that's worth over $650 billion, you would think Apple would learn how to better communicate with its customers. Perhaps that's the luxury of being in Apple's position -- as long as people keep buying the company's products, it needn't make excuses for design flaws. Remember the antenna issue that plagued the iPhone 4? Apple's stance was that users were holding the device wrong. Now there are reports that the iPhone 5 isn't up to the rigors of daily use and is prone to scratches and chipping. Some have even reported receiving damaged iPhone 5 models straight from the factory. Well guess what? Those dings and dents on your shiny new iPhone 5 are "normal," Apple says.

In response to a customer email asking about the "scuffs, scratches, and marks throughout the band and around the phone" he's seeing, Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Shiller, essentially shrugged it off.

"Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal," Shiller curtly replied.

iPhone 5 Scratches

In designing the iPhone 5, Apple swapped the glass back found on the iPhone 4/4S for a chunk of anodized aluminum, a decision that led to the current "scuffgate," as the Internet has been referring to the issues of scratches and chips. There are reports that as many as 40 percent of all iPhone 5 shipments are already damaged, perhaps from poor handling at the factory in China where they're made. Those that receive a scratch-free iPhone 5 are advised to be extra careful, as iFixIt demonstrates in an enlightening video:

So, what can you do? Other than being extra careful, if you want to avoid scratching your iPhone 5, your best options are to either wrap it in a case or apply a skin, such as the ones that Zagg sells.