Monday, October 22, 2012

Apple iPhone 5 Scuffgate response: Scratches and scuffs are 'Normal".

The iPhone 4 had Antennagate, iPhone 4S, luckily, had only minor issues — and now, the iPhone 5 has a scandal all of its own, so-called Scuffgate.

What is ScuffGate? Many owners of the new iPhone 5 have reported scuffs along the edge of their phones. These have been seen on brand new units, out of the box. Additionally, there has been a big concern about the durability of the iPhone 5’s anodized aluminum finish when compared to the iPhone 4 and 4S which have Gorilla glass. “ScuffGate” is a term used to label to this problem, much as “AntennaGate” applied to the antenna design flaw with the iPhone 4. Both terms originated from the name “Watergate,” referring to the political scandal of the 1970’s.

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While the scratches being reported are not actually a “scandal” as Watergate was, they’ve caused new device owners to express concern on forums and social media. Some owners have decided to exchange their iPhone 5 for another one which is free of defects. A number of people who purchased a black iPhone 5 chose to switch to a white iPhone after discovering this issue.

If hundreds of consumer reports are to be believed, it seems that 35% to 50% of all iPhone 5s are arriving with scratch marks. In some cases the coating of the phone has been completely removed, exposing the aluminium chassis beneath. In addition to out-of-the-box damage, many users are reporting that it’s incredibly easy to scuff an iPhone 5 through everyday usage, which seems obvious for us considering sharp-edge design and material of the device, but not that obvious for Apple engineers as we can see.

When users ask Apple about this issue, Apple respond is very similar to the one we received on Antennagate issue - as ridiculous as it may sound, here is what Apple's official respond looks like:

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

A little unbelievably, this seems to be the only official response from Apple on Scuffgate issue. The original email also asks Schiller if there is any plan to fix the scuffing issue, but Schiller ignores that, which could mean that Apple doesn’t plan to replace or recall damaged iPhones.

As I personally believe, all we have to do is to wait until iPhone 5S comes out where Apple will most likely fix this issue. It happened to all previous generations of Apple iPhones and I don't think the new iPhone 5 is an exception.