iPhone 5 owners report scuffs and scratches out of the box

When Apple VP Phil Schiller took the stage on September 12th to talk about the company’s new iPhone 5 hardware he went on at length about the exacting level of precision that goes into its manufacture. But despite Apple’s insistence that its tolerances are measured in microns, several iPhone 5 owners are reporting that their new devices are arriving with a variety of scuffs and scrapes out of the box.
The company’s record-breaking sales numbers certainly don’t make it easy to guess at how widespread the issue is, but an informal poll in the MacRumors forums indicates that out of some 1260 respondents, more than a third are reporting some kind of damage. The source of the scuffs (pictured below) is anyone’s guess, but as All Things D points out, the iPhone 5’s case is made out of anodized (i.e., coated) aluminum, which, while being lighter than the stainless steel used in the iPhone 4 and 4S, is also softer and appears to be more susceptible to scratching. It’s worth noting that HTC used a comparable oxidized finish for its One S handset — a phone whose users reported having similar cosmetic issues.