In keeping with tradition, Apple’s (AAPL) new iPhone 5 and iOS 6 software launched alongside a series of “gates.” First we had “Wifigate” when iOS devices around the world failed to connect to Wi-Fi networks due to a downed page on Apple.com, and then “Mapsgate” swept the tech world. The most serious issue yet may be “Scuffgate,” however, because unlike software issues that can be fixed over time, scratches and scuffs in the iPhone’s anodized aluminum coating that mar handsets before they even reach consumers’ hands cannot be fixed. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has acknowledged the issue and is taking steps with manufacturing partner Foxconn to ensure that iPhone 5 handsets are not scratched during shipping.
Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reports that Apple has made dramatic changes to quality control measures taken by factory workers assembling the iPhone 5 in Foxconn’s facilities. While the result should be far fewer devices arriving with nicks and scuffs out of the box, the measures have also reportedly impacted production yield, tightening supply and making the new iPhone even more difficult to find.
Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5 handsets during the device’s first weekend of availability, making it the fastest-selling smartphone of all time. Analysts were expecting several million more iPhones to be sold during the smartphone’s debut weekend though, and ongoing supply constraints have caused Apple’s stock price to plummet in the weeks since the new iPhone launched. Shares of Apple stock closed at $635.85, down from a record high of $705.07 achieved on September 21st, the day the iPhone 5 launched.
Tags: Apple, iPhone 5
As always seems to be the case when Apple launches a new smartphone, the iPhone 5 has suffered something of a dent to its reputation, at least in its early weeks post-launch. We are of course talking about scuffgate, the claimed issue of handsets suffering from paint chips around the phone’s antenna, especially on the black and slate version.
Some noticed the issue right out of the box, while others have found paint missing after days and weeks of ownership. While many have succeeded in getting Apple to swap out handsets with just this issue, one forum-goer decided to take a different route, and we have to say it’s pretty awesome.
Faced with a prematurely paint-less iPhone 5, MacRumors forum member travis.hansen decided to take matters into his own hands by actually polishing the remaining paint off, leaving a funky shiny metal finish that looks absolutely terrific…
As you can see from the photo and accompanying video, the result is a sort of silver bezel that borders the iPhone 5’s rear panel and, we’re sure you’ll admit, adds something a little different to a phone that is already one of the best looking devices around.
The matter of chipped paint seems to be dying down a little, with rumors that Foxconn has tightened up its quality control for recently shipped iPhone 5. We’re certainly hearing less and less reports of handsets losing their stealth paint jobs, so fingers crossed things are on the up.
How’s your iPhone 5 bearing up, and would you ever be tempted to try improving the appearance of a battered iPhone?