They say history has a way of repeating itself. When the black iPhone 5 was launched 5 years ago, reports came flooding in of the colour peeling off for no apparent reason. A similar drama is playing out in 2017 with iPhone 7, matte black version.
Disgruntled customers are flocking to Apple’s support forum to report that the colour of their precious phones was chipping off.
It all started when ‘syazwanmnoor’ (honestly, what kind of a name is that!) posted this on Nov 13, 2016.
“I have been using iPhone 7 Plus Matt Black for about one month with fully covered by a TPU casing and full screen tempered glass most of the time. I just open the casing once a week to wipe the dust off from the phone. Until yesterday when I take off the casing, and notice there is something at the edge of the phone body next to UP Volume button. At first I thought it just the dust. I try to wipe it using microfibre cloth as usual. Until I look closely it is the metal part of the body. It seems that the black anodised paint had been chipped off from the phone body. I am really disappointed with what happen to the phone because I was using it very careful.
I have chat with Apple Customer Support and it is not covered under warranty since it is under cosmetic damage. Seems that the anodised paint quality on iPhone 7 is same as what is on iPhone 5. The iPhone 7 body paint will chipped at anytime regardless you are using it very careful. Just to share with you guys.”
Since then, the thread has taken on a life of its own and reports have just been flooding in from other hapless iPhone 7 owners.
“I have this issue on my matte black too. I noticed it on my mute switch, 2 small dots that I initially thought was dust. But after cleaning it off I realized that it’s the paint chipping off. So the next day I went down to my locals service center and try to make a warranty claim. But the staff said that cosmetic damages are not under warranty. So I ended up selling my iPhone 7 and got a silver one and after another month I never notice any sort of paint chipping.” – junxian_yap1994
There seems to be no explanation for this damage and many users claim that they were keeping their phones in all kinds of covers and casing. Despite the protection, the colour was coming off, most commonly in areas surrounding the physical button, corners and speakers.
Although some amount of wear and tear is expected when you have the phone for a long time, users are saying that they noticed the chipping very soon after they bought it. GangCS, yet another member of the forum, confirmed as much.
“I am in the UK and got my phone (Matt black 7 plus) on 1st Nov. I found first paint chip on the top left of the phone on 25th Nov… just had it less than a month.”
While these are relatively smaller chippings, a more serious complaint was brought in by “Phirsisch”
My case might be even worse. The paint at the back of the iPhone started to chip off very heavily. First there were some bubbles building up and then when I put the iPhone on a table the paint chipped off completely.
I was at an Apple Store complaining about it but they didn’t know how to classify my case so I didn’t get a new phone for free. But the Apple Support hotline helped me out and asked me to send pictures of my phone. These pictures now have been sent to the engineers in California and I’m waiting for feedback…
We’re hoping the engineers in California have a favourable response to this poor gentleman’s problem, but Apple’s approach to the other complaints remain the same. Since the damage is ‘cosmetic’, they can neither repair nor replace the phone.
What a load of BS. But then again, did we expect anything different?
Let down by Apple and left to their own devices, people are using sharpies and black paint to cover the damage. One user, Greeendo, was justifiably pissed off about this.
I HAVE THIS PROBLEM TOO!! iPhone7plus JackBlack, the Silent mode switch, half of the paint chipped off, i need to use a MarkerPen to colour it from time …. feels like i’m using some cheap phone from China when i’ve paid so much!!!
**** you Apple Quality Control!!!
We feel your pain, Mr. Greendo! We really do.