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Scratching and chipping on iPhone 5 is "normal" says Apple chief

Are you noticing scratches, chips and wear on your new iPhone 5? Don't worry, according to Apple's senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller, that's "normal."

The Apple-centric blog reported that an iPhone 5 owner named Alex sent an email to Schiller yesterday noting that he loved his new iPhone 5, but has "been seeing some scuffs, scratches and marks throughout the band around the phone." The user asked what he should do about the problem and if Apple had any plans to fix it.

In a terse reply reminiscent of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' email interactions with customers, Schiller said, "Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. This is normal."

There's no denying that the iPhone 5 is a beautiful piece of technology. The anodised aluminum back, in particular, gives the phone a sleek new look and holds up to drops better than the large pane of glass found on the back of older iPhone models.

But since the iPhone 5 went on sale this past Friday, customers have increasingly been complaining that the rim and back of the phone are easily scuffed and scratched. Some early adopters and reviewers even noticed that their device came chipped right out of the box, even before it was used.

Perhaps iPhone 5 owners should consider purchasing a case to protect their new phone.

The so-called "scuffgate" issue isn't the only criticism early iPhone 5 adopters have had about the phone. Some have complained of light leaking out around the white iPhone 5's power connector, while others are having trouble transmitting data via Wi-Fi. The biggest issue so far, which has now reached "meme" status, is Apple's flawed iOS 6 mapping software that replaced Google Maps.