Got a Scratched iPhone 5 Right Out of the Box? Apple Says No Warranty for You

Posted:  December 19, 2012   By:    54 comments   


Update: A senior forum member in shares tips on how to claim a replacement if your iPhone 5 is damaged here. Read: Best to check your device right at point of purchase. Also, you can call Apple Care at 1-800 803-638

Update 2: In an email response to a customer asking if Apple had any plans to fix the seemingly easy to scuff aluminium finishing on the iPhone 5, Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller said:

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

(Thanks Normal for highlighting this in the comments)

When the iPhone 5 first made it to the hands of owners, several were shocked to discover that their pride and joy came out of the box with a variety of scuffs, scrapes and dings.

We resigned the issue to poor QC, a compromise to get the first few batches of the iPhone 5 out to eager buyers. Never did we expect “scuffgate” would affect iPhone 5s in Malaysia. Months after the iPhone 5 was released, we’d figure that Apple would have gotten the QC sorted and Malaysians can be assured that their iPhone 5s would come out pristine right out of the box.

As it turns out, this is not the case. No sooner that the iPhone 5 was launched here, several owners reported the same defects with their iPhone right out of the box. Even our very own iPhone 5 wasn’t spared (pictured above).

The sensible thing to do if you received a defective product is to get it replaced right away. In the US, if you got a defective iPhone it will be replaced so long as you returned in within 30 days of purchase Well as it turns out this is not the case with Apple.

Blogger LiewCF checked with Maxis for clarification if Apple would replace scratched iPhone 5. Maxis’ response was a perplexing one. The operator claimed that it checked with Apple and iPhones that come scratched out of the box are “not categorized as a defect” and will not be replaced.

We called up Apple care to get more information and their response was just as disappointing. In Malaysia, if you purchased an iPhone and its defective, you will have to take your claims for a replacement with the retailer that you bought the device with and not with Apple. It is up to the retailer to replace your defective unit.

If you bought your iPhone from Apple’s online store you might have a better chance of getting a replacement for your defective iPhone 5 but for everyone else, it all comes down to luck.

Interesting how Apple prides itself in providing the best customer experience.

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54 Comments for Got a Scratched iPhone 5 Right Out of the Box? Apple Says No Warranty for You


Makes me more keen to wait for the next iPhone or perhaps just settle for a 4S instead of the 5..


    After reading this, I have decided not to ever buy an Apple product anymore. Not just the iphone. Wow, the company has no respect to the consumer at all and those buying it have no dignity themselves. Well, I am not only NOT going to buy the iphone, I have decided not to buy the imac as well.__What is more disgraceful is concumers themselves have no dignity ie to be treated like dirt and yet, they try to defend the company treating them like dirt.__I advice people, go and buy the Nokia Limua 920 lah. Far more advance product for cheaper the price. Any problems also, Zitron or Avaxx will just replace it for you free of charge. I have had issues with previous Nokia phones that were issues of my own. Nothing wrong with the product. It was the battery getting a bit hot. Went to Nokia, they apologised to me and was very concerned that I was unhappy with their product. they told me to walk into any Zitron or Avaxx service centre and change the product to any other model I prefered, so long as the price was same, if not, I had to top up the difference.__That is the difference between Apple and Nokia. After reading this, if consumers in Malaysia actually persist in buying Apple, they obviously have no self pride nor self dignity.


Soyacincau you bought it from seng heng right?do they replace it for you?


    We were told that returns of this nature are subject to approval from Apple. Not expecting a replacement


pls…don't follow the fruit brand already…..this is not responsible to customer/user. Apple is good to eat,but not good to use!


    Why? Do other phone makers offer 1-to-1 on the spot swap to a new unit if we find problems with our newly purchased phones?


      HTC offer 1 to 1 exchange in 1st year warranty if manufactureing defect.


        It would be good if we can get clarification from Apple themselves instead of a telco rep.


          Oops, saw the part about Soyacincau contacting Applecare – so they wash their hands of this and pass the buck to the telco or retailer.. hmm, not a very positive customer experience, I agree..

      Leong Ka Fai

      And HTC will swap a total new set from box… Apple will give u a refurbished set which is sold half price in US…

    Ryan G

    Blame Apple Malaysia. Apple Malaysia sucks!

      King Kong

      I wonder how does Apple do QC before it goes into the box.


Actually I have experience with blackberry and brighstar, within 2 days they gave me a replacement for my curve 9320 which had a dead pixel.


    Sadly I had to wait 2 weeks before Brightstar replaced my new Bold 9900 due to an out of the box trackpad issue but then again perhaps it was because I am in Penang and the centre here was not allowed to do on the spot unit replacements.


Makes me wonder whether Malaysian units are the ones rejected by US customers and reshipped to Malaysia?


phandroid, that's just what I was thinking (but for Australia). A friend bought one in AU and had scratches out of the box, he took it back and got it changed, no questions asked, this is a known problem (iPhone 5 Rear Case Scratch Test: Apple Malaysia and Malaysian retailers are to blame here. Those affected should complain to Apple US of the way Malaysians are treated.


    I bought mine from Apple Store online, black. I'm glad to say it was in pristine condition. I decided to go naked with it, no case i.e. why spoil the look. Even after taking extremely good care with it i.e dedicated pocket, put on soft surfaces, a couple of tiny nicks have already formed on the chamfered edge of the antenna. It is really fragile and if you are the type who wants your iphone 5 to remain pristine, a bumper/case is a no brainer.
    Anyhow, an unscientific poll on lowyat indicates more than half of Malaysian customers are getting scuffgate, that's why I'm suspicious. Either that or the QA must really suck.

      Ann Oyed

      I guess we should tell all our friends to get their phones opened in front of the retailer (better yet ask them to open and check, don't even touch it! haha) to make sure it's ok. I still have my 4S, liked it naked but dropped it on the road (cos it was slippery) a couple of weeks after I got it last year! Lucky no cracked screen, just minor chips on the edges was all surprisingly.

      Hopefully this article will spread and Malaysian consumers will not be treated unfairly anymore. I will write to Apple US soon.


Apple crap lame..


Entirely responsibility of carrier, when the deal was sign apple have given all the responsibility to the carrier , including buffer unit, DOA unit are to be replace by the carrier as all the replacement unit already supply to them together with the sales units. then again knowing Malaysia telco, easy for then to just say apple don't want to replace it and take all the unit and sell. And apple Malaysia ……. It's just all bad combination.


Soyacincau please reply cause I've already book one at seng heng and going to pick it tommorow.Does your iphone 5 unit got replace by seng heng?


    Get direct confirmation from seng Heng would be best, and if can check your phone on the spot.

    King Kong

    Better you open it there in front of the cashier. If got problem, reject the stock and ask them to get another one. After you leave, they can say it is scratch by you


    Ngok,soyacincau mana boleh reply…spoil the company name,nanti kena saman fitnah…ko bayar?
    betul-betul ifag yang telah di-brainwashed-kan.pakai la otak kalau nak pakai iphone5,tunjuk smartphone konon….


      Prem, kalau nak maki-maki tu jangan komen kat sini. Tolong hormat sikit. Kalau tak setuju pun komen dgn sopan.

      Nampak betul tak berpendidikan


      WTF!!what??Prem you are such a bastard son of a bitch!where do you come from asshole?i"m just ask them a question and they usually answer it and by the way this is the COMMENT SECTION. you asshole!use head before commenting that shit..go get a life bastard!you are such a stupid fuck!






          Kebodohan prem


    Sengheng says replacements are up to Apple's discretion. Best to check the device on the spot when you purchase


      Yes I think it is important to check the device on the spot. You can refuse the good if islt is not in satisfactory condition.


Rotten Apple, never learn from their past mistakes back in 1980s when Apple was as arrogant as now. Apple was bitten by Microsft then and it is time for round two by Google. Maybe it is good time to short sell Apple shares.


Do you proud to have "Apple" anymore?. Just think ….


Are they gonna patent this scratched out of the box thing?



Ahmad Zakwan

I think we need to realize this is how Apple treat citizens in third world countries. Remember when Apple Malaysia launched iPhone 4 back in 2010? Actually on 24 September 2010. There was still a few days left when due to 'antennagate' , Apple was offering a free bumper or choices of cases. BUT NO, NOT TO PEOPLE IN MALAYSIA. Another thing is we can't buy Apple Care Protection plan for iPhone in Malaysia. It is not even offered online from Malaysia Apple Online Store! I got my iPhone 4S two year warranty from Celcom. Another thing is that, we don't have Apple Store. Telcos in Malaysia will as best as they can, not to honour any warranty claims. I used to live in the UK. Bought a refurbished iPod shuffle that come with a standard 1-year warranty. Within days, the earphones was not functioning well. Call Apple and within days a UPS worker sent me a new one.


See the problem is not what you actually get when it's new, the problem is the build quality itself.

People like me just want to get a phone (doesn't matter aluminium, glass, plastic) and just use it without any fancy case. Even if you don't get scratches out of the box, iPhone 5 isn't convincing enough that you can live with it without a case. Who would expect a phone that costs more than 2k has this kind of problem?

In my opinion, they are just reducing the production cost to increase their profit margin, and trying to sell it as a "high-end premium device that just works, and feels different when you hold it on your hand compare to the rest of wannabe Android phones"


It can be further qualified, taking from Apple VP for Marketing .. any anodised aluminium product with inadequate sealing substances or of thinner layer may scratch or chip with use…and NOW it is very important to check on their outsource vendor(F) if oversight on number of layers or the anodising plates did not do a good job in the batches that came to Malaysia.

It is not just aluminum..look at Al coins, because I know that China, Japan, Korea (previously) mints coins in aluminum.
China used to mint them (not too sure) for fen, Japan for 1 yen, South Korea previously for 1 won but currently copper plated aluminum.
Vietnam previously minted some during the Vietnamese war if I am not mistaken. Indonesia too at one stage.

Some other countries that come to mind is France, Italy, Israel, Finland, Romania, Hungry etc.

If you have around your house an Indonesia 100Rupiah coin- spot one with scuff or dents.
It has good thickness around the edges.

So I opined the anodising technique done by F or its vendor resulting in scuff(s)gate on iP5 needs to be investigated.
Phil for one should have carefully weight the situation,and not just come out with a lame comment–without the mention of anodised. IF it continues to escalates, there will be no worldwide marketing for him


Anybody wanna bring this up with the COnsumer Tribunal Court?

Maybe through them, you'll can force Apple Malaysia to reconsider and get Apple to stop acting so high handed!

Just a suggestion. Force your customer rights down their throats! (And no, I'm not anti-Apple but I hate to see us being treated like nothings…)


Anyone can file an easy e-lodgement with the ministry via eTribunal. Link as below:…


Sue Apple!!


Wondered why would apple cares about our complains, thousands are still lining up to be treated like dirt by apple.


Steve Jobs built such a great company, and now they messed up everything! Damn!!

Dr otto

The reason they can bully Malaysians by not giving the same right and exchange policy as USA is because the power of fags is so damn high. Even antenna problem US got free case and Malaysia buyers got nothing.

    Andrew C

    @Dr.otto, first point in accord.
    On second, in respect of antennae gate issue- it was a problem in US possibly their bandwidth of 850/1900 just did not provide optimum signal reception,compared to Malaysia's 900/1800 (2100:3G). I was in S'pore, China, HK, Bangkok- no death grip experienced. Where in those countries, their GSM band spectrum similar to Malaysia. At that time,I got my iP4 from HK,and many of us over here, got good signal receptions(well HK celcos quality is another issue) did not bother at all with getting that bumper(free even though it was- HK people are too busy with other things).

    Furthermore, when iPhone4 was launched in Malaysia on 24 Sept 2010, it was just six(6) days to the end of the bumper free redemption and that time the issue had been addressed.
    If there are users of iP4 in Malaysia, cross check if they are still on with bumper?

    It is also ,in my earnest opinion Malaysia customer protection laws.
    Look at ,take for example- Australia customer protection laws in recent headlines story involving a Malaysian air carrier.

    So with iPhone5- two short words- caveat emptor.

Aji Noh



Happy with a non apple phone, seems Apple doesn't care about customers but only margins. Bad QA from Apple


    overpriced gadgets and now they dare say "it's normal". what a great way to shirk off responsibility just like that. who teach them to say that when its a common issue unless they are so entrenched on their believes that all apple buyers are shills.

chris p

Does this happened in Apple Malaysia only??? I was wondering perhaps its in Apple Malaysia only. Guys don't shake your confident with the Fruit!!! I believed APPLE =)


What bad QC? They obviously shipped the scuffed/scratched sets from other major markets where consuwer protection laws are worth a damn and shipped it here and hit us with no-takeback-clauses on cosmetic defects! That's Apple-telcos Malaysia QC folks!

Shit on your Malaysian customers and they'll still pay you for it!


Love Nokia Lumia 920. Don't bash me, try it first.