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Apple solves ‘Scuffgate’ but the fix is making it even harder to buy an iPhone 5

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:38PM EST

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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, 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.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.