iPhone 5 Buyer's Experience: Bought 3, Kept 0

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by maxap, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. maxap, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012

    maxap macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008

    I just wanted to share with you my experience with buying a new iPhone 5. I had been waiting for a very long time to buy a new iPhone, because I can feel that my trusty iPhone 3GS is getting old and slow.

    Well, a couple of weeks ago I ordered the new iPhone 5 (black, 64 Gb model) online at Apple store. The first iPhone 5 arrived with a huge speck of dust under the lens cover, a big dent on the camera ring and some minor scratches (I could live with those scratches, but the camera quality is a big deal for me).

    The first iPhone 5 pic:


    When I called Apple Care, Apple employees were extremely helpful and sent me the replacement, which was even worse than the first phone. I immediately discovered a big smudge under the lens cover (looks like oil or fingerprint), scratches and even a microphone ring broken in two pieces.

    The second iPhone 5 pics:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Well, again Apple was very helpful and sent me a new iPhone 5. And... needless to say, it is defect as well. There are two scratches on the lens cover (they are quite difficult to capture with a camera), which is made of sapphire crystal that cannot be scratched: remember Apple praising its qualities? Mine was scratched out of the box. And there is a very big and deep scratch near the volume buttons.

    The third iPhone 5 pics:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    All three iPhones are going back to Apple and I think I am going to get my money back. I give it up!

    I read some stories about people exchanging 4-5 iPhones and thought they were crazy. Apparently, Apple indeed has major issues with their production quality. With the launch of iPhone 5 in a large number of countries, Foxconn factories produce millions of iPhones every day and nobody seems to care about the quality of the device that consumers are getting. For years, I have been loving my Apple products and have been encouraging all my friends to buy them: now, I see that many things have changed and are probably going to change further. It looks like it's all about profit and beating Android now. (It's hard to expect anything else from a private business, but there was always some place for "an ideal" and striving for "perfection" when Steve Jobs was around) I am very disappointed.

    Tell me, please, what do you think, do I just have OCD or a legitimate reason to complain? I tend to think that people spending more than 800 euros (€873 or $1150 to be precise) to buy a new iPhone have a right to receive a new device that has no scratches and other issues out of the box. It is totally fine, though, when they get scratched during normal use: that's nothing abnormal.

    All these iPhones have been manufactured in week 49 (3-9 December 2012).

    Sad... :(


    Today, I have received my fourth iPhone 5 and guess what... there is again dust under the camera lens: these two specks of dust are quite hard to capture with a camera, but I could see them immediately with a naked eye. Terrible quality control if you ask me!

    The Apple customer service was again outstanding: a very nice lady on the phone was very helpful and nice. This iPhone 5, however, is going back to Apple and I am going for a refund this time.

    The fourth iPhone 5 pics:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Full size:

    Now, I finally have to give it up! This fourth iPhone 5 is also going back to Apple and I will be getting a refund. Let's try it again next year when Apple will finally release a new iPhone with IGZO screen and all these terrible quality issues will have been ironed out.

    Now, the thread must be called: "iPhone 5 Buyer's Experience: Bought 4, Kept 0". :)
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Does it matter?

    At the end of the day, Apple isn't making iPhone 5s with a level of quality that meets your expectations.

    Personally, I wouldn't spend so much time being sad about it, or constantly swapping out. It is what it is. After three unsatisfactory tries, I'd personally move on to a different brand of phone that meets my expectations.
  3. BenTrovato macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2012
    You probably do have OCD! But then again so do a lot of us. You can go down that road if you wish - a lot of people wouldn't care about the defects you photographed. However, for the amount of money they are charging for this device, it should be flawless.
  4. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    That's what I am about to do.
  5. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    OCD or not the lens issues can impact the user's photographs so that's a valid complaint.

    I guess with thinness and light weight come the consequences of using fragile materials.
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    In terms of Apple quality control, while what you're experiencing with the iPhone 5 is disappointing, it's nothing new.

    Apple has had notorious issues with their designs/quality control going back well over a decade ago, from hinges on notebooks that snap, metal used on notebooks that get pitted out after contact with the oils on gads, iMacs with bad transistors that cause them to stop working, yellow-tinged LED displays in MacBook Pros/iMacs, extreme heat and whining sounds from the first generation MacBook Pros, the "random shutdown syndrome" (RSS) on the first generation MacBooks, Time Capsules prematurely dying etc, etc, etc, and etc.

    Whenever they try a new design, they don't always get it 100% right (from a quality aspect) the first time.

    I'm not apologizing for them, just pointing out that this quality control trend existed years before the iPhone had even been invented. It's always disappointing to see, but I wouldn't predict that "thing are going to change farther".
  7. sevendust macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2012
    I wouldn't mind those scratches and stuff if I acquired it through usage, but if it's out of the box new, that's a NO-NO.
  8. Jordan921 macrumors 68040


    Jul 7, 2010
    Bay Area
    That sucks you weren't able to get a phone that was in good shape out of the box.
  9. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    If the lens defects cause problems with the photos, then those are legitimate problems.

    But every single other thing in here? I'm sorry, but that's the kind of stuff that will show up in less than a month on any product no matter if you use a case or not.

    There's a reason used sites use the phrase "Good, but signs of use." No one would look at those photos and call those phones damaged...just "lightly used." And, assuming you're going to use this phone, you'll just end up in the same place in a few weeks anyway. So why care about it now?
  10. GeorgieAcevedo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New York City
    Are you serious? Do you buy a phone to stare at all day closely or do you buy it to use it ? Holy ****, this is getting so ridiculous.
  11. Brdl04 macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2011
    the D
    You should stick with your 3GS forever. That phone is perfect obviously or you would have taken it back by now.

    You may never have a perfect phone again, so better be safe than sorry.
  12. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    A perfect phone for me is the one that is not scratched/damaged out of the box.

    What is the point of having unbreakable sapphire glass in your lens cover praised by Apple when it is scratched out of the box and there are specks of dust/smudges behind it?

    I am paying lots of money for my iPhone and I want it to arrive in good condition. If I damage it myself, however, then it is totally fine. But it is up to me to decide how to treat my device. That's also the reason why I spend much money on buying proper iPhone/iPad cases/sleeves.
  13. raf66 macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    I can understand your frustration, and do not blame you in the least for making a change to a different brand. I quote the above from your post only because you have no basis upon which to make that assertion. The quality control you've experienced is far below satisfactory, but to act like bad QC at Apple is now the norm and will only continue to get worse is a statement of opinion that is based solely on your anecdotal experience. It is no more a statement of fact than me saying that because I received a perfect iPhone 5 on launch day that all of them are perfect.

    It sucks, though, that you've had a bad experience with the new iPhone 5 (x3).
  14. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    Look at it this way, you've been through over $2400 worth of phones, which Apple now has to salvage for parts/put new cases on to refurb them, over tiny issues (the smear on the back of the lens, if it was on the back, is an exception).

    Personally, just give up and go to another brand. It's clear your expectations are far too high for a mass produced aluminium phone.
  15. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    Maybe, but believe me that these three iPhone 5's are not the only defected Apple products I have received in the past 6-8 months. If you see how Apple expands it production and launches the new iPhone 5 in additional 33 countries (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/14/iphone-5-launches-in-33-new-countries-including-china/), you can expect that the quality of these devices is surely not going to improve in the coming months.
  16. tomjleeds macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    "Tell me, what do you think"

    "You're crazy, dude"

    "Oh but but but <insert defense here>"

  17. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    :) If you say that somebody is crazy, at least provide a couple of reasons why you think so. The same can be said about you and your comment. :)
  18. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    On the other hand, you are effectively looking at the phone with a magnifying glass. How many other products you purchase do you look at this closely? I am skeptical that a device from any other manufacturer will look any better when examined this closely. Even the marks on the lense, I am not sure that they will have any visible effect in practice.

    This is a device that will go in and out of your pocket thousands of times over its life. Is it really worth combing it with a magnifying glass before accepting it is good enough?
  19. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    That's fine but he's not paying for a "lightly used" phone but for a new one. And the microphone ring damage is not from normal use, I've never had that happen.
  20. naths macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    The price these things cost they should be in perfect condition, say for instance you spent £600 on say a watch, and it was scratched, you wouldnt be happy, very very bad quality control!!!
  21. SnowLeopard OSX macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

    Dec 5, 2012
    There were smudges, broken mic rings, and scratches on the camera lens. Do you know how much a brand new 64 GB iPhone 5 costs? If someone's going to dish out that much money for a phone, they have every right to expect to at least unbox it in flawless condition. OP brings up legitimate reasons of concern and has the right to complain -- especially since Apple places so much emphasis on how high quality their products are.
  22. maxap thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2008
    I agree with you: you buy an iPhone to use it indoors and outdoors, but I always do it with my phone kept safely in a nice leather sleeve.

    I don't even have a magnifying glass, but could see all those flaws immediately. :) I remember driving to Antwerp to buy my first iPhone 3GS I am using now after its launch and believe me or now it was flawless: no dead pixels, no scratches on the lens cover or the phone itself - nothing. I have also inspected a couple of new Android phones (Samsung Galaxy SII, SIII) and those had no scratches or dents. But again, those are made of plastic.

    It is not hard to satisfy me as a customer, but if you pay such an amount of money, you expect your product to be without any defect out of the box. (buying a phone for 150 euros is a different story)
  23. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    Not being OCD in my opinion. The only reason I say so is b/c of the legitimate camera issues. I wouldn't be tolerant if my pics were not right.
  24. tomjleeds macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2004
    Manchester, UK
    I didn't actually say that ;)

    Actually I do think you're a bit crazy, probably because if I was that much of a perfectionist I'd drive myself insane, but nonetheless it's your money and only you can decide whether or not you're happy with your purchase.

    If this thread is just a way for you to figure out what you want then fair enough, but it tickles me :)
  25. travis.hansen macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2012
    I bought an iPhone 5 that cam pre-dinged upon opening it. I took it back to the apple store and they brought me a replacement which they said was triple anodized and double inspected by AppleCare. The genius opened the box and the first thing I noticed was a ding on the top with the aluminum showing through so he walked right back and grabbed another one. 3rd time was the charm. That one was flawless.

    It's kinda sad that they are having all these quality issues. They have to be losing a LOT of money and certainly their good reputation for quality.

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