Why is the iPhone 5s's bezel so fragile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AceGuy78, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. AceGuy78 macrumors member


    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't know if it's the same with the iPhone 5 since I upgraded from a 4s, but since I've had my 5s, I've yet to drop it. But, I have scuffs, chips, and scratches on my bezel, and I have absolutely no idea where they came from. The only one that I'm knowledgable about is when it had a small tap on the side of my Macbook on the bed, and it certainly wasn't hard enough to chip the bezel.

    Coming from an iPhone 4s where the steel band around the phone barely had any damage, I'm confused as to why my iPhone 5s is chipping away like something cheap.
  2. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
  3. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    If it's chipping that easily, it might be defective anodization like in the first batch of iPhone 5. The black should not rub off at all and it's actually quite sturdy.

    There were a few year-old black & slate iPhone 5 selling on ebay and the black flaked off like crazy all over, even the ones that were in a case the whole time. One seller claimed the case did it but it's clearly from defective anodization. Those people should have swapped them out under warranty once they started to notice the black flaking off.
  4. Partridge macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2007
    Because aluminum is much much much much much much much much softer than steel. That's why.

    It's also much lighter.

    No matter how hard or abrasion resistant the surface treatment is (Anodization), the underlying material is soft.

    Design wise, the iPhone5 has a lot of sharp edges instead of rounded ones. Sharp edges on a soft material are much weaker than rounded ones, as the material is unsupported, so you get nicks in that sharp edge much more easily.

    Also, the way that anodization works on an aluminum surface means that sharp corners will be a LOT more vulnerable to wear on the coating than rounded ones. The thicker and more wear resistant the coating especially with Type3 mil spec hard anodized coatings, there is a minimum corner radius that must be observed for optimal results.

    "Successful use of anodic coatings, especially hard anodize, depends on proper product design. Because of the manner of formation, anodic coatings will develop voids at sharp corners and edges. Sharp edges and corners are difficult to anodize satisfactorily and in general should be avoided. All edges and inside corners should be radiused prior to anodizing. Chamfering should not be used unless resulting sharp edges are radiuses."

    (note: Apple products aren't hard anodized. A: because it's expensive and doesn't result in pretty colors unless you love black and olive drab, and B: because a harder coating doesn't work well with sharp edges like on the iPhone)
  5. DanTSX macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2013
    Because is cheap Chinese aluminum made far too thin for the job

    The best materials for the job are steel or plastic.
  6. ajt1995 macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2013
    My iPhone 5 was the same way. That's the main reason I switched to a 5C this time around. Plus the 32 GB version being only $199 helped a lot.
  7. RossMc macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2010
    Newcastle, UK
    My iPhone 5 is the same, it's a mess.


    The back is worse.

  8. oVerboost macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2013
    United Kingdom
    That must have been in your pocket with keys or dropped surely?!
  9. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Don't call him Shirley. :D

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