When Apple launched the iPhone 7, the glossy, Jet Black variant appeared to be potentially troublesome, as the company itself warned it could scratch easily.
It appears, however, that the matte variant of the phone (which is just called Black) is causing more trouble — at least according to a number of complaints on Apple’s official support forums.
The complaints, first reported on by 9to5Mac, are all quite similar: Users say that the paint on the phone is chipping away, usually on the device’s edges or bottom. Oddly, this happens soon after purchase, and even if the phone is protected by a case.
The issue is not a new one; in fact, it’s been lingering since November, when a few owners complained about it on Reddit.
According to testimonies on Apple’s support forums, Apple refused to exchange phones damaged in this way for new ones, claiming it’s “cosmetic” damage that the warranty does not cover.
“I’ve bought my iPhone 7 Plus and after 3 weeks the paint started chipping/peeling near the right speakers. I have contacted Apple care and they asked to send a few images of the problem and after 12 days they told me it is not covered under warranty since it is under cosmetic damage,” reads one typical complaint on Apple’s forums.
We’ve contacted Apple and will update this article when they get back to us.
The issue, while worrisome, appears to be limited in scope. I was only able to find a dozen or so complaints, which is a minute number compared to the many millions of iPhones sold. And in another thread on Apple’s support forums, several users chimed in, claiming they own a matte black iPhone 7 and haven’t seen any issues with the paint.