Many new owners of the "Black & Slate" iPhone 5 complained of imperfections right out of the box after long waits to obtain the device last Friday.
The scuffs seem to centre around the antenna area and where the handset's body joins the display, revealing the aluminium colouring beneath the coating.
One befuddled iPhone 5 owner, named Alex, emailed Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior vice president of global marketing, to ask whether Apple was planning on fixing the issue, and received a somewhat unsympathetic reply.
"Any aluminium product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver colour," Schiller wrote. "That is normal."
Meanwhile, scratches and scuffs are apparently not the only build issues affecting the device.
BGR reported that some iPhone 5 handsets, including one of its own test devices, are "leaking light" between the display and the antenna, just below the power button.
The problem is only visible in low light or in the dark, but it appears it could be endemic.
Users on the MacRumors forums have reported that even replacement devices they've received from Apple are still suffering from the same issue.
We've reached out to Apple for an official reaction to the reports, but perhaps we'd be better off emailing Phil Schiller?
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