The new anodised aluminium body of the iPhone 5 is more susceptible to scuffs and scratches, according to a host of complaints from early adopters.
CNET reports on multiple instances where the black device has superficial damage right out of the box, while nicks are also reported to come easily once the device has been unsheathed.
Users are taking to message boards and social media, posting photos of their new handsets, many already showing signs of wear and tear, with the silver aluminium colouring revealed beneath the 'slate' coating.
The problem seems to centre around the areas near to the antenna and the point where the screen joins the handset.
CNET says a little bit of snooping around the web let to the discovery of "at least three dozen" examples of customer frustration.
One user on the MacRumors forums posted: "Mine arrived today with small scratches on the right out of the box.
"Looks like they chipped the anodized coating putting the screen in, and there is a small mark on the lower back too, by the glass section. I'm not going to worry about it, but it shows the coating is soft, and will chip over time."
Apple is yet comment on the issue, but will hope this doesn't become a repeat of 'Antennagate' troubles that blighted the launch of the iPhone 4 in the summer of 2010.
On that occasion Apple held an impromptu press conference when users found that gripping the device near to the antenna resulted in a serious drop in phone reception.
The company gave out free plastic 'bumpers' to counter the problems.