Owners Of Matte Black iPhones Complaining About Chipping

Image courtesy of Apple Discussion

When Apple debuted the iPhone 7 last fall, the company also introduced two new finishes: the glossy Jet Black and the subdued Matte Black. However, some folks who chose those new colors say their iPhones are starting to chip — in some instances after only a few weeks.

9to5 Mac reports that owners of the devices say they haven’t dropped, or otherwise damaged their phones, yet the sight of silver has begun to interrupt the all-black smartphones.

The issues, according to a discussion thread on Apple’s website, began shortly after the phones were purchased, with several owners noting that chips – generally near the volume controls or bottom speakers – appeared not long after coming out of the box.

According to the first poster on the thread, the phone was just a month old when it began to chip on the edges.

“I just open the casing once a week to wipe the dust off from the phone,” the poster writes. “Until yesterday when I take off the casing, and notice there is something at the edge of the phone body next to UP Volume button. At first I thought it just the dust. I try to wipe it using microfiber cloth as usual.”

But when he looked closer, the device appeared to be chipped from the phone body.

“I am really disappointed with what happened to the phone because I was using it very careful,” the poster says.

The owner says that he contacted Apple Support about the issue, but was told the chipping — referred to as “cosmetic damage” — wasn’t covered by warranty.

Other phone owners say they’ve experienced similar problems with their phones.

“I am using the matte black model and I realized a bit of the paint chipped off at my volume button too,” another poster said in November. “I am a very meticulous user and it never happened with my old iPhone 6 model.”

The chips, which can be rather small, are often initially thought to be dust or dirt by owners.

“I have this issue on my matte black too,” a poster wrote in December. “I noticed it on my mute switch, 2 small dots that I initially thought was dust. But after cleaning it off I realized that it’s the paint chipping off.”

This owner was also told that the damage wasn’t covered by warranty. In the end, he sold the phone and replaced it with a silver one.

Another user noticed chips on the bottom speaker area of their phone just three weeks after purchasing the device.

“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,” the poster says. “How can they see it is a cosmetic problem and not a manufacturing problem through a photo? The only thing I know is that this is getting worse.”

In addition to the chips along the edges, some users say the back of the device near the Apple logo is susceptible to the damage.

“There’s one tiny spot smack dab in between the Apple logo and the edge of the device,” the poster said. “I don’t know how this happened given I use a lint roller on the pocket I keep the phone in and I have a screen protector and TPU case on, also I’ve never dropped it.”

One owner wrote that they were able to remedy the issue with black acrylic paint purchased at a craft store.

“It’s not perfect, but it made the chipped paint sports on my 7+ matte black less of an eye sore,” the owner said.

Consumerist has reached out to Apple on the chipping reports. We’ll update this post when we hear back.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.