Matte Black iPhone 7 Users Complain About Chipped, Peeling Paint

A number of customers who purchased the matte Black iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus have noticed that the anodized finish on their devices has started chipping or peeling off in areas where there has allegedly been little wear, leading to a growing complaint thread on Apple's Support Communities.

Multiple photos in the thread depict chipping in areas near the speaker grille and the volume buttons, even in situations where the iPhone was said to be protected by a case.

I have the same issue, especially around the speaker grill, the color chipped off where there is clearly no sign of use anywhere around, plus the phone was always in a case from day 1. Chipped off about 20 days after I got it. That is really not a sign of quality here, and I will also certainly not buy a pen to cover this. Apple should recognise the matter and offer a solution here.

At least one user has seen more extensive chipping across the back of the device, a much more serious problem than most of the reports.

My case might be even worse. The paint at the back of the iPhone started to chip off very heavily. First there were some bubbles building up and then when I put the iPhone on a table the paint chipped off completely.

I was at an Apple Store complaining about it but they didn't know how to classify my case so I didn't get a new phone for free. But the Apple Support hotline helped me out and asked me to send pictures of my phone. These pictures now have been sent to the engineers in California and I'm waiting for feedback...

A finish prone to chips and peeling is not unique to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, nor to the matte Black color. It's an issue that has affected several versions of the iPhone in the past, including the iPhone 6 and 6s, but there seem to be a higher number of complaints from iPhone 7 users who are affected by the problem.

Parallels can be drawn to complaints that surfaced in 2012 after the release of the Black and Slate iPhone 5, which also drew a lot of criticism from customers due to chipping and scuffing issues. At that time, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller responded and said some wear was normal. "Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color," he said. "That is normal."


Matte Black iPhone 7 owners who have contacted Apple about the chipping issue have been told that because it's cosmetic, their devices are not eligible for repair, which has traditionally been Apple's stance on reports of finish problems.

Cosmetic damage is not covered under warranty, so iPhone 7 owners with chipped devices are unlikely to get replacements. Some affected users from Apple's Support Communities have used sharpies or black paint to cover the damage, while others have sold and replaced their devices with a color less prone to damage.

Apple warned users that its glossy Jet Black iPhone 7, sold alongside the matte Black version, would see "fine micro-abrasions" with use and instructed concerned customers to use a case, but no similar warning was given about other iPhone 7 colors.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
47 months ago
Well, it's not paint. It's the anodized coating itself. And it should abrade away, not flake off. It's faulty anodizing.

I'm actually an anodizer. This is a textbook anodizing reject.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
No problems with mine. Mind you, I look after my stuff properly.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
You are buying it wrong
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
Cheap phone. Cutting corners. This looks like what used to happen to my old cell phones or any cheaply painted electronic. Welcome to Tim Cook's Apple.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
My Jet Black Plus is still beautiful :D
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
47 months ago
[S]Matte Black[/S] iPhone [S]7[/S] Users Complain [S]About Chipped, Peeling Paint[/S]
[S][/S]
There, I fixed it!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 Will Be Released September 16

Tuesday September 15, 2020 11:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14 will be officially released on Wednesday, September 16. Apple has seeded the final Golden Master beta versions of each update to developers in advance. ‌iOS 14‌ and iPadOS 14 introduce dozens of new features, including a redesigned Home Screen that supports widgets on the iPhone and iPad for the first time. For more...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Full Transcript of Apple's 'Time Flies' Event With Apple Watch and iPad Updates

Tuesday September 15, 2020 8:46 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut new Apple Watch and iPad models, but it appears we may not see the iPhone 12 until next month. While we're not expecting to see new iPhones today, Apple's software updates for its various platforms are likely nearly ready for launch, so we may be hearing more about them today. Check...

Everything Apple Announced at Today's iPad and Apple Watch Event in Just Seven Minutes

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Apple today held its annual September event, but this year was a bit different because no new iPhones were announced. The "Time Flies" event focused on the Apple Watch Series 6 and the iPad Air, and saw the debut of a new Apple One services bundle. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce the new devices, but we've recapped the event in...