Matte-black iPhone 7 paint problems? If its finish is flaking off, you're not alone

Owners of Apple's matte-black iPhone 7 are reporting that their devices' anodized finish is chipping and peeling.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

With this matte-black iPhone, the paint first bubbled and then flaked off.

Image: Phirsisch/Apple

A growing number of iPhone 7 owners are complaining that flecks of paint are falling off the matte-black model, despite using protective covers.

The iPhone 7 may be water- and dust-resistant but Apple makes no promises about the surface, having warned buyers from the outset that the glossy jet-black iPhone was prone to "micro-abrasions".

However, it's the matte-black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models that are attracting complaints due to paint inexplicably flaking off the edges and on the back of these.

A thread on Apple's Support Communities now has several photos illustrating the blemishes.

"The paint at the back of the iPhone started to chip off very heavily," one user reported on Friday. "First there were some bubbles building up and then when I put the iPhone on a table the paint chipped off completely."

One iPhone 7 owner claimed to have covered the device with a protective case, but noticed recently that paint around the volume button had chipped off.

Others report paint flaking off around the speaker grill. There are currently more reports of iPhone 7 Plus models with paint issues.

A number of people say Apple is not covering this type of damage under warranty, since it is cosmetic. However, some report having received replacement devices due to the issue.

The paint issues with the matte-black iPhone 7 are reminiscent of complaints about the black iPhone 5, whose aluminum back was far more prone to scratching than the iPhone 4, which had a glass back. Apple's VP of marketing Phil Schiller at the time said this scratching was to be expected from an aluminum cover.

As Macrumors notes, there were some complaints about paint unexpectedly flaking off some models of the iPhone 6 and 6s, although there appear to be more complaints about the matte-black iPhone 7.

Read more about Apple's iPhone

Editorial standards