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Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 11:41 pm PT (02:41 am ET)

New video shows purported gold 'iPhone 5S' shell in brutal scratch test

A video posted to the Web on Tuesday demonstrates the durability of Apple's alleged champagne colored "iPhone 5S" shell, which shrugs off light coin scrapes, but unsurprisingly reveals nicks and scratches after being assaulted with a pocket knife.

Gold Scratch Test


While a bit extreme, the video from Jailbreak Nation (via CNET) is in the same vein as a recent durability test that illustrated the scratch resistance of a purported low-cost "iPhone 5C" plastic shell. The supposed iPhone 5S aluminum casing, however, undergoes a substantially more rigorous assessment.

It should be noted that the authenticity of the supposed gold iPhone 5S frame cannot be confirmed by AppleInsider, and the following is offered for purposes of discussion only.

Tuesday's video compares a gold, or "champagne," colored version of an alleged iPhone 5S shell with a black version of the current generation iPhone 5. The purported part looks to be the same component pictured in images that surfaced last week.

Some owners of the latest iPhone have seen small nicks and scuffs appear on the chassis, with the occurrence more evident on black models as scraping away the anodized top layer exposes the silver aluminum beneath.

In the test, a quarter is first used to mar the bottom right corner of the black and gold casings. Both fare well and, after being wiped down with a paper towel, show minimal scuffing. Next, the coin is taken to the chassis' sharp chamfered edges. The gold model appears to show less damage in this test, possibly because the shine produced from polishing process hides any bare aluminum.

Finally, the bottom left corner of both versions are subjected to stabbing and scratching with a pocketknife. Neither frame withstood the rough treatment, an unsurprising outcome.

While the knifing is rather extreme, the coin tests suggest Apple is using the same method of anodization to color the iPhone's aluminum chassis, a process seen in the iPhone 5, iPad mini and various iPod models.



Apple received a fair share of flak last year when some customers complained of nicks and scratches on their brand new handsets. Dubbed "scuffgate," the minor controversy caused Apple to clamp down on partner supplier Foxconn, which in turn caused a worker strike over demanding quality control measures.

Apple is expected to announce a next-generation iPhone, as well as a lower-cost model, at a media event on Sept. 10.