There are spotty reports that back-glass coating is peeling off some iPhone 15 units — but the actual issue is slightly less dramatic than that. Here's what to do if you see it on yours.
Reports are starting to accumulate on Reddit and social media of a new problem with the iPhone 15 family of devices. On the edge of an iPhone 15, users periodically see a flaky or sticky material on the back edge of the device.
We've spoken to representatives of Apple's service venues who are not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. They've all said that it's rare, and it isn't the back glass peeling.
Instead the root cause is what appears to be an improper factory application of the adhesive that helps to hold the back glass on the iPhone. The adhesive extrudes through the gap between the frame and the back glass.
The issue stems from the new assembly procedure for any iPhone 15 model. In the iPhone 14, if the back glass broke, it was an expensive repair involving a large component, including the frame.
In the iPhone 15 line, a back glass repair is simpler and quicker. The glass can be replaced without involving the disassembly of an entire device and transplantation of the components into a new rear case.
It's unclear how prevalent the issue is beyond the "one per day or less" per location we've been told. Initial data we've collected from Apple's repair venues doesn't suggest that the issue is widespread.
In any situation such as this, Apple doesn't listen to press reports or social media claims. If you have this issue, avoid liquid contact, as the adhesive is part of the water protection, and get it documented with Apple.
In most cases, we've been told that Apple is replacing the iPhone in question.