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Consumers eager but unable to get their hands on an iPhone 5 have another thing to blame besides limited supply: Apple’s quality control standards.

Apple is cracking down on its iPhone 5 production lines after a rash of complaints from iPhone 5 owners that their devices were scratched out of the box, Bloomberg reports.

While the crackdown is likely to put an end to the problems, sources say the troubles have previously caused Apple and its suppliers to shut down production lines temporarily. The result? A longer wait for the iPhone 5.

The source of the iPhone 5’s scratching problems is its anodized aluminum coating. While less susceptible to the shattering that plagued the glass-encased iPhone 4, the aluminum coating is far more prone to scratches, especially on the black variant.

Ironically, news of Apple’s crackdown comes weeks after Apple senior marketing vice president Phil Schiller completely dismissed the notion that the iPhone 5’s scratchability was a major concern. “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal,” he said.

While Schiller‘s comments don’t quite match Steve Jobs’ famed “You’re holding it wrong” defense of the iPhone 4’s antenna problems, they still risk Apple sounding a bit out of touch with an issue that has a very clear source: its own design decisions.

Photo:Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat


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