The iPhone 5 has sold more than 5 million units, but some users have gripes
The top complaint has been about a spotty maps app that replaced Google Maps
A video shows the aluminum casing scratching easily
Light leaks have also been reported
Apple’s iPhone 5 broke records over the weekend, selling more than 5 million units.
Most of those new owners, many of whom lined up at Apple stores and other retailers, are presumably happy with their new gadget, which has been praised for its bigger display screen, lighter and thinner form, and faster processor.
But, as with many new tech products, there have been glitches, too. As the new iPhones get road-tested, buyers have taken to the Web to complain about issues ranging from the fixable to the unfortunately final.
The doozy has been a spotty maps application. For the first time, Apple’s latest operating system replaced rival Google’s mapping service with its own. As many people got their first look at it with a new phone, they’ve found huge chunks of the world missing, or locations showing up in the wrong place. (Apple said the app is a work in progress and will be fixed.)
Plenty has been written about that issue. But other gripes have emerged as well. Some sound legitimate. And, given the hyper-intense nature of the tech world’s “love-hate” relationship with their gadgets, a couple just sound downright silly.
After a few days of putting the new smartphone through its paces, here are five gripes people have with the iPhone 5.
Apple prides itself on making products that aren’t just functional but beautiful as well.
But users are reporting that after having their iPhone 5s for only days, or even hours, the sheen on the sleek, aluminum phone is getting scratched up.
Melissa Jenna Godsey at iFixIt.com posted a YouTube video of her 2-year-old daughter hitting and scratching the phone’s aluminum rear case with a set of keys, creating visible scratches and dents. Similar scuffing of the iPhone 4S revealed little, if any, damage.
“I know this is kind of an extreme case, but she’s not the strongest two-year-old,” Godsey said. “And this all just happened, so I can only imagine what this is going to look like after a couple of weeks of solid use.”
Answering an e-mail from a user, Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, downplayed the issue.
“Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color,” Schiller said in the e-mail, reported and verified by Apple-centric blog 9to5 Mac. “That is normal.”
Translated on Twitter by PC Mag writer Sascha Segan: “Apple: iPhones Aren’t Chipping, They’re Just Shedding Their Skins To Become Beautiful Butterflies.”
2. Lightning dock connector
The tech world is nothing if not full of change. But many longtime Apple users are irked at the company’s decision to use a smaller connector port, called Lightning, on the iPhone 5 and new iPods. With one fell swoop, that meant both a need for new power cords and that the new products won’t connect with older speaker systems, alarm clocks and other accessories.
The fix? A $29 adapter (which costs $39 if you want a new cable with it). And even then, the adapter doesn’t support video or the “iPod out” function for transmitting some data from the devices.
“Day 3 of having the new iPhone and I already lost the power cord #thanksapple,” wrote one Twitter user.
“It’s time to gouge our customers for a ton more money,” Disqus commenter dawsg4ever quipped.
A Lightning-to-USB cable costs $19 and, according to Apple’s website, currently has a one- to two-week wait time to be shipped.
3. The phone’s too light
We told you some of these are kind of weird.
One of Apple’s selling points for the new phone is that it’s the lightest smartphone ever.
One of the emerging complaints? That it’s the lightest smartphone ever.
To some users, a phone without the usual heft feels suspiciously cheap, toylike. Gizmodo rounded up some of the gripes under the headline, “The Weirdest Thing People Hate About the iPhone 5.”
Those, culled from Twitter, included these nuggets:
• “Can I be honest and say I wish the iPhone 5 was slightly thicker and heavier. Hate thin phones!”
• “Held the iPhone 5. Way too light for this spazz-attack. I need a heavier phone so I don’t completely destroy it.”
• “This new iPhone is way too light. I feel like its gonna just fly outta my hand with the slightest breeze #firstworldproblems”
4. Screen issues
OK … there are 5 million new phones in the wild now, so inevitably there are going to be some lemons. It’s hard to know how widespread it is, but a handful of problems with the phone’s touchscreen are bubbling up, too.
One YouTube video shows what appear to be weird bubbles showing up on one part of the display screen when the user touches another.
Threads on the Macrumors site also were filling up with people who said their screens started flickering just hours after getting their new phone.
5. Leaking light
Phones aren’t supposed to leak. But users on multiple forums are reporting that light from the screen appears to be showing through gaps around the iPhone 5’s antenna and power button.
Boy Genius Report said it’s happening on one of its phones and shows light streaming out of a small crack beneath the power button. The report said the leak is only visible in low light. Users said Apple has been offering replacements.