Some early US buyers of the iPhone 5 are reporting scuffs and chips on the handset out of the box.
They include Jeff Blagdon, a writer for respected tech site The Verge.
Mr Blagdon has compiled a photo gallery of chips, scuffs and scratches.
The Wall Street Journal's All Things D bog speculates the problem could relate to the iPhone 5's new anodised (coated) aluminum surface, which is more susceptable to scrapes and marks that the iPhone 4S's glass backing. However, chips have also been reported in the glass screen.
Apple has yet to formally comment on the issue, but according to the WSJ site points to posts on Apple's official help forums, in which customers claim they have been told by Apple service staff that the problem is widespread - and that affected handsets are being replaced.
The proposed solution: if you buy at retail, check your iPhone 5 before you leave the store.