Concerning ‘Defect’ May Cause Fading and Discoloration on iPhone 12 Models

iPhone 12 Discoloration Credit:
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Apple changed the design of the iPhone 12, reviving the boxy look of early iPhone models. These boxy edges, though stylish, may become an issue for iPhone owners.

A recent report from Svetapple suggests that these edges, especially those on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, may discolor over time.

This fading can be easily seen and appears to affect one edge more than the others.

According to the article at Svetapple, the discolored (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 12 was purchased in November 2020 for testing purposes and was immediately placed into a case – but, after a few months of normal usage, it unexpectedly is beginning to show some obvious fading around the edges.

Back in November 2020, we bought a red iPhone 12 for the editorial office, which is used primarily for work purposes. This phone has been worn in a transparent case since day one and has not been used in any “toxic” environment where aggressive substances are present.


Apple says the iPhone 12 has aerospace-grade aluminum edges but provides no other details on the material it is using.

This problem doesn’t appear to be just a bad batch of metal affecting a small number of iPhone 12 models. This issue has been documented in forums affecting the iPhone 11 and even the iPhone SE 2020.

Not all the phones are the PRODUCT(RED) variant either. This fading also has been reported in black and green models.

It is not clear what is causing this discoloration and how widespread it is. It could be a manufacturing defect that affects a small number of phones each product cycle. It could also be a particular style of case or a specific type of case material that rubs off the phone’s finish.

It seems to primarily affect aluminum phones and not those with stainless steel edges like the iPhone 12 Pro series.

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