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You Are Holding It Wrong 2: Apple Confirms Finger Smudge Marks on Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Only Temporary

Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have barely hit the market, and they’re already making headlines — but not necessarily for the reasons Apple would prefer. Photos of these new models sporting visible fingerprint marks on their titanium frames have been circulating on social media, igniting conversations and leading some to recall the infamous “You’re holding it wrong” iPhone 4 reception issue from over a decade ago.

The Return of “You’re Holding It Wrong”?

In 2010, Apple faced backlash over the iPhone 4’s antenna design, which led to signal attenuation when users held the device in a particular way. The controversy, often referred to as “Antennagate,” was addressed by then-CEO Steve Jobs with the now-iconic phrase, “You’re holding it wrong.”

Fast forward to 2023, and we have a similar situation with the iPhone 15 Pro models, albeit less critical. Apple has officially acknowledged that fingerprints may “temporarily alter the color” of the titanium frame. However, the tech giant reassured customers that this is not a permanent issue.

Apple’s Official Statement

In a recently updated support document, Apple states, “For iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the oil from your skin might temporarily alter the color of the outside band.” The company advises users to wipe their iPhone with a “soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth” to restore the original appearance.

Apple’s guidance follows the general cleaning recommendations for its range of iPhones, which feature textured matte finishes either on the back glass or around the camera area. The company also advises against using cleaning products that could scratch the phone or diminish its fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.

Public Reaction

The user community has had mixed reactions to this revelation. Comments range from users questioning the aesthetic value of the titanium finish to others suggesting that the phone should primarily be used with Apple Watch and AirPods to avoid touching it altogether.

One user remarked, “Who isn’t using a case though. Not excusing the design choice by Apple, but I’ve dropped enough iPhones over the years to know better than to go in the nude.” Another sarcastically suggested that Apple might update its support document to state the iPhone is intended to be used with other Apple accessories, minimizing direct contact.

A Concern or A Non-Issue?

While the fingerprint marks on the titanium frame are not a deal-breaker, they do bring up questions about the material choices made by Apple. Some users pointed out that the titanium finish resembles “cheap stainless steel trim from a fridge,” casting doubts on the premium feel that Apple aims to offer.

However, it’s important to note that unlike the iPhone 4’s reception issue, which had functional implications, the fingerprint marks on the iPhone 15 Pro are purely cosmetic and easily reversible.

The Bigger Picture

The iPhone 15 Pro models are slated to be a commercial success, with orders already arriving in Australia and New Zealand. While the fingerprint issue is unlikely to deter most buyers, it does serve as a reminder that even Apple is not immune to design oversights.

Whether this situation will escalate into another ‘gate’ controversy remains to be seen. For now, iPhone 15 Pro users can breathe easy knowing that their devices are not permanently marred — just perhaps not as pristine as they’d like, at least until they grab a lint-free cloth.

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