For the first time, Apple adopted a titanium alloy material for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, making these latest flagship devices lighter compared to the previous stainless steel option. However, this change in manufacturing material has affected their scratch resistance to a certain degree. A picture shows the titanium edges are prone to scratches or marks easily, so it is highly recommended to use a protective case for long-term use.
Majin Bu shared a photo on X that showed a brand new iPhone 15 Pro with visible marks on its titanium edges. This is more noticeable on the blue titanium finish, which is not surprising. Darker finishes do indeed show scratches more easily. We've also seen the midnight surface of 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Airs scratch easily. However, the integrated aluminum body of these portable Macs hold up their paint better, whereas titanium does not.
Vulnerabilities from titanium were also seen on the first generation Apple Watch Ultra. Countless reports mentioned the wearable cannot withstand minor impacts or abrasions from objects like knives or keys. Apple had indicated in keynotes that the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max's 5-grade titanium uses PVD coating to help the soft material resist scratches. However, the photos show these efforts have yet to be substantively effective.
It remains unclear if Apple will fulfill warranty obligations for easy-scratching surfaces on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max through on-the-spot replacements, or if they've communicated educating customers to use protective cases to the staff. If you want to maintain the pristine surfaces of your iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max for higher resale value years later, including when selling online, investing in a protective case now is a very necessary option.