It's the PAINT chipping. Not the actual materials.
The real problem is indeed a design one. but not in terms of the core industrial design itself.
I'd wager that almost all "scuffed" iPhones are the black models.
The reason is a simple one. the metal is PAINTED.
And that is a rather horrible way to dress it up.
In fact, you could argue that the phone would even look better with the bare metal showing through.
At the least, they could have used a better coating.
I do feel for the Foxconn workers. They slave away trying to earn a living, being trained for one contract, then retrained for another, and again and again.
In fact, these folks building the iPhone ARE the same people building the junky Android stuff. But Apple requires more (as they should) quality and care. However, the Foxconn management needs to agree to better training for their workers. that seems to be what was requested. and that seems reasonable.
People can only take so much.
Hopefully, the iPhone 5s or iPhone 6 goes back to native material appearance. It has been a hallmark of Apple for a long time.
Painting metal is just sad. I wonder who conned Ive into having it done.
Stop spouting utter nonsense.