Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo:
I’ve had my iPhone XS for a little over three months, and it’s driving me crazy. Not the whole thing. The phone is beautiful, fast, a joy to use. What’s driving me crazy is an increasingly complex network of scratches on the display glass. The first ones were small, almost unnoticeable at a glance. Then, about six weeks after I spent well over $1,000 upgrading to the iPhone XS, a ribbon-shaped abrasion appeared on the screen and then another. The worst part is that Apple is pitching a fit about fixing it.
This is more-or-less the same article Estes wrote last year; except, then, there were loads of reports of scratched iPhone 8 and iPhone X displays. This batch of iPhones doesn’t seem to have the same issue. In his iPhone XS review, John Gruber confirmed that these displays should, according to Apple, be the least prone to scratching and shattering, while Michael Tsai wrote that his iPhone XR doesn’t have any noticeable scratches yet. So, while Estes’ display may well be scratched up, it doesn’t appear to be indicative of a trend. The reports are, so far, mixed.
Here’s why I’m linking to this, though. Estes:
Unfortunately for me, AppleCare can’t solve my scratch problem. In multiple conversations with both Genius Bar employees and Apple Support, I was told that surface scratches were treated as cosmetic damage and were not covered. One Apple employee slyly suggested that if my screen somehow developed a crack in it, I could get the entire display replaced for just $30. If I just wanted to replace the display as it was, scratches and all, Apple would charge me $280. And replacing the display would be the only way to rid myself of the scratches. There was no magical buffing machine in the back of the Apple Store and no way to replace the glass itself.
This is the complete opposite of my experience with AppleCare and a scratched display. I began noticing the degrading quality of my iPhone X’s display just a couple of months into owning it. They were just hairlines, but they built up throughout the year to the point where, eventually, I asked my local Apple Store if I could use one of my accidental damage claims to get the display swapped. They only asked if I was sure, but they were happy to do the repair.