Why it's so damn hard to get a jet black iPhone 7 and 7 Plus


The jet black iPhone 7.
The jet black iPhone 7.

Image: lili sams/mashable

The new jet black iPhone 7 is still the hardest color of the phone to get, even though it’s more prone to scratching and scuffing.

Sold out within minutes as soon as pre-orders went live on Sept. 12, there is apparently a good reason for the shortages.

According to a note sent to MacRumors from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the jet black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have a “low casing production yield rate of 60-70%.”

That means up to 40 percent of jet black iPhone 7 phones produced don’t make the cut. That’s up to 40 percent of jet black iPhone 7s that could have been on their way to your door, but aren’t because they’re not perfect.

Mashable has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story if it responds.

Makes sense. Apple has already said the jet black model is more difficult to make.

“To define one truly uninterrupted form, we’ve developed a whole new process to achieve a high gloss black finish,” Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive explains in the iPhone 7’s introduction video. “This begins with rotational 3D polishing. A specialized compound flows over the intricate geometries of the housing, removing imperfections, establishing a seamlessness between materials and producing a pristine mirror-like surface.”

“The enclosure then goes through an anodization process which creates a protective oxide layer. A single component die is absorbed through a capillary effect to ensure maximum saturation, while actually becoming part of the surface itself. Finally, a magnetized ultra-fine iron particle bath is used to polish the anodized layer to a superior high shine.”

So if you’ve been waiting for your jet black iPhone… you may have to wait longer or go with the regular matte black finish. It’s more readily available (although the 7 Plus is still hard to find) and doesn’t scratch as easily.

Also, if you’re going to put the jet black iPhone right in a case, why bother? Give all of these thoughts some deep consideration. There’s still time to swap out colors. I hear rose gold is still a thing… maybe.



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