The black variant of the iPhone 7 was sold out in minutes online, has been in high demand
The Jet black variant of the new iPhone 7 is facing a global supply shortage after demands have soared high, and the production hasn’t been able to keep up. Even though the glossy black variant is more prone to scratches and scuffing, Apple has received a large number of orders for it, and is reportedly facing difficulties in meeting them soon due to the complexity of manufacturing this particular variant.
According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the Jet black variant of the iPhone 7 suffers from a low casing production yield rate of 60-70 percent. What this means is, up to 40% of the phones, or the bodies for them, produced do not meet Apple’s quality standards for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Add to that the fact that the device launched in 28 countries this year, compared to 12 last year and that explains the shortage the market is facing for this particular variant, with over 30% of orders globally being for this option.
Apple says that the Jet black finish is achieved by a high precision nine step anodization and polishing process. "To define one truly uninterrupted form, we've developed a whole new process to achieve a high gloss black finish," Jony Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer, 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."
The Galaxy Note 7 fiasco has also driven demand higher for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. In fact, in the UK, devices were only given to customers who had preordered and no devices were sold to walk in customers. In-store availability is expected to improve in October.