Jet Black iPhones Face Global Shortage as New Color Proves Difficult to Manufacture
Sep 26, 2016 7:14 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple's new Jet Black color is a popular choice among early iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus adopters, but the new models face a global shortage as the new high-gloss finish has proven challenging for the company's manufacturers.

Jet Black models suffer from a low casing production yield rate of 60-70%, meaning that 30-40% of units do not pass Apple's quality standards and must be retooled, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple says the high-gloss Jet Black finish is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process.

When pre-orders began on September 9, shipping estimates for Jet Black models quickly slipped to November, but some iPhone 7 Plus models in the new color are now shipping sooner than expected. In-store availability of Jet Black models remains scarce, with only a few Apple Stores in France carrying the Jet Black iPhone 7 as of the time this article was published, according to iStockNow.

Kuo said limited availability of Jet Black models, along with stronger-than-expected iPhone 7 Plus demand driven by Samsung's recent Galaxy Note 7 recall, contributed to an initial iPhone 7 shortage.
Early shortage not entirely due to market demand. Shipment time for online orders is on par with last year’s cycle, generally estimated within 2-3 weeks, with the exception of the jet black model, which suffers from a low casing production yield rate of 60-70%. However, with the number of countries in the first wave to debut the iPhone 7 rising to 28 this year, versus 12 for the iPhone 6S launch, we believe overall demand for iPhone 7 is lower than that of its predecessor. Regarding news of some mobile operators reporting pre-order growth for the iPhone 7 over last year’s 6S, we believe this is mainly attributable to market share gains for these mobile operators thanks to new promotions, rather than representing greater consumer demand.
The analyst reiterated his prediction that iPhone 7 series shipments in 2016 will fall short of iPhone 6s series shipments in 2015.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tags: KGI Securities, Ming-Chi Kuo

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

26 weeks ago
*Reading this on my jetblack iPhone 7 and feeling special*...*realizing feeling special because of such a trivial thing is sad*...*Reading this on my jetblack iPhone 7 and feeling sad*
Rating: 66 Votes
26 weeks ago
Ten bucks betting that they will scrap this color option next year, with just the matte black option left.
Rating: 26 Votes
26 weeks ago
Apparently it scratches when you breath on it so yet again another naive set of problems created by Apple, a product too hard to manufacture and too easy get full of smudges and scratches and most people will put a case over it anyways so in the long run it is completely meaningless what color your phone is.
Rating: 25 Votes
26 weeks ago
I don't understand why it's so complicated to apply a shiny finish to metal. Car manufacturers have been doing it for years.
Rating: 15 Votes
26 weeks ago

I don't understand why it's so complicated to apply a shiny finish to metal. Car manufacturers have been doing it for years.


No, they use paint. Apple doesn't.
Rating: 10 Votes
26 weeks ago
Makes me wonder if matte black iPhones (like the one I have and love) are actually rejected gloss black cases, that were media blasted :eek:.

Though, I totally doubt that is true.
Rating: 8 Votes
26 weeks ago
I'll be getting one and immediately shoving it into a good quality case. Then, a couple of years down the line, when I'm reselling it, the pristine condition is bound to get me a bit more money for it.
Rating: 7 Votes
26 weeks ago

Ten bucks betting that they will scrap this color option next year, with just the matte black option left.


Selling the way they are selling, you're going to lose your $10.

It doesn't matter, they said it's going to scratch, people go for it anyway.

If there was an iUP program in Portugal, that would be the color that I would chose. Apple doesn't care if it's scratched or not when you return it.
Rating: 7 Votes
26 weeks ago
I guess it's good that I liked the low gloss black better. Has been holding up quite well in the shop, office and every day use!
Rating: 7 Votes
26 weeks ago

MORE MARKETING HYPE from the masters.

You mean Apple's manufacturers just started this particular anodizing process, what, 2 days before Apple announced Jet Black.

No, but the iPhone 7 would represent the first opportunity Apple has had to test out this process in bulk, and under time constraints.

It's easy to cook one cup of noodles when you have all the time in the world. Not so easy to prepare 4000 cups at the same time and still maintain a consistent degree of quality throughout.

The first time with any new manufacturing process is always the hardest. Apple will master this process like they always do.
Rating: 6 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]
Newer Article Older Article