Apple sure seems to love the new jet black iPhone 7 more than any other color. It’s understandable why at first glance. The jet black model is shiny, shimmery and splendid. It went through fancy processes like an ion particle bath, whatever that is, to give it that extreme gloss.
But don’t be fooled by the high sheen. Personally, I ordered the matte black iPhone 7, also known as just “black” because I’m not sure what Apple’s marketing team had in mind this year. Jet black is not for everyone and comes with a few significant downsides that you should consider before springing to get what looks best in photos.
JET BLACK IS EXTREMELY PRONE TO SCRATCHES
Glossy finishes are always prone to extreme scratching over time. Because of the shine, they show all the small abrasions you wouldn’t normally see on matte metal finishes. Marques Brownlee claims to have already noticed them on the demo handsets.
In fact, Apple is fully aware of the scratching issue. The company put a small disclaimer at the bottom of the iPhone website.
“The high-gloss finish of the jet black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process,” Apple writes. “Its surface is equally as hard as other anodized Apple products; however, its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use. If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone.”
Get ready for some visible wear and tear.
IF IT BELONGS IN A CASE, DOES IT MATTER?
That brings me to my second point. Apple recommends that if you don’t like scratches, you put the jet black iPhone in a case. So now you’ve gone through the trouble of deciding between colors to just put the special shiny one in a case to shield nearly all of it.
What is the point in buying the jet black color if it needs to remain in a case to avoid scratches? I’d wager that most people wear cases already because most people dislike scratches. It’s downright silly for Apple to openly recommend a case for a phone it designed.
JET BLACK IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR HIGH-END MODELS
Don’t get your hopes up if you wanted an iPhone 7 32GB model in jet black because it doesn’t exist. The jet black color is only available in 128GB and 256GB storage options. This is probably to absorb some of the extra expense that went into making the jet black glossy finish.
It’s the equivalent of the white iPhone 3G and 3GS, which was only available in the top-tier 32GB storage configuration. Jet black is 2016’s premium color. Prepare to spend at least $100 more for it.
JET BLACK IS THE SUPERFICIAL COLOR OF THE YEAR
Considering there isn’t any practical benefit to jet black as outlined, the only benefits are superficial. The first is that you get the only shiny iPhone in the lineup. The second and likely more common is that you get to wave your jet black iPhone around and people will automatically know you have the latest and greatest iPhone 7.
The novelty fades within a few months.
Apple understands that form of marketing all too well. The iPhone 5s came in a new gold color and the iPhone 6s expanded that to rose gold. In both situations, buying the new color was a visual indicator to others that you had the new phone.
Now, if you want to wave your iPhone 7 about, go ahead. It’s just that this novelty fades within a few months. So if that’s the sole reason why you’re leaning toward a color like jet black, consider whether you’ll want it to stick around in the long haul.