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At the iPhone 7’s launch event earlier this month, Apple stunned customers and journalists, alike, when it revealed that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be coming in an all-new, high-gloss ‘Jet Black’ finish this year. Shown off by Apple executives on stage, the dark and mysterious iPhone 7 — in all of its shimmering, glimmering splendor, was simply a sight to behold. And Apple even went on to describe the intricate and sophisticated process by which the color is achieved — citing that manufacturers put the Jet Black iPhone casings through a rigorous, nine-step anodization and polishing process to help it retain that shiny black hue.
However, even despite the excitement that most users expressed over the new Jet Black color option, it appears that the process by which it’s created has proven quite difficult for Apple’s manufacturing partners — and thus, a worldwide shortage has ensued.
According to well-connected KGI securities analyst, Ming Chi Kuo, Jet Black iPhone 7 casings are currently suffering from a relatively low 60-70% yield volume, which essentially implies that, for every 10 Jet Black iPhone casings that Apple’s manufacturers are able to produce, between 3 and 4 — or 30-40% of them — are sent back for reworking, due to the fact that they don’t meet Apple’s high standards for quality assurance.
Jet Black was an instant hit among expectant iPhone 7 early adopters, and, as such, the device saw its expected ship times slip — in some instances, to as late as November — shortly after Apple began accepting pre-orders just 10 days ago. Worth noting, however, is that the average ship time for the Jet Black iPhone 7, via select wireless carriers, has actually improved in recent days, according to MacRumors.
Even still, Jet Black iPhone 7s remain in scarce supply at Apple Stores around the world, with only a few Apple retail locations in France showing stock of the highly coveted device, according to iStockNow, a leading product sales and inventory tracking website.
Kuo noted in a conference call with investors last week that the initial shortage of iPhone 7 units, and specifically the Jet Black color option, are factors that collectively contributed to the super-long wait times that many customers are now experiencing.
“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,” Kuo was quoted as saying during the conference call, adding that “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.”
How did your iPhone 7 pre-ordering experience pan out? Let us know in the comments!