Gruber: Apple’s Jet Black iPhone 7 is ‘grippy; the least slippery iPhone Apple has ever made’

Via The high-gloss finish of the jet black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process. 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.

“I just got home from San Francisco two hours ago, and took a look at my old 3G and 3GS. They were somewhat-glossy black plastic, not highly-glossy anodized aluminum, so it’s a far from perfect comparison. But the backs of both my 3G and 3GS are scratched as hell,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “It didn’t bother me at the time, and they still don’t look bad per se — they just look well-used.”

“It seems clear that if you don’t put it in a case, it’s going to show wear to some degree through micro-abrasions. It might still look good — only time will tell — but it’s not going to look pristine,” Gruber writes. “Much like the old 3G and 3GS iPhones, the glossy rear surface has a very pleasant tackiness — certainly not sticky, but grippy. Based on my (admittedly limited) time in the hands-on area, I’d call it the least slippery iPhone Apple has ever made.”

Read more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: This prompted us to dig through our “iPhone drawer” and pull out an iPhone 3G and a 3GS – each of which have never been in a case and were used daily for a year – and inspect them. Yes, of course there are signs of use, but they still look rather AMAZING and make us antsy to get our new Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus units ASAP!

Our new Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus units will certainly not be hidden away in cases – otherwise, what’s the point of choosing a finish? We’re not going to cover over Jony’s design.

iPhone 3G (foreground) and iPhone 3GS rear cases after a year of use for each (click for full resolution image)
iPhone 3G (foreground) and iPhone 3GS rear cases after a year of use for each
(click photo for full resolution image)


  1. There is a fundamental difference between glossy plastic (poly-carbonate) and glossy anodized aluminium. Even the toughest poly-carbonate is still plastic, and can easily take physical damage form sharp objects in your pocket / purse. Aluminium is significantly more resilient and even glossy, polished surfaces are able to take a surprisingly high amount of heavy beating before they begin to show wear.

    I don’t expect any ‘scratch-gate’ problems, regardless of any (certain) valiant efforts made by fandroids and their financial backers (Samsung/Google).

    1. I am more annoyed with the fingerprint issue than with the micro scratches. For that reason I chose white face iPhone 4S since it makes fingerprints unnoticeable (as well as microscratches). The new iPhones do not have all white finish option, though I would not mind to consider that.

    2. Plastic is softer than aluminum oxide. Hence aluminum oxide can be polished to a higher luster. Even metallurgical lab samples of non-anodized aluminum don’t look that shiny because of how soft aluminum is; especially when compared to a steel or a non-porous Al2O3 sample.

      1. After certain degree shine does not necessary depend on how soft a material is or not. As you can see, the plastic iPhones in the photo above are as shiny as possible already. You can not make aluminium any shinier than that.

        As to your aluminium example, we have to keep in mind that it almost immediately becomes oxidised, unlike, for example, steel, and this takes the shine away (to keep aluminum as shiny as steel you have to cover it with a protective layer before exposing it to the air), not just the issue of polishing.

  2. I agree that it’s a shame to cover the wonderful industrial design that Apple achieves. On the other hand, it’s also a shame to drop a phone and watch as the screen shatters (or worse) because you didn’t want to use a case.

    I’m careful with my iPhone, and yet I’ve dropped it an average of once a month or so. Because I always buy mil-spec cases, I’ve never had any damage.

    1. No need for mil spec. But a combo of tempered glass cover and slim case, goes a long way. I too drop my phone occasionally. Also I backed up my purchase with Apple Care Plus. That’s pretty comprehensive right there.

  3. Idea:

    Carnauba Wax, should look invisible and yet give it an extra layer to prevent nano/micro scratches. When the phone looks a little scruffy, you can repolish. For this reason the Jet Black is the only color you could attempt this.

    The flat anodized not so.

  4. I have tried to use my iPhone without a case. It just feels bad in the hands. Way too thin, hard to hold. I enjoy the silicone cases, even though they add some weight. I know they don’t look terribly sophisticated, but in a world of bland colors (like the iPhone, ironically) Having my bright red iPad and iPhone is refreshing somehow.

  5. Samswing and others has a lot of cheap black plastic molded glossy phone. They did sell at some point. They did scratch at some point. People never fussed about it. It’s the reality.

    Why would Apple, with their first true itteration of glossy iPhone would bring the rage out of the fanboys…

    Oh! Because they’re fanboys, right?

  6. I ordered a 256 jet black iPhone 7, and I will gladly use it without a case and if I do use a case it will be the leather apple case in sadldle borwn, I just like the contrast, it matches the interior in my car as well which lucky and kind of cool. But honestly, I’ve had white faced iPhones since the iPhone 5, and am ready to go back to black this year. My 3G and 3GS still both look pretty good, and they were glossy black plastic, so I don’t see how this one will look bad either. I take care of my stuff. I’m just waiting for someone to create “scratch gate” where they scratch the jet black with keys or something, and somehow it gets blown up to be bigger than Samsung phones EXPLODING, BURING DOWN HOUSES, AND POTENTIALLY KILLING PEOPLE…. you watch, one of these idiot fan droids will make a video about this and it’ll be headlines all over the world. Meanwhile, note 7’s will continue to explode and destroy property.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.