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How Apple made the iPhone 7’s new Jet Black finish so shiny

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature a beautiful new body. Lets look at how its made.


John-Michael Bond


Posted on Sep 7, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 1:59 am CDT

With the upcoming release of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple prepared a video to showcase how it made the new phone bodies. Utilizing an aluminum frame, with a formed sheet of glass protecting the front, the body is designed to contain as few parts as possible. The camera holes have been carved directly into the aluminum body, with the antenna inside the enclosure itself.

One of the new color types for the iPhone is a high gloss black finish. This is achieved via a complex 3D rotational polish, where the body is spun in what Apple describes as “an intricate compound” to polish each nook and cranny of the body, creating a seamless, mirror-like surface.

The phone features an anodized aluminum body, and is dyed by utilizing a capillary effect to absorb the inks directly into the body, effectively making them part of the phone’s surface. Finally a magnetic particle bath is used to polish the anodized layer to a perfect shine. 

While Apple makes no promises that your beautiful new phone won’t scratch, out of the box this could be the most beautiful iPhone you’ve ever seen.

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*First Published: Sep 7, 2016, 5:32 pm CDT