iPhone 7 gotchas: no liquid damage warranty, scratchy jet black

As expected, the iPhone 7 came with some, OK maybe at least one, controversial feature, but it also has some commendable ones as well. That includes, for the first time, some water resistance and a new "high gloss" black color, the latter limited to higher configuration. But, as they say, the devil is in the details and Apple, to no one's surprise, didn't really dive into the fine print. Because, apparently, those two particular new "features" might not be all they're cut out to be after all.

Apple did remove the headphone jack. And while there will be continuous debates about the benefits and disadvantages of that move, for Apple's engineers it had one positive impact. It made the iPhone 7 water resistant. In fact, it boasts of an IP67 rating, the next highest score on the ladder, the highest being IP68. That, however, might be for naught, as the footnote on the iPhone 7 page goes thus:

"iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are splash, water, and dust resistant and were tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529. Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear. Do not attempt to charge a wet iPhone; refer to the user guide for cleaning and drying instructions. Liquid damage not covered under warranty."

This is probably to cover Apple's legal bases, but it still looks like Apple isn't at all that sure of its touted feature. At least not enough to cover it under warranty. While it is practically trying to discourage idiotic stunts and whatnot, it also doesn't inspire confidence in the iPhone 7's survivability.

And that's not all. The iPhone 7 offers two new color options, one of them a high-gloss Jet Black (earlier leaked as "Piano Black"). It is probably going to be the most sought out color after Rose Gold, and the rarest one as well. And also the most damage prone, it turns out. Thus says Apple:

"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."

In a nutshell, it scratches. Whether real scratches or "material transfer" (like the Gorilla Glass 5), it won't matter to users who are buying this particular model for appearance's sake. In that context, the advice to use a case is also a bit amusing, especially since Apple itself doesn't carry a "clear" case for the iPhone 7. At least not yet.

That said, neither detail will stop people from buying the iPhone 7, even the Jet Black edition, but it does pay to know what you're getting into, lest you literally pay for it later on.