Apple seems to have tapped into a stream in the public consciousness that either wasn’t visible before, or was fully cultivated by the iPhone itself. Remember, it was just a decade ago that almost every cell phone– smartphone or feature phone– was little more than a mixture of black and gray plastic. Then along came the iPhone.
More black plastic but with gray aluminum. Classy, right? It took a few years but Apple managed to pull off a white front with a white Home button that didn’t turn yellow. Take a look at today’s iPhone lineup. Colors are everywhere. Silver, Rose Gold, Gold, and Space Gray. Including the diminutive entry level iPhone SE.
Apple understands design and fashion better than any major technology gadget maker, and it’s that esthetic which sets both the pace and standard for the rest of the technology industry. Check out the Watch models and the varieties of watchband designs. It’s a cottage industry that isn’t so cottage.
Word on the streets is that iPhone 7 will feature one or two new colors, including an old favorite, the newly named Space Black. Color matters to buyers and nowhere else is that more evident than the new line of MacBooks, available in four colors… insert drum roll here… Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold.
Apple’s sense of design esthetics has been around nearly forever. Early Macs were beige, but it didn’t take long for a sweet and friendly white to show up a few years later. And who can forget the candy colored iMacs of the last century?
iPhone launched a new era of design at Apple. Fashion design. You see it in iPhone, iPad, Mac, and, especially, Watch. My wife has never cared much for watches (or what they do; tell time) and despite a number of anniversary gifts through the years, her modest watch collection gathered more dust than memories.
That changed with Watch just as it did with iPhone. Suddenly, she developed a sense of color coordination and fashion which up until Apple’s most recent devices, were limited to all the beauty of monochromatic colors schemes. She has a dozen Watch bands and wears the device each day; fully color coordinated, of course.
What’s more interesting about iPhone as a fashion statement is what we tend to do with a new iPhone, regardless of the chosen color. We cover it up with a case. Or, in my case, three cases. A black leather, a gray silicone, and an interesting bamboo design made of Kevlar (ostensibly to prevent breakage but also to stop a wayward bullet).
In essence, we buy a device based upon a desired color, then cover it up with a case; you know, to protect the color.
Apple recognized our built-in human tendency to do that which makes little sense (pre-washed, pre-distressed denim jeans come to mind) and has found a way to profit from it. Good for Apple. What’s missing in the iPhone, iPad, and Mac line is something in an egg shell blue. And plaid. Where’s the plaid?