I’ve come here to talk about colours today, people. Specifically: Apple product colours over the years. Though there are a lot of things Apple’s got right, one area where they barely managed to be ‘innovative’ is colours.
It’s not like they haven’t tried. Back in the day, they even splashed the company’s logo in rainbow colours (before it became a trend for brands!), which they sort of tried to revive last year in an ad for the M1 iMac. It has been fewer hits and more misses, I would say. Still, they did some pretty interesting things in the past, and the new developments in recent years are worth talking about. So, let’s start, shall we?
Colours Running Wild and Bright
I agree that bright, vibrant, and fun aren’t what come to mind when you think about Apple products — unless you’ve seen the 1998 iMac G3.
Around the wake of the 21st century, after Steve Jobs’ return, Apple went freakishly off the wall with the iMac G3 and its matching keyboard and mouse. Your eyes couldn’t escape the translucent candy-coloured plastics and eye-twitching bright iMacs even if you wanted to. From gleaming tangerine to a limited-edition Hawaiian flowery theme — Apple went all out.
But alas! After the flat-panel iMac G4 came into the picture in 2002, colours disappeared from iMacs for decades. Well, until the 2021 M1 iMac came to us in seven gorgeous colours.
More Colours But…
The company keeps trying and hits the right notes every now and then — like the 2013 iPhone 5C. C for colour, you see. And boy, did it give the iMac G3 a competition or what? Colour-wise, of course. Out of the five colours released, I particularly loved the yellow one. It was sunny, warm, and cheerful. And the device itself was perfectly handy. If only Apple didn’t go for the plastic body, the iPhone 5C would have been received far better than it actually did.
Experiments Gone Right
I think Apple (and its users) had the most fun with iPods when it came to colours. I mean, even in the ‘dull’ era when white and black (and maybe silver) were the only colours you could see in an Apple product, the 2004 iPod mini came in shining blues, greens, and pinks. And things only got better and better after that.
I am not saying Apple has been consistent with iPods, though. They sure relapsed to their comfort colours, now and then. But they would bounce back and sprinkle colour all over iPods. So much so that they released the 2008 iPod nano 4th generation and 2009 iPod nano 5th generation in nine colours. Talk about music adding colours to life. Those were the days!
Give Us Some Other Colours, Please!
Other Apple products, however, didn’t quite receive that kind of ermm … attention, if I may. For years to come, the quintessential Apple colours were predominant across devices. It’s still hard not to imagine an Apple product in white, silver, or space grey. That’s how strong the imprint is. Perhaps that is why the rose gold colour of the 2015 iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s made such noise in the world of colour-deprived Apple lovers.
A New Era Has Dawned
The last couple of years have been exciting, though. Sure, we haven’t seen flashy colours coming to modern Apple products. Honestly, I don’t think I want to carry around a translucent lime-coloured iPhone. But hand me an Alpine Green iPad (duh!), a purple MacBook, or a pair of AirPods in a nice turquoise hue and see how quickly we become BFFs. A girl can hope!
Apple’s new take on colours is sophisticated and yet so charmingly minimalistic. If I were asked to pick the ones that I can’t take my eyes off of — which, by the way, would only be possible if I am held at gunpoint — these would be the ones:
The Green of Apple Watch Series 7
No, wait, the Alpine Green of iPhone 13 Pro. Dang! I wouldn’t mind the 2020 Apple iPad Air version, either. Forget it. Just go green, okay.
Paint Me Purple
Well, thank you, Apple for that gorgeous colour on iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini. Please keep the royal feeling going.
Bring Back the Rose Gold to Me
I loved this colour on iPhone 6s and iPad Air. Absolutely. Loved it. And I want the colour back on the table. That’s all I have got to say.
And All Things Red
The limited-edition Product Red releases just make my heart skip a beat. Even the tiny ones — the click wheel of iPod U2, the red Apple Pencil case, the red Apple Watch bands — everything had the same effect on me. Even more so because Apple contributes a percentage of the earnings to support the (RED) campaign.
Colour is one area where Apple hasn’t been able to make its mark just yet, but there have been a few rays of sunshine even in the somewhat dull past of Apple colours. Word around town is that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max will come in a ‘new’ purple. It looks like Tim Cook and company are heading in the direction of conquering their colour inhibitions. At least, we hope so!
What are your favourites from all the Apple colours over the years?