I learned to type on the original Macintosh, worshipped my click wheel iPod, and still believe in Apple TV. I am an enthusiastic Apple evangelist in pretty much every aspect of my life. But I have never been excited about a single Apple announcement until today.
My iPhone is my constant companion. I look at it more than any other object in my possession. I use it to share the most important moments of my life. And I’m sick of sharing those moments with a black shiny monolith that looks like a remote control for the big screen in Darth Vader’s man cave. I want my iPhone to be more like me: vibrant, happy and PINK.
Based on this fact alone, I’m buying a brand new, plastic-backed, colour-coated iPhone 5c. I am choosing it over the better 5s, even over “goldpagne” simply because it comes in five vivid shades, one of which I will choose from the online store on September 13. Right now I’m still thinking pink. But the yellow is so luscious. Kind of love the green too.
I have owned iPhones for six years now even though the way they look fills me with dread. As a smartphone, they are the most functional product on the market; I’d never trade the interface or operating system. Yet everything about the rectangle of darkness goes against what I believe in, design-wise. For six years my lifestyle has been stunted by this precious slab of glass that was completely incompatible with my personal brand. The white one? Forget it, even more cold and sterile.
Since I didn’t like the way my iPhone looked, like many of you, I added a case. A crappy rubbery case that attracted grime, trapped dirt, and didn’t actually save my phone when I smashed it on the asphalt while riding my bike through Hollywood. The case didn’t really work for me, and it never made sense from Apple’s perspective, either. Why would Apple force me to turn to other manufacturers to “protect” my phone, effectively eradicating everything that was great about it — the way it glides into your pocket, the way it feels in your hand? I didn’t want a case. Now, with the addition of bright colours and a plastic exoskeleton, we can all have durable, colourful iPhones. (And optional weird ’80s cheese-grater raincoats that I’m not sure I’m down with.)
Granted, Apple’s not recently been famous for colour, opting instead for greyscale phones. But historically, when the company has introduced even the slightest hint of it, the products are hits. The candy-coloured iMacs boosted sales by 24 per cent and transformed Apple’s reputation (that’s why you can still find them in classrooms across the country). The rainbow of colour of the iPod’s tinted brushed metal helped Apple push an individuality campaign that pervades its marketing today. The colours are what helped the iPod become the most popular music player in the world.
So why did my pink phone take so long? Apple knew, based on its track record, that colour would be a hit. But instead of introducing a colour iPhone, it hesitated, adding a series of disappointing upgrades like Siri, Maps, and some extra screen real estate. That’s because there was no reason to mess with the basic design of such a successful product. Now, as the iPhone ages, is the perfect time to introduce a little novelty.
With the introduction of these colours, Apple has finally created a completely different value proposition: The iPhone is fun. And by delivering this fun at a much lower price point, Apple is finally providing durability, functionality and joy to the iPhone market. It’s a strategy that’s sure to woo new converts around the world. My new pink iPhone is going to change Apple forever.