Fri. Apr 19th, 2024


Apple’s highest-spec and most expensive products usually have “Pro” tacked on to the end of their names, but when it comes to color selection, Apple’s cheaper options have a clear advantage.



Pro Color Options Are Boring and Bland

Whether it’s the iPhone Pro, MacBook Pro, or iPad Pro, you’d better like gray or silver because that’s generally the scope of the choices you have. While iPad Air owners can choose between purple, pink, blue, and other vibrant color options, there is no such luck if you go with the more expensive models.

The 2023 MacBook Pro lineup in gray, silver, and black.
Apple

The latest iPhone Pro models have started to offer options like “gold” or “blue”, but in person these colors are so subdued that you’d have a hard time noticing them.

Contrast this with the bright and vibrant colors available to standard iPhone customers. It feels like Apple is saying that you can have your “Pro” products in any color, as long as it’s Space Gray.

Apple Brought Color to Computers

While Apple was very much part of the “beige box” school of computer design, the company shattered the general idea of how a computer should look with models like the G3 Mac and iMac. With colorful translucent body panels, these computers made it clear (ha!) that computers can have personality even if you spend all day word processing.

These mainstream Macs were meant to appeal to fun and creative people. This makes it more than a little jarring to have your modern-day Pro options limited to gray and shiny gray.

Apple's iMac line-up and the various colors available.
Apple

Apple is still killing it with home computers like the iMac, but even the all-black (retired) iMac Pro looked downright depressing in comparison. Why do Apple’s customers who spend the most have to dwell on the modern equivalent of the beige office PC?

Apple, Bring Your Color Options to the Top

Apple, we need to talk. I know that you’re marketing your “Pro” stuff to a group of people you imagine are sitting in a sterile white studio space wearing button-down shirts, but there are plenty of people who buy your iPhone, Mac, or iPad Pros that appreciate colorful designs. People who like good cameras, or top-end performance in their gadgets can also like fun colors.

All of the color options for the iPhone 14.
Apple

I’m sure that there are legitimate issues around the materials you choose for your more expensive models, or that you like to use colors as a way to signal what market segment a product is meant for. But the end result is that you can’t get a MacBook Pro in an interesting color regardless of how much you spend. That just doesn’t seem right to me.

There Are Ways to Color Your Pro Gear

You might argue that it doesn’t really matter what color an iPhone is, because everyone throws them into a case. I’m a fan of using phones naked, although recently I’ve been converted to leather cases. Just in time for Apple to stop making them! While it’s fairly easy to encase your phone in something that hides its bland exterior, it’s not so simple for a tablet or laptop.

The good news is that there are now numerous options for adding a bit of color after the fact. It’s not as elegant or attractive as a native solution from Apple, but it’s better than nothing. You can get covers for MacBook Pro laptops in every color, and even with artwork or textures such as wood grain. Some skins offer something that gets closer to a native solution than a cover and doesn’t add any noticeable thickness to the device. Companies like dbrand let you put just about any design or color on a MacBook or iPad you can think of.


While options are good to have and the third-party market will always have your back, having Apple acknowledge that its “Pro” customers aren’t bland drones would fill me with the warm fuzzies. Then, maybe, I can finally get that Rose Gold iPad Pro I’ve always wanted.



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By John P.

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