My Turn

Apple's Changing Colors

Max Morgenthaler - 2002.09.16

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

From Steve Job's return to Apple in 1997 and the introduction of the first iMac to the latest G4 LCD iMac, Apple has provided consumers with a uniquely designed alternative-computing platform.

Apple ignited the idea of "colorful" electronics with the first iMac. While it was not the first colorful piece of technology, the iMac certainly caught the public's attention. Today, you can go into a store and see Palms, mice, keyboards, monitors, radios, and even hairdryers in blue, orange, raspberry, or some other translucent color.

About the only place you won't see any bright colors these days are in Apple's Store. That's right, the company that ignited the "colorful technology" trend has gone back to white, and although the white is not the boring beige of PCs and older computers, it is far from Power Mac G4colorful. With the G4 tower and Titanium PowerBooks, Apple began slowly moving to a color scheme of silver or white. The G4 iMac, introduced in January 2002, was also the end of the colorful "fruit flavored" computers that saved Apple from its near demise in 1997.

There are reasons behind these "changing colors" at Apple, and I'd like to give my own 2 cents here.

First, Apple makes expensive computers, and if people are going to shell out that much money, they want something that looks elegant on their desks, not something that looks like it belongs in Toys 'R' Us. Second, a company has to change its image or it will not be able to attract new customers (think the new "brawny man" campaign), which Apple has succeeded in doing with the introduction of the iMac, the "solid color" Apple logo, and now, more subtlety, with the white computers.

These design and marketing ideas can lead to problems. At first, Apple sold to a more professional market and to schools. By introducing the iMac, a cheap computer that looked cool, they were able to attract the average consumer to their product line. By removing color and offering more expensive products (remember the $799 iMac, we all knew that wouldn't last) such as Xserve and dual G4 towers, Apple is going back into the professional and upscale market, a move which can be good and bad.

Apple continues to cater to the average consumer's desires with the eMac and iBook, but both these are white. iBookThe "average" consumer who wants a white computer will get a PC. Many people bought Macs because they wanted something that stood out and made a statement. While I think that the eMac and iBook are well designed and elegant, they are not the reason that Apple sold millions of blue iMacs.

I'm just going to sit back at my Indigo iMac (I wouldn't mind a G4 iMac) and wait for black.

Share your perspective on the Mac by emailing with "My Turn" as your subject.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Today's Links

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Open Link