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Has Apple design got better or worse since 2016?

A collage of Apple products
(Image credit: Apple/Future owns)

If there's one company that's known for its design chops, its Apple. But while many immediately think of the brand's aesthetic as a series of whites, silvers and greys, that's only part of the story. And as a viral tweet has revealed, even in the last five years, lots has changed.

Placing a series of Apple products from 2016 alongside their 2021 counterparts, one Twitter user reveals just how much the brand's look has changed. Spoiler alert: it seems rose gold is very much over. (In the market for new gear? Check out the best early Apple Black Friday deals). 

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With the sheer amount of colourful options available in 2021, it can be easy to forget that 2016 was a much more muted world. In the words of Henry Ford, you could have any colour you wanted, as long as it was silver, space grey, gold or rose gold. Indeed, that army of uniformly sleek colours across various products almost looks a little intimidating  ("If the 2016 Apple products were a group of people, they would definitely have bullied me at school," one Creative Bloq writer observed). 

Fast forward to 2021, and it's pretty much impossible to find two products in the same colour. Over the last couple of years, Apple has introduced colour to everything from the iPhone to the iMac (and is rumoured to be doing the same with the MacBook Air soon). If you told us these images showed the product lines of two different companies, we'd probably believe you. 

iPhone SE

We kind of miss rose gold (Image credit: Apple)

So which is better? It's all a matter of personal taste, of course, but that grey/gold/silver fest is looking rather stale to us. Once you've experienced the pops of colour available now, it's hard to imagine going back to all that millennial pink. That said, 2021's lineup seems to feature an almost wilful lack of consistency, offering fifty shades of blue, green and, yes, grey. Like matching your phone to your watch to your laptop to your tablet? You'd better set your time machine to 2016. 

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Still, it's not like Apple has quite returned to its "Y2K" aesthetic of old – even today's splash of colour is more pastel than the bubblegum days of yore (that said, we'd love to see that hot pink iPhone rumour become a reality). If you feel like embracing your colourful side, check out today's best iPhone 13 deals below – and be sure to check out the best Apple deals available now. 

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).