Another Apple event has gone by and we finally know what the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro look like. Many details had been leaked in advance, but one detail is raising eyebrows: the new iPhones have the most muted range of colour options that we've seen for a long time.
The standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in five colours, but the hues are so pale that some people are joking that they're basically all off-white. As for the iPhone Pro and Pro Max with their new titanium case, two of the options are barely distinguishable in Apple's own photos.
The new iPhone colours are a long way from the intense hues that Apple has offered in the past. Remember the iconic iMac G3 and the iPod nano? Or even the vibrant colours of the 2021 iMac and last year's iPad 10? The Cupertino giant seems to have decided that colour is very much out in 2023.
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come in five pastel "finishes", which Apple describes as yellow, green, blue, black and – to the delight of Barbie fans – pink. It has made much of the fact that in an industry first, it's now infusing colour into the backglass. But some people are suggesting the colours are barely present. One person writing on Twitter used a colour picker to illustrate just how little blue there is in the 'blue' iPhone.
This is the exact color lmao"Barely Blue" would have been a much more fitting name. pic.twitter.com/EtvPjw6WdFSeptember 12, 2023
"At least it comes with a color-matched cable," one person joked in reference to the white USB-C cable that comes with the phone. Others have pointed out that this year's lighter hue continues a trend that we've seen over the past three years, with the blue version of each new iPhone since iPhone 12 being paler than the last. If the trend continues, the blue iPhone 16 will be completely white or will have to go full-circle back to dark blue of the iPhone 12.
“Color matched USB-C Cables” pic.twitter.com/wRt5Vme3u7September 12, 2023
Leaked iPhone 16 Colors include Apple’s lighter shades of blue, green, orange, red, and purple! /s pic.twitter.com/DyyByaf7fYSeptember 13, 2023
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are an even more muted affair, coming in black titanium, white titanium (which looks grey in Apple's photos) blue titanium, and natural titanium, which is, er, also grey. 'Fifty shades of grey,' one person joked on Twitter.
pic.twitter.com/BFR4PpqmyUSeptember 12, 2023
WHY DO YOU NOT BELIEVE IN COLORS APPLE pic.twitter.com/5bunP8LLj1September 12, 2023
To be fair, the images of the Pro colours revealed by Apple also used very dim lighting, and the 'white' and 'natural' titanium finishes do appear to look a little more distinguishable in person (see the tweet below).
iPhone 15 Pro colors hands on by @emkwan I’m thinking between Natural Titanium and White Titanium… pic.twitter.com/BCZZBnsoY1September 13, 2023
Apple is known for its minimalist aesthetics and some favour more understated colours, which could be considered more sophisticated and on trend. Plus, if you're going to put your phone in a case, the colour has little importance (also the colour options in Apple's new eco-friendly FineWoven cases are also fairly subdued). But it seems some people just aren't inspired by the selection of colours on offer this year.