Black Is the New…er…Black

by James R. Stoup Aug 22, 2007

Seen the new iMac? It’s gotten darker. More specifically, it has a nice matte silver finish with jet black trim. In fact, it looks very much like the new iPhone. And with this redesign, Apple has moved one step closer to eliminating the color white from their lineup. The Mac Mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro are all silver. As of now, the new iMac is silver and black. And of the two styles of MacBooks, only one is still white. Oh, let’s not forget that of the 13 different types of iPods (most of which sport some bright color), only one remains white.

So, if this trend continues (and I see no reason why it won’t), in a couple of years everything Apple makes will either come in a metallic color (blue, pink, green, or orange) or will be black and silver. Soon, the “all white” look will be but a page in the history books. In fact, I expect three changes to happen within the next year.

First, I think the Apple TV will get a darker look. And I think Apple will start by making it look like an iMac, courtesy of some black accents. They probably don’t want to make it pure black because then it would look like a MacBook. Also, that remote control for Front Row? Expect that to go silver and black as well. Think “mini iPhone” look and feel. Remember, white is on the way out.

The second change is the one we’ve been waiting for the longest, the Mac Pro. Apple won’t make it white (obviously) and I can’t really see them offering their pro line of machines in hot metallic pink (or any of their other stylish colors) so I can only conclude they will go with either silver and black or just straight black. Personally, I think Apple is going to completely redesign this machine and when they do I expect the finished product to be completely black. Not black plastic like Dell, but black metal with a matte finish (no gloss here, folks).

Third, lets not forget about Apple’s monitors. If the computers get darker and the monitors are supposed to match the computers…you get the idea. Expect the new monitors to look like the new iMacs, only thinner. I think a nice black trim around the edges would give it a very sharp look.

Oh, and we can’t ignore the Mighty Mouse, much as we may want to. That thing is long overdue for a redesign. Actually, it is long overdue to be chucked in the waste bin, but I’d settle for a redesign. I don’t expect more buttons, but a more comfortable mouse (why is this so hard for them to make? didn’t they learn their lesson from the hockey puck mouse?) would be very welcome. Here is a clue, if Microsoft can do it well then anyone can do it well. Make a note Apple, go pick up a Microsoft or Logitech mouse, use it for 10 minutes, and then look at the mighty mouse. Which one looks better? The Mighty Mouse. Which one would you actually want to use…? Yeah, this is one instance where making the mouse black won’t do much other than make me hate it twice as much. Just a thought though.

But getting back on track, I like this new direction that Apple is heading in. I like this darker, slicker look. And I can’t wait to see how far they take it. Eventually I’m sure the iPhone’s design of black and silver will touch all of their major products. But for the immediate future, I think these three will change the soonest. After this, who knows. They’ll be running out of colors soon. Maybe they’ll go back to clear again.

But hopefully not.


  • An interesting observation.  The weird thing is that I’m not so crazy about the new black/silver theme.  I actually like the all white look, as it’s quite distinct from other computer and consumer electronics manufacturers.  The all white look also tended to match the zen-like design philosophy of the Apple products.

    I’m not suggesting splashes of color are bad - the different options for the ipods are great.  I’m just not convinced that going ... black is the best choice.  Who knows, maybe after going to a silver/black theme for several years, Apple will settle on another color scheme and then maybe even come back to the all white.

    hansmixer had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 4
  • It’s funny, James, how Apple dumped the metallic OS and replaced it with a plastic looking one, but conversely, is dumping the plastic Macs for metallic.

    Brushed metal is out on the inside and in on the outside. smile

    Chris Howard had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 1209
  • The reason I am impressed with the new iMac line is that they were purportedly designed from the beginning with recycling in mind.  Aluminum and glass.  I don’t know what the future will bring in the way of a new tech aesthetic, however I do hope cradle-to-cradle type of thinking in hardware design becomes even more sophisticated and important to consumers.

    Lets face it, today’s speedy machine runs like a boat anchor 5 years from now.  If old computers could be truly recycled into new computers instead of the situation we have today where they are downcycled into something else that eventually sees a landfill, I wouldn’t care what color it was really.  (as long as it wasn’t Zune-brown wink

    Apple has made a more recyclable machine that looks great.  Got to give them some credit for that.

    Ray Fix had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 21
  • So the next Mac Pro might easily look like a NeXTcube, eh? The journey towards the NeXT side will be complete!

    I was usure about the new iMac until I saw it in person - it looks gorgeous. The glossy 24” screen is pretty nice too on short inspection. The whole thing is only dragged down by the shoddy keyboard and mouse. You are right when you ask if Apple failed to learn a thing. They have one of the best mouse designs ever right in their drawer - the Desktop Mouse II. It just needs a second button and some added scrollability.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 371
  • I despise the new iMac, I don’t know if any of you have tried it yet but yes it does look awesome (was initially on the fence on this one) but usability is horrible. For an all in one computer the screen is one of the prime factors not only in specs but in visibility.

    While yes it may have been convenient for Apple to design using it was a pain, literally. I took a trip down to the Apple Store wanting to try the new iMacs out. It was very reflective to the point where I could see what was going on behind me more than what I needed to see in front of me.

    Granted the Apple stores are pretty damn bright (when compared to usual settings) it was mainly the glass that caused the reflection. You can see a reflection in the MacBooks because it is a glossy LCD but not much. The combination of glass and gloss is horrible, had it been a matte LCD then yeah it’d be perfect in my opinion but unfortunately it isn’t.

    Tanner Godarzi had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 70
  • Oh please don’t change te MacBook Pros so soon! I just bought a brand new one last month and I’d be pissed if hey changed the design.

    Much like when I bought a PowerBook and the week after Steve announced the switch to intel.

    I agree with Tanner, i saw the new iMac and that new black trim, it is a bit too reflective, to the point where it gets distracting and you get a headache.

    But you know what they say, once you go black….....

    Nemin had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 35
  • Great call on the monitors. I just ordered a new iMac and am waiting to get a second monitor to match.

    Neil Anderson had this to say on Aug 22, 2007 Posts: 23
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