Apple Satiates Consumers with White iPhone 4

by Matt Klassen on April 18, 2011

It was a few weeks ago now that I reported on the speculation that Apple’s iPhone 5 could potentially be delayed months beyond its usual June release, with insiders along the iPhone production line leaking information that the usual shipping process to meet a June release is months behind schedule.

But if you were hoping that such a break in Apple’s metronome-like consistency would be enough to irk even the most dedicated Apple fan, it looks like the California based tech and mobile giant has an ace up its sleeve…its changing the colour of the iPhone 4.

Apple confirmed the longstanding rumours that it will attempt to satiate consumer demand for all things Apple by re-releasing its existing iPhone 4 model, only this time it’ll be white. Wait a minute, Apple releasing the same old device with only minor cosmetic alterations, who would have guessed? Maybe we should just call it the iPhone 5 and be done with it.

Obvious sarcasm aside, you might say that I’m reluctantly in awe of the Apple marketing machine. If it proves true that the iPhone 5 release will be delayed till the end of this year, Apple has managed to get its customer base excited about a product that has been available to the public for the better part of a year simply by changing its colour.

Sporting more upgrades than many of Apple’s new products, the white iPhone 4 will be the answer to all the prayers offered up in the hopes of seeing a new design from a company known for its reluctance to alter the form factor of its products. The truth is though, that despite being exactly the same phone you already own in a cool new white paintjob, Apple has managed to spark considerable consumer interest over its phone yet again.

So what’s so special about the new white iPhone 4? The answer, of course, is nothing, except of course that it is indeed white instead of black, which leads to the obvious question, what does colour have to do with it?

According to some analysts, with the release of a white iPhone Apple is tapping into certain inclinations rooted deep in the human psyche that favour the color (or lack thereof) white. You see, psychologists who have studied the impact of colour on human emotions have noticed that white tends to have a calming effect on people, as it subtly communicates thoughts of cleanliness, purity, and even conveys a sense of calm. It is for this reason, the argument goes, that people are so enamoured with the new white iPhone 4, it’s going to make them feel better.

But here’s my own theory, one that is still based on human psychology but has less to do with colour and more to do with obviousness. Apple, like the makers of the Barbie doll, has convinced the public that small cosmetic alterations are indeed worthy of purchasing an entirely new product. They’ve done so by first making a product that everyone thinks they need, and then by subtly dropping hints about a newer, hipper, whiter version that may or may not be able in the near future.

Further, there is the appeal to individuality that a new white phone brings; offering people a product that they feel will set them apart from all the other rank-and-file iPhone owners, with the obvious downside of that plan being that they’ve long since surrendered their individuality to Apple anyways.

To that end, Apple has been dropping subtle hints about a white iPhone 4 since the original black version was released last year, slowly increasing consumer interest until the time was right to finally release the new white phone, finally confirming the impending summer release in a tweet this past week.

So, even though Apple has done nothing here except tack on a white skin to its existing iPhone 4 product, its almost guaranteed to be a hit, with people lining up to buy it in hopes of having a phone that sets them apart from the crowd.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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