White

I wanted to share my thoughts on the white iPhone. Or, rather, my white iPhone.

When the iPhone 4S launched in October, I decided two things:

  1. I wanted the 64GB model (on AT&T, of course); and
  2. I wanted it in white.

My iPhone 4 is black. My iPad 1 is black. The unibody MacBook I’m typing this post on has the black bezel that’s been part of the MacBook/MacBook Pros since 2008. Black looks great, it’s functional1, but I thought with the 4S, I should “think different” and go for the white model, if only to break myself from the color monotony. It was a good move.

I like the white because:

  • it reminds me of the original iPod, in a retro-modern sort of way
  • it’s much better at hiding fingerprints
  • it’s “different”, insofar as 99.9% of smartphones are black
  • it’s easier to spot in the dark
  • it just looks cool, especially with my translucent case

In fact, I tweeted last week that it was really cool to see more white than black iPhones out in the wild.2 I’ve always wanted a white iPhone, but “settled” for the black because, well, I had no other choice. But the white really does look great,and I don’t regret my decision one iota. (It helps to see a white 4 at your local Apple Store.) I’ve read various things online that say black is for guys, white for girls, but that’s bullshit. Which color one gets is entirely a matter of personal preference, not a referendum on their sexuality. C’mon, people -- this is 2012. No more perpetuating gender-based stereotypes!

All this said, I do admit to having a few gripes about the white iPhone. Among them:

  • having the front-facing camera and one of the sensors3 visible lessens the aesthetic
  • the two-tone “panda” look when the phone is asleep/off isn’t the most attractive look either
  • it’s not color-coordinated with my new alarm clock/radio/dock

These gripes are, obviously, pretty minor. They’re annoying sometimes, but not so much so that I’m overwhelmed with buyer’s remorse and feel like rushing out to get a black model instead.4

Black, white. They’re both gorgeous, but white works for me. Just not on the iPad.


  1. A valid argument against white iOS devices is that the bezel has the potential to be distracting. There’s a reason most TVs have black bezels, and rightfully so. This hasn’t been an issue for me.

  2. I’m guessing a big reason for this is because how mythical the white iPhone 4 was, what with its many delays. I think a lot of people, myself included, chose black by default.

  3. Can’t remember if it’s the proximity or ambient light sensor.

  4. I’m way beyond AT&T’s 30-day return policy anyway.