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I want a new black MacBook

Mike Wehner, @MikeWehner
February 18, 2014
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There is a stark contrast between Apple's use of color on its computer hardware and its mobile devices. You can get an iPod, iPhone, and to a lesser extent, an iPad, in a number of hues, but ever since the black polycarbonate MacBook bit the dust in 2009, there's been a distinct lack of flavor in the all-aluminum notebooks.

We already know Apple is fine with giving its smartphone the anodized color treatment, so why not the MacBook? In fact, I'd be happy if Apple even just offered a single additional color option for the most portable of the MacBook family, the MacBook Air. I want a black MacBook Air.

Sure, Apple would probably want to name the color something silly like "Space Black," but I'd totally be willing to overlook that to get my hands on an Air with a darker personality.

So why hasn't it happened yet? That's a tough question, but it's clear that Apple has captured a "look" that has become part of the brand itself. You can spot an aluminum MacBook in a crowded coffee shop without even trying, and that aesthetic has a value all its own. It's clean, sharp, and modern. That's the reason companies like Asus and Samsung shamelessly mimic Apple's notebooks.

But would the option of a darker shade actually harm the brand? I don't think it would. It was once insane to consider a gold (or even a white) iPhone, and now those devices are everywhere. Apple's history is a colorful one, and I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing a bit of that come back. The easiest, smallest, most subtle step in that direction would be to offer something you've already offered in the past: a black MacBook.

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