Will Colours be a game changer in the smartphone industry? Some thoughts on the rumoured iPhone 5C and gold iPhone 5S.

Will Colours be a game changer in the smartphone industry? Some thoughts on the rumoured iPhone 5C and gold iPhone 5S.



There are more and more smartphones that are released with multiple colour options. Apple is not going to lose this chance to regain its market share after being hammered by Samsung’s many devices released in between the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S (rumoured) announcement in 2012 and 2013. Aside the hardware specification to be updated in the upcoming iPhone 5S, there is purportedly a new colour, namely the gold colour, being released during the 10 September iPhone event. Apple is highly expected to release side-by-side another budget iPhone which is called the iPhone 5C. At the moment no one knows, if the iPhone 5C really exists, what the “C” stands for. People keep their imaginations at an iPhone which comes in different colours so the 5″C” is 5 Colours. No matter what Apple is going to release next month, it has ignited a new trend for pursuing new colours in the smartphone industry. Or I should say, Samsung started this with the colour variants of the Samsung GS3, Note 2 as well as the latest purple GS4. The new Moto X from Motorola even has a customisation capability for customers to semi-DIY their own colours on their online order system, such trend seems to have a high probability to sustain this rising trend.


Will more colours bring more sales revenue to the phone makers? We are all curious to know. Noting that some of the colours have strong taste for certain customers, how would the colours, but not the specs, affect the decisions for buying a smartphone?

Apple’s first generation iPhone only has one colour but resulted in enormous financial and also market feedback. People loved iPhone, but not actually loving the silver-coloured phone called iPhone. Until the iPhone 3G/iPhone 3GS where black and white colours became the mainstream colour code for iPhones, people still love it, no matter they were white or black. The same thing happens every time iPhone renews. So does colour really matter in choosing a phone, yes but to a limited extent. So I wonder whats the point adding so many colours for iPhones in their rumoured series of iPhone 5C. Some may disagree my thoughts by saying that indeed people have colour preference for phones as well as everything in their daily lives. I haven’t denied that we all love one or two colours, but the point is that people can make a “second choice” in purchasing a phone. What I mean by second choice is that people buy protective cases to shield their phones. The cases are, of course, available in multiple colours while shaping your phone into a totally different hands-on feeling. As people can buy cases to enhance their colour style for their smartphones, there might be weaker reasons for “colour upgrades” for manufacturers.Another question in my mind is, in terms of resale value, how will the colour variant perform? Of course they might not be as attractive as those white and black versions! Let’s take a look at the Grey market in Hong Kong (Sincere Centre). Usually the colour variants don’t make good sales but black and white do. Sometimes, the sales figure of either black or white outnumbers each other. If they truly are die-hard fans of certain colour, customers, who are tired of business colours black and white, can actually ask the shopkeeper to provide them with a pink, red, blue, rear shell for their phone. Sticking or crafting some cartoon characters on your iPhone? It’s no big deal because it is a matter of money.

Back to the question, in my point of view, I think more colours won’t make big income for phone developers, who create the smartphone at the origin. The manufacturers have the power to shape customer values for their phones which I opine that Apple did the best job back in 2009. That’s what marketing is for, isn’t it? While I think that colours don’t matter, I am still interested to see if iPhone 5C could lead the trend chasing after many different colours for smartphone in the near future, for Apple always takes the lead.

Any thoughts?




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