In the iPod’s world, black is the new white

“With those conspicuous white earbuds and that gleaming white case, the iPod is etched into our consciousness as an alabaster icon. Over the past year though, there’s been a quiet, seismic shift: Black rules,” Jon Fortt blogs for Business 2.0.

Fortt reports, “According to U.S. retail guru Steve Baker at NPD Group, Apple Computer’s trendsetting music player is seriously into that moody, urban look. Take the slim, flash-based nano, Apple’s most popular model. Last holiday season, when the color choices were white and black, black outsold white 4:3. In the larger, pricier video iPods, which also came in white and black, the two colors were just about even. ‘Black has always been the bestseller,’ Baker said.”

“But could it be that something deeper is afoot here? I couldn’t help noticing that when Apple updated the nano line last month in San Francisco, the cheapest model was silver, the colors were in the mid range, and the priciest model was black,” Fortt reports. “Steve Jobs and the crew at Apple seem to have created a design language where black means premium. Are people buying it?”

Fortt reports, “To find out, Baker was nice enough to crunch another batch of retail data, this time on the MacBook laptops, which also come in white and black. His finding: In June, July and August, white MacBooks outsold black ones almost 2:1. But wait – the black ones were also more expensive, by about $200.”

“‘Obviously, given their thought process, they believed that black deserved a premium. The surprising thing is that it sells that well, given that it’s $200 more.’ Baker said he would have expected, given the price difference, that white would have outsold black by more like 4:1. ‘It’s a lot to pay in a business where we haven’t paid extra for color before. That says to me it’s really successful,'” Fortt reports.

Fortt reports, “These days, someone who flashes a black iPod isn’t just saying, ‘I got a new iPod’ – they’re saying, ‘I got the best new iPod.’ And yep, people are paying to make that statement.”

Full article here.
Please complete the following sentence: “Someone who flashes a brown Zune isn’t just saying, ‘I got a new MP3 player’ – they’re saying…”


  1. hmmm..let’s see …

    5G 60Gb iPod video BLACK
    5.5G 30Gb iPod video BLACK (wife’s iPod)
    1Gb iPod nano black
    iHome AM/FM stereo for iPod BLACK
    13″ Macbook 2Ghz BLACK

    4Gb iPod mini (green – also wife’s)

    now if only my 24″ iMac would have been available in BLACK.

    I agree BLACK is the new IN color.

  2. “Yeah you pussy iPod people! I got mine in BROWN! Ha! You don’t have that color! Brown is the new black, baby! I can take my brown Zune anywhere and people are all like, ‘Dude, you just threw your Zune in the trash and plugged your headphones into your chocolate eclair!’

  3. “Someone who flashes a brown Zune isn’t just saying, ‘I got a new MP3 player’ – they’re saying…”

    I have scatological fetishes. Microsoft ass-raped me, I have Stockholm Syndrome so I don’t blame them really. It was my fault. Now I have fetishes for Microsoft’s shit.

    Something like that maybe is what they’re thinking. It’s either that or this one.

    I can effectively smuggle this in my ass because a cavity search won’t find it in the rest of my intestinal mess.

  4. 🙁

    I’m waiting for “White” to be the new “Black”. It’s too bad Apple adopted Henry Ford’s approach with the top-of-the-line iPod – which happens to do video.

    Meanwhile I’ll continue to enjoy my white iPod nano and white MacBook.


    MW: “Lost” – as in I am glad “Lost” is back on the air with new episodes.

  5. I think that Mercedes Benz created a design language where black means premium. Apple is keen to understand that language.

    Lucy: “I got a chocolate bar.”
    Linus: “I got a candy apple.”
    Charlie Brown (with disappointment): “I got a Zune.”

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