More than any iPhone in history, the iPhone 5c is all about color and personality. It comes in hard coated polycarbonate - think plastic, but way classier! - in fun, vibrant shades of green, blue, yellow, pink and white. Color is so personal, so distinctive, but more colors mean more to choose from, and can also mean a more difficult choice! If you're having trouble picking your particular spot on the iPhone 5c rainbow, we're here to help!
Many colors, one face
Regardless of the iPhone 5c color you get, the faceplates are all black. So if you're worried about how the screen will look set against the color of your iPhone 5c, it's almost a non-issue. All you'll see is the thin line of colored polycarbonate around the edge, and each of those looks to set off the black with pretty much the same intensity.
Dirt and discoloration
Rumor has it Apple delayed the launch of the white iPhone 4 in order to improve the UV protection and prevent discoloration. Regardless, they took a long time to figure it out and get it right, and the white iPhone 4 has been on the market for over two and half years now and there haven't been any widespread accounts of discoloration. My own white iPhone 4 looks as white now as it did the day I bought it back in 2011. Likewise, there were white, plastic iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS models on the shelves going back to 2008, and no major discoloration issues reported with those either.
While we'll have to wait a year or three to know for sure, if your favorite iPhone 5c color is no color at all, don't worry about it, you can most likely get white and never think twice about it.
Both light and dark show wear and tear differently. Pale dust and dirt shows up far more on dark, deep colors, and vice versa. Scratches tend to be more visible when the light hits them on dark backgrounds, but since there's no dark colors, and the polycarbonate seems to be colored consistently inside and out, there's probably very little difference.
Until the iPhone 5c as been on the market for a year or more, it's impossible to know which colors will wear better than others, if any at all, but from the looks of it, scratching the surface won't do much more than reveal additional surface.
Cases in combination
For many people the color of the phone they get is of only passing concern, because they'll lock it up in a case the moment it leaves the box. However, depending on the case areas of the iPhone 5c will still show through. In fact, Apple's marketing their own set of highly cut-out cases with just that in mind.
Just because you're wearing a jacket doesn't mean the clothes you have on beneath won't still peak through. Choose a color you love, then add a case you love to it to complete the look. (They're accessories because they accessorize!). If you already have a case you love, pick the iPhone 5c color that best compliments it. Either way, make sure you love the phone you get regardless of the accessories you may or may not add - or keep - to it later.
Who should get the green iPhone 5c?
Kermit was wrong, it is easy being green. It's natural like a grassy lawn or leafy tree, it's exotic like martians and hulks, it's the color most often associated with jealousy, money, and world around us. Apple kept their green light and vibrant and spring-like. They also kept it neutral enough that it can suit many types of people, with many styles, in many walks of life. It looks great, but it doesn't get up in your face about it.
If you want your iPhone 5c to be bright but not overbearing, colorful but natural, green looks wonderful.
Who should get the blue iPhone 5c?
Blue is the color of the sky and of the sea. It's the canvas that so much of the world around us is set against. Yet very little in the natural world is set in blue. That's why sapphires and jays stand out as much as they blend in. While stereotypically associated with boys' blankets and Superman's suits, the color itself knows no such limits. Apple chose a shade that's intense but not overblown. Something for everyone.
If you want your iPhone 5c to look great but not distract, to be deep but not disturbing, blue is where you're going.
Who should get the yellow iPhone 5c?
Banana. Big Bird. NYC taxi cab. We've heard them all. No, the yellow iPhone 5c isn't waterproof but it is sporty. It's the color assigned to the sun, and to gold-like prosperity. It's a caution light instead of a stop light, something that glows but manages to stay at least a little bit subtle about it. Apple's yellow is unapologetic, however. This is no pale pastel. It's yellow and it wants you to know it. It's the yellow, not red Ferrari.
If you want your iPhone 5c to draw just enough, but not too much attention, get yellow and show it.
Who should get the pink iPhone 5c?
In the east, red means luck and good fortune. In the west, it means danger or stop. In both, it's bright, bold, and attention getting. It's the color of gift envelopes and roses and racing cars. That's probably why Apple went with pink for the iPhone 5c instead. That we have such a popular and distinct word for light red in English, as opposed to light blue, yellow, or green is indicative of its place in the culture. It's typically - and often wrongly - associated with girls, but as any old school wrestling fan can tell you, the "pink and black attack" knows no gender boundaries.
If you want your iPhone 5c to be instantly identifiable from across a room - maybe even across the street - pink brings the heat.
Who should get the white iPhone 5c?
White is the presence of all colors in light, and the absence of all colors in print. It's the color of weddings and new life in the west, and of funerals and death in the east. For something so extreme, white enjoys tremendous duality. Likewise, so people hate the very idea of a white iPhone, and others want nothing but. With the iPhone 5c it plays the job of the straight man or woman.
Because there's no black or gray, the only iPhone 5c color to get for people who want no color at all, is white.
If you're still not sure about green, yellow, pink, blue, or white jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out.
At the end of the day, the only real answer is get the color you like better. Everything else is manufactured anxiety at this point. Just close your eyes, picture your iPhone in your hand, and carefully look at what color you're picturing. Then buy that. And if you change your mind later, you can get a case. Once you've decided, though, et me know - which color did you go with and why?
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.