I can't decide if a colorful MacBook Air is a great idea or not

Macbook Air Renders By Ian Angle
Macbook Air Renders By Ian Angle (Image credit: Renders By Ian)

It didn't come as much of a surprise but it did add a certain tinge of legitimacy when leaker Jon Prosser today said that Apple is working to bring some color to the next MacBook Air. Similar to the recent iMac refresh, it's thought the next MacBook Air will also be offered in multiple bright colors. And I can't quite decide how I feel about it.

On the face of it, it's impossible not to have nostalgia kick in at the idea of multi-colored Macs of all shapes and sizes. People being able to choose a Mac that suits their style is never a bad thing because, for some, Gold-ish, Space Gray, and Silver just don't cut the mustard. If anything I can understand a personalized MacBook Air more than I can an iMac. Yet, there are concerns.

Not because people might be walking around with yellow MacBook Airs under their arm, of course. I'm concerned – albeit, only slightly at this point – that Apple is falling into the trap of offering too much choice. Too many SKUs, if you will. And we've seen before that Apple works best when it has a streamlined lineup.

Apple New Imac Spring21 Hero

Apple New Imac Spring21 Hero (Image credit: Apple)

Now, yes. I know that apart from the color these MacBook Airs will be the same and that's the same situation we see with the new iMac. But as we're already seeing with delivery times of various Apple products, getting all of these things into stores and ready to ship online isn't an easy prospect. Multiply that by seven new colors, and things get more complicated. Throw in a couple of configurations, and you're talking about a lot of SKUs. Apple is the best at 'just in time' manufacturing and shipping, but even the best has problems sometimes. Just look at how long the new 12.9-inch delivery times are!

Hopefully none of this will matter and I'm seeing problems where there aren't any. But it's a niggle, right at the back of the mind, that I can't quite shift. That maybe, just maybe, we don't need all those colors.

Now, that rumored M2 chip that the new machines are thought to boast. Now that is a very different story indeed!

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

9 Comments
  • If they do, I like forward to the insightful iMore, "Which color MacBook should I buy" articles. Should be much more in depth than those that just cover 2 or 3 options.
  • Yes to MacBook colors! No to white keys and bezels!
  • I think it is great. Give people choices (although skip the white bezels, they look awful).
  • You think black would look better?
  • Black looks much less noticeable (especially on dark backgrounds/videos). I am glad they got rid of the white bezels on their phones too.
  • Lol, too much choice. Only on an apple site would that complaint be brought up for various colors. Also, the stock issue is always the case with Apple products, I mean look at the iPad pro (with only 2 colors) and how hard it is to keep in stock.
  • The situation with stock right now is down to a few factors, many of which wouldn't be in play during normal operation. The chip shortage being one. Nobody can keep anything in stock at the moment – look at the PS5. I'm thinking into the future, beyond 2021.
  • That is still not a good complaint. The SKU argument doesn't hold much water with just offering different colors, I mean look at all the different iphone (or even ipad air) colors.
  • And adding seven new iMac colors, then x new MacBook Air colors, exacerbates it. There’s always a tipping point. Everything is fine until it isn’t.