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Taking the Vader-black iPhone to full-on Blackout!

When Apple first showed off the new, unibody slate and black iPhone 5, I referred to it as Vader black. I liked the look so much, I escalated it by going retro-black with my Lock screen and Home screen wallpapers. Then, when AnoStyle was announced, I immediately wanted to take it one step further. I wanted the Blackout look you see on high-end watches and cars. Problem was, AnoStyle didn't offer black anodization. Not yet, at least...

So I bugged Ally and her Ano-Ninja accomplice, Rob, and volunteered to be test subject zero for their first-ever Blackout iPhone 5. They agreed, I bought a new phone for them to try it out on, and as you can see from the results above and below, they did not fail to delight.

If you turn it into the sun or bright light, it looks like a normal black and slate iPhone 5, only several shades deeper and darker. If you turn it away from the sun, it's matte black as the emptiness of space. It's so black, only the slight difference in refraction of the Apple logo and iPhone lettering can be seen, darker or brighter, shadowed or gleaming across its back.

If you hold the the blacker-than-Vader black iPhone next to a regular black and slate iPhone 5, the difference is immediately apparent. Above is a shot I took with a 5D Mark III and f/1.4 lens under Hue LED lighting. However, in normal use it's understated and subtle and almost no one will notice anything different about it all alone and at a glance. I love that, and more than one friend I showed it off to at Macworld|iWorld could only smile and mumble "damn" as well. Others may prefer being loud and colorful and shiny in red or blue or gold. I wanted something simple and pure and authentic and utterly capable of getting lost any and every time I leave it on a dark surface.

I wanted stealth. And that's what I got.

More: AnoStyle.

Rene Ritchie

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.

  • That is awesome! I never liked how the Black iPhone 5 sometimes looks blue.
  • And doesn't the ano-ninja parry and deflect and block scratches better than the stock Apple paint job?
  • It does :)
  • Just had it tested by another party, twice as thick :)
  • Looks pretty sweet Rene!
  • I wish anostyle was in Canada :(
  • In about a week we will be ;)
  • black is too "vanishing"....white one really stands out and looks like Apple products
  • Can I have it? PLEASE!!!! iMore ROCKS!
  • Really like the blacked out look!
  • so you took a black phone and changed it to....BLACK?!?!? brilliant!
  • Can you not see the difference in the photos? They're very substantial.
  • I'm just having fun busting his balls.
  • this is how it should have looked originally. 10x better. more black than blue. "Black Is Beautiful."
  • WOW! expensive!
  • Huh? $249?!? Simple panels that cost more than an entire phone?!?!?!? And they have the gall to charge shipping on top of that?
  • yeah that's just crazy! I was thinking maybe $30. Maybe. I'm only on a 4s but can't you just buy a black backing for $15 like people did with the 4s? plus it's gonna get blocked by my case.
  • Wow, I would have guessed at least 4x that number for something like this. Even though $250 + shipping is pretty much completely out of my reach, I will say that I think these folks can pretty much charge whatever they want for something so uniquely and exclusively custom. When you start to think about all of the millions of iPhone's out there as compared to the number of people who have this one-of-a-kind job done to theirs, the price becomes less and less of an issue. I'd challenge everyone who is shocked by the cost to just think about what kind of skill and knowledge it would take to do something like this to a degree that not even Apple is performing to. Then, think about the labor/materials cost vs. profit on these things. Let's say this process takes 4 hours to complete (which I would be STUNNED to find out was the case). The labor alone at that point is only paying $50/ Audi owner might pay a mechanic $90 to change the oil which is a process that takes maybe 45 minutes tops and requires very little skill, especially with the appropriate tools and working environment. And please, we need more photos! Tax season is upon us and if I see enough shots of these, I might just throw down, even though my g/f would be pissed!!
  • Bigger deal is that it voids the warranty.
  • I'm drooling! I have a white 4s and now I'm bored with white. I've lusted over the black iPhone 5 for the longest but now I'm in love with the black anostyle! It looks awesome!!! I'm jealous!!!
    More pics please!
  • please help mee peopleeeee .. i want to bye iphone 5 but i'm in another country. in georgia. my uncle is in new york can he byes me ihone and send me in georgia ? im interesting it . can ai use iphone in orher contry and what does it cost iphone 5 ??? and what does it mean on contract ? off contract? pleaseeeeeee help meee. pleaseeee. PLEASE HELP ME. I dont know english languige very good . and please tell me it conceivably / pleaseee help
  • Hi Qeti: There are two carrier technologies in your country: Geocell (GEOCELL) GSM 900 and 1800
    Magti GSM (Magti GSM) GSM 900 and 1800 You can purchase an Unlocked Iphone 5 from the Apple Web Site and have it shipped to your Uncle in New York. The other challenge would be to convert your current sim card to nano sim card. You can purchase a tool to convert your current sim card here: The other aspect is once you have the phone and sim, you should be able to setup the APN's accesing via your iphone browser the following site: Good luck!
  • That looks amazing. If I had a Black iPhone 5, I'd want that. :-)
  • Black is really beautiful. I have a black woman with a gorgeous black a$$. I have a black BMW. I have that black iPhone. I have a black rottweiler. I'm black myself.