A New Direction with Tiger?

23 Comments

Something pretty significant occurred a couple days ago when Tiger was officially given a release date. Did you notice? Apple.com shed some of its lighter skin for shiny black, wherever Tiger was present. Honestly, when was the last time Apple.com really changed in a significant way? Jaguar gave hints of a flat aqua look, while Panther before it got some faux fur spots on the title bar…but not much else. Turning Apple.com from white to black makes me wonder about where Apple may be headed in the near future.

Apple hardware has been white and more recently silver for a while now. White describes Apple. Whenever another company releases a product in white, there’s bound to be some Mac enthusiast pointing an accusatory finger and shouting “Copier!” Believe it or not, white was around before Apple, though they made it a brand it seems. Apple wasn’t voted #1 Brand of 2004 for nothing I guess.

Follow me for a second. With a new look to the website, could a drastic change in hardware aesthetics be far behind? I know, “blasphemy!” you say. “Wintel machines are already black.” True, but c’mon people, it’s Apple Computer – “Designed by Apple Computer in Cupertino, CA.” If Apple decided to do black, they’d make it their own and soon thereafter Mac enthusiasts would be accusing Dell of copying Apple. Maybe the limited edition U2 iPod was a test subject to see how black would be received. Maybe it wasn’t.

There have been plenty of speculations in the past year or 2 about the future G5 Powerbooks. At least a couple of the mock designs I’ve seen had the Powerbook in black attire. I even recall discussions of black being an answer to cooling (I’m no scientist, so I have NO clue how that could work, but right on). Recently Business 2.0 magazine did a bunch of mock products that they’d like to see from Apple. A couple of them sport some shiny black very similar to the feel of the Tiger pages on Apple.com. So it seems there are a few people with black on the brain.

What do you think?

23 Comments

jonny

Well, we’ve now had that first black mac. Could more follow? I think apple will offer it more and more, then within a few years all will be black.

Laura

what do you mean:
“Something pretty significant occurred a couple days ago when Tiger was officially given a release date.” ???
Hasn’t Tiger been around for awhile now? I bought it awhile back…..

Nick Santilli

I think CODY nails it with his comment about the black being used to show off the Spotlight feature.

But I’ll say – this is all just theory. I don’t necessarily believe the theory, but if it turns out to be true, you’ll know where it was said first. :)
I personally prefer the alu/brushed metal look. But as someone mentioned, some brushed alu accents on a shiny – onyx looking – black aethetic may look interesting.

anywho – SKYCAPTAIN – yeah, I’ve looked around the site. My point was, the black is the most drastic alteration to apple.com to come from any OS release. that’s all.

David Clark

Interesting observation. My mind immediately harkened back to the Next box. Could this signal the complete reincarnation of Next?

Captain

Surely white represents the simplicity they’re advertising to the user.
I reckon, for consumer stuff it couldn’t go shiny black plastic because that’s the opposite message – mysterious, high tech, elite – very off-putting to the new user.
Maybe it could become a feature at the ‘pro’ end. Although, at the pro end I shouldn’t imagine black plastic is as appropriate an image as the grey metal + tiny-hole-mesh of the powermacs and -books.

Hard to say. Maybe it’s just a bit of theatrics for the OS release.

Juanxer

I’d hope for a revision of current white plastic aesthetics: it works well with iPods and MacMinis, but the iMac feels a bit chunky and too plain. Apple Cinema Displays’ style of beveling would help there, don’t know about going all metal.

I can’t see them going for black. Too Enterprise-ish for their public.

harry

I believe black is not needed for better cooling, things can be white in visible light and black in infra-red.

J

there’s another reason [there is another…skywalker] they keep changing schemes, and that’s because they want to move with the times…be a fashionable technology company. and this is true even moreso towards us loyal, mac-loving faithful. it will make us seem “out of date” if we’re seen in the local starblech with three-years-ago’s [insert three-year-old laptop model of your choice from the black one on forward] instead of apple’s latest gear.

good show, robber baron!
J

David Alan Gregory

A black PowerBook with brushed Al trim could look very nice.

George Lien

My very first PowerBook was a PowerBook 140, then I got myself a PowerBook 2400c. I waited 2 years for a PowerBook G4. But today, I’m using this PowerBook 2000, aka Pismo, I bought second hand, for everyday use, both at work and at home (if fact, I’m using this black perl to type this comment now).

In short, black is good. Looks decent even when it’s really dirty.

So, if Apple decides to “go black,” then I welcome it.

A black PowerBook G5 or Dual Core G4 PowerBook doesn’t sound too bad.

:P

wallyboy

“So was G5 silver just a brief cross-over from the gel-cap look, or white? I kind of liked the looks of the previous lines – dare I say, even the PowerMac G3? I was a big fan of the G4 iMac. It seems like Apple is moving almost too fast, and people don’t get a chance to enjoy the products before something new and totally different comes out. By the time I joined the Mac club, I was watching the G4 Cube getting axed. It’s sad that I never got to enjoy it. In fact, I remember the blowout sale that CompUSA was having on the Cube, and that was what interested me in the Mac.
Apple needs to slow down, and take time to concentrate and focus straight ahead. Things like brush metal and whatnot are spreading them out in so many directions that they’re becoming almost as inconsistent and disorganized as the Windows world.”
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They usually keep a look for about three years. I think it is good that they change. They try to keep the look fresh & different so that you will see the product on the shelf. Distinctive. You may love it or hate it…but you notice it. Which makes you want to take a closer look & play with it. I can’t tell one windows pc from the next on display in a store. Some PC people call it just a pretty computer (It doesn’t matter to me what it looks like is what you here). I call it very smart marketing for the reasons I stated above.

inazuman

Lots of black plastic makes me think wall street powerbook

Cody

I think maybe you’re looking too deeply into all of this. The reason apple.com and Tiger sport the black has to do with the major feature of Tiger, Spotlight. You’ll notice the shadows and glow, the website is trying to recreate the feel of a spotlight. I don’t think Apple is making a move to black for things like hardware, etc. It’s just because of Spotlight. That’s why the Tiger box is black, because the X in the center is lit up by a light. The website will be back to normal after Tiger’s been out for a few weeks. :-)

Peter

“Black: It’s the new White.”

Hm. Sounds like there might be something deeper there…

lightningrod220

So was G5 silver just a brief cross-over from the gel-cap look, or white? I kind of liked the looks of the previous lines – dare I say, even the PowerMac G3? I was a big fan of the G4 iMac. It seems like Apple is moving almost too fast, and people don’t get a chance to enjoy the products before something new and totally different comes out. By the time I joined the Mac club, I was watching the G4 Cube getting axed. It’s sad that I never got to enjoy it. In fact, I remember the blowout sale that CompUSA was having on the Cube, and that was what interested me in the Mac.
Apple needs to slow down, and take time to concentrate and focus straight ahead. Things like brush metal and whatnot are spreading them out in so many directions that they’re becoming almost as inconsistent and disorganized as the Windows world.

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