Another flurry of manufactured excitement emanates from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) . The tweeted promise of a white iPhone from the company's worldwide marketing chief, Philip Schiller, fueled the fire of anticipation. Reuters even covered the topic. So here's BSN's take on the breaking news conjured up by the Apple hornblowers.
The fashion world has been engrossed in a world of black for years. Even weddings are considered formally elegant when the bridesmaids wear black, which, as irony would have it, was historically reserved for funerals.
Our technology arrives in black; from laptops to cell phones, noir is the norm.
So to stand out from the crowd, Apple has chosen to house its iPhone 4 in gleaming white. White, the color of hats worn by the good guys in Western movies. White, the color of the monstrous, frightening shark. White, the color of the Great White Way, the live entertainment center known as Broadway in New York City. White, the color of suits from Miami Vice. Apple may be trying through symbolism to subliminally make a point: We are the good guys, we scare away the competition, and we are the center of mobile entertainment.
White is good. Tatanka, the buffalo, and especially the rare white buffalo, is wakan, sacred, in American Indian legends. John Fire Lame Deer explains:
The buffalo is very sacred to us. That animal was almost like a part of our selves, a part of our souls. The buffalo gave us everything we needed. Without it we were nothing. Tepee, bed, blanket, coat, drum, water bags, food; a red hot stone dropped into his stomach became our soup kettle. His horns were our spoons, bones our knives, our needles and awls. The sinew made our bow strings, its ribs were our sleds, his hoofs became our rattles. His mighty skull, with the pipe leaning against it, was our sacred altar.
White Buffalo Calf Woman taught the Lakota Sioux how to pray to the Great Spirit and taught that wealth is a state of mind no matter what your material objects add up to. The chief of the Lakota Sioux speaks of the sacred white buffalo prophecy in this video.
Apple, in contrast to Indian ideals, is praying that its white iPhone 4 ploy will generate more wealth in the form of sales of the popular mobile device. Yet the white iPhone hasn't changed, technically, from the same phone in a different color. Oddly, the iPhone 5 is supposed to come out at the same time. We'd expect the 5 to be white, too. However, the public has already been decorating their iPhones in colors of their own choosing. The iStore offers covers in nine vibrant colors including Milk, aka White. So why Apple itself needs to produce its own version of the phone cased in white and make such a hype is questionable.
Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan reportedly is having its Hon Hai Precision Industry Company assemble the iPhone in its headline-making white cover. Memorial Day is the official fashion-dictated date when women can begin to shed their black pumps for white sandals. We should be seeing the white iPhone about the same time, near the end of May. So, ladies, you can immediately carry the new status symbol proudly without fear of the fashion police.
Steve Jobs showed the smartphone's new cover a year ago this June, but unexplained delays pushed the launch date way back. No one is saying whether the color or the technology posed a problem. AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) seem to have dibs on the phone whenever it gets here. However, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL ) is also vying for a piece of the action. The popularity of the iPhone boosts the carrier's profits as well. More iPhone users, more subscribers for the phone companies. Apple claims more than 16 million iPhone sales in the last quarter of 2010. Who wouldn't want a piece of that action, regardless of whether the units are black or white?
Still, this is a curious move by Apple, which brought out the iPod in white, only to dump it for classic black, as well as lime, turquoise, shocking pink, and silver. Gizmodo wrote in 2007: "Earlier today Steve struck the final nail into whitey's coffin; the iPod touch came sporting a svelte black look and the iPod classic went with black & silver color options. Nowhere was a white iPod to be found." Again, white is Apple's news of the day. It only proves that the infamous computer company isn't above reversing its position and using hype to market its products.
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