Even though Apple dabbled in some more fun colors in 2013 with the iPhone 5c, that ended up being a one-off. It was nearly another four years before a vibrant color returned to the scene with the special (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7, and it wasn’t until the 2019 iPhone XR that a full spectrum appeared.
It’s probably no coincidence that the iPhone XR was also the model that ushered in the separation between Apple’s “standard” and “pro” models. Still, even the higher-end flagships received a unique, classy-looking finish the year after that, starting with the Midnight Green iPhone 11 Pro and following through to the Pacific Blue iPhone 12 Pro, Sierra Blue iPhone 13 Pro, and Deep Purple iPhone 14 Pro. If the rumors we’ve heard are accurate, that will continue with a Crimson Red iPhone 15 Pro this year.
The iPhone XR and iPhone 11 were released in six colors, including the standard black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED finishes. With the iPhone 12, Apple dropped that to only five colors at launch, but it turned out it was simply holding one back so it could later surprise us with a spring purple release. Apple also mixed things up in early 2022 by adding an Alpine Green iPhone 13 Pro to the lineup. That’s the only time (so far) we’ve seen a mid-cycle color release for an iPhone Pro model.
The iPhone 13 shook up the colors by adopting Starlight and Midnight, replacing black and white as the two neutral colors, but it otherwise continued the trend of only releasing five finishes while keeping one in reserve for a mid-cycle release in the spring — green for the iPhone 13 and yellow for the iPhone 14.
- iPhone XR: Black, White, Yellow, Coral, Blue, (PRODUCT)RED
- iPhone 11: Black, White, Yellow, Green, Purple, (PRODUCT)RED
- iPhone 12: Black, White, Green, Blue, (PRODUCT)RED, Purple
- iPhone 13: Midnight, Starlight, Pink, Blue, (PRODUCT)RED, Green
- iPhone 14: Midnight, Starlight, Blue, Purple, (PRODUCT)RED, Yellow
So, it stands to reason that Apple will likely follow suit with this Year’s iPhone 15. A new report from leaker Unknownz21 (via MacRumors) reveals six colors that Apple has apparently tested for the base model iPhone 15, although they stop short of suggesting which of these we’ll see in the lineup.
Conspicuously missing from the list is Starlight. While it’s certainly possible that Apple may choose to abandon that one this year, perhaps in favor of a “Blush Gold,” it would be the first time an iPhone hasn’t been released in a light neutral finish. Since the post refers to colors Apple tested with the iPhone 15, the omission of Starlight could just mean that Apple has already settled on that one and had no need to test it.
After all, the (PRODUCT)RED special edition color is also missing here, but it seems very unlikely that Apple would drop that from the lineup in light of its longstanding partnership with (RED). However, the (PRODUCT)RED finish is an established color associated with the (RED) organization and has remained unchanged since it was first added to the iPod nano in 2006.
If Apple follows the pattern it established with the iPhone 12, it’s likely only some of these will make the cut for this fall, with one held in reserve for an early 2024 color refresh. What’s more significant this year is that Apple is reportedly working on color-matched USB-C cables to be included with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, and we’ve already seen some leaked images that may give us a clue as to which colors Apple will be going with next month.
That’s three colors, plus Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED for the usual total of six. While the blue and yellow are readily apparent, the other shade is a bit tough to nail down. It looks like a cross between orange and pink that could likely land closer to the coral that Apple used in 2019 with the iPhone XR, which could turn out to be a refreshing change.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]