All color variants should be released with a launch

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| May 1, 2014


Color helps things stand out. After all, the world would be a boring place if it was all just one color, wouldn’t it? The same goes for our belongings. Not everybody drives a blue car, carries a red purse, or wears white shoes; everybody has different preferences and tastes. Phones are no exclusion to this rule. Even dating back to some of the very first cell phones, color choice was a pretty big thing then as there wasn’t much else to customize at the time. Phones seem to come in two or three color variants with each release. Red, purple, green, pink, and blue phones were all pretty common.


When smartphones arrived, however, things took a different turn. Instead of being released with every color possible, for the most part you had black and white to choose from - sometimes just one or the other. Still, it wasn’t too big of a deal, because more importantly with smartphones you need an actual case to help protect your phone from drops and other unfortunate mishaps. Lately, however, it seems that OEMs are trying to stand out from each other by offering more than just your standard black or white options.


Not all carriers have this sudden change of heart. I have to give props to Nokia for always having provided some crazy colors to choose from; but for everyone else, it seems like color variants of flagship phones are being treated as more of a novelty than anything else these days. Not only that, but they also seem to release some odd months after the phone’s initial release.


I bring this up because of the rumors regarding the HTC One (M8) possibly coming in red, blue, and pink color options. While I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, this kind of move always leaves me a little puzzled. I mean, it’s not like they suddenly developed the technology to produce pink or blue phones. It’s clearly a ploy to keep their name relevant as the months pass, but it just seems silly to me.


I can’t single HTC out on this, because Samsung has done this as well. With the Galaxy S4, the phone was eventually offered in seven different colors over time as sales slowed. While I can see that announcing a new color might spark some interest in some people, I can’t help but think that if they just offered all of those colors from the get-go then the people who suddenly changed their minds some odd months down the road about that wretched white Galaxy S4 would be just as eager to get their hands on the purple version when it was first released.


The same goes for the HTC One M8. If somebody wasn’t all that giddy about the device at first, what’s a new color really going to do? Make it go faster? Make it sound better? Make the service signal stronger? No! In the end, what new colors probably does more is make people who went ahead and bought the phone last month a little remorseful about their purchase. Maybe they wanted a blue HTC M8, but since they went ahead and already threw their money at you then they don’t get that option. Sorry about your luck, mate!


Okay, that all sounds kind of harsh when I put it that way. I’m not really that upset about it, but I do have to wonder if the whole “releasing a new color a few months later” deal really works or not. It seems like an obvious and desperate way to keep a phone relevant throughout the news. I just think that all color variants that will ever be released for a particular model should just be thrown out there with the rest of them at launch.


Images via CNet, Gigaom


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