Apple Tried And Failed To Make A Black MacBook Air?

Apple did indeed test out a black powder-coated MacBook Air, but the treatment absorbed body oils and didn't live up to Steve's standards, according to an anonymous Apple employee.


This employee got in touch after we wrote about emails we'd received claiming that the next-generation MacBook Air would have a black option.

The email:
The rumors that the next iteration of the MBA's will have an optional black finish is grounded in truth.

We tried to powder coat the Air's (and Pro's for that matter) in black as a test run. There are more than a few floating around campus.

The coating looks good and holds up well, but it also soaks up body oils, making the palm rest look pretty gross. Ultimately that is the reason that the top brass (Jobs) killed the idea... it was just too easy to make the computer look like crap.

At some point we may offer a black coating, but it won't be powder coat, and it won't be anytime soon.
The sender doesn't have an existing track record, but after chatting with him, we suspect his story checks out.

Related roundup: MacBook Air

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46 months ago

The title of this article seems very unMacrumors-like. Must be written by the new guy.
The title, however, did give me a good chuckle.

You should have seen the first version!

Steve Jobs Killed Black MacBook Air Because Your Greasy Palms Made It Gross

OK, just kidding. But I appreciate y'all bearing with me while I do my best to learn the MacRumors style.
Rating: 18 Votes
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46 months ago
The title of this article seems very unMacrumors-like. Must be written by the new guy.
The title, however, did give me a good chuckle.
Rating: 15 Votes
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46 months ago
I knew the black macbook air was too good to be true....
Rating: 12 Votes
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46 months ago

i find it hard to believe that apple would hire someone that doesn't know when to use an apostrophe.

everyone else, there is no apostrophe in 'pros' or 'airs' - an apostrophe is used to denote ownership, or in a contraction. this is 4th grade grammar. no excuses.


u shud use Capitol letters
Rating: 12 Votes
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46 months ago

I have seen black aluminum PC laptops, surely Apple can pull it off if Sony and Lenovo can.


Sorry but, "black aluminum PC laptops" and Apple don't belong in the same sentence..... Because there is a difference

Steve made the right decision, but I'm glad he realizes that the Black Mac needs to come back.
Rating: 11 Votes
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46 months ago

The title is 100% accurate.


Exactly why it was unmacrumours like! :p

For the all haters, that was a joke :D
Rating: 11 Votes
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46 months ago

I can't believe oily finger prints held them back. I had a black MacBook and it was a magnet for finger prints.


For all we know, complaints over fingerprints were one of the lessons they learned when they canned that model! (It was cool, though, for sure.)

Apple makes really great-looking products, with great fit-and-finish, and a great software experience to boot. That makes even tiny flaws stand out, when they would go unnoticed in a more cheaply-made device.

For instance, I moaned over a slight curved unevenness in my old PowerBook G4’s lid gap. Then I looked at other (non-Apple) laptops all around me. They were worse! But you hardly noticed. Yet the flaw stood out amid Apple’s perfect, simple, aluminum lines and uncluttered design (not crawling with PC-style vents and hatches and screw holes and painted plastic).

Heck, my friend’s Dell’s DVD drive cover fell right off, and I barely noticed! You know if that happened to 10 owners of a mass-selling Apple product it would be: “surprisingly widespread manufacturing woes leave Apple’s laptop future murky.” :p

If this rumor is true, Apple made the right call: building/stocking two separate sets of models is an expensive proposition if what it gets them is just a blog-hyped “fingergate” scandal. And 99.999% of people who would want a black Air (maybe even me) will still settle for a silver one; and Apple hasn’t lost a customer then.
Rating: 6 Votes
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46 months ago
That's a shame. I'd love to get one of these black puppies if they can sort out the coat.
Rating: 6 Votes
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46 months ago

You should have seen the first version!

Steve Jobs Killed Black MacBook Air Because Your Greasy Palms Made It Gross

OK, just kidding. But I appreciate y'all bearing with me while I do my best to learn the MacRumors style.


Keep it up Jordan ... You only learn and get better by doing more articles, and you have a great team to reach out to that can help you smooth out the rough edges....we all gotta start somewhere
Rating: 5 Votes
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46 months ago
Does anyone else think that this apple employee was told to come to the press by apple... to stop a false rumor, and for stopping people from having this expectation? Just like apple cleared up the confusion for hardware at WWDC, because they didn't want the press to come in with expectations of a new iPhone.

I feel like we might not notice it but apple counter leaks stuff too, just to keep us in check and not expecting something that isn't going to happen.
Rating: 4 Votes
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