An insider's guide to getting the new iPhone SE 3 if it gets announced today

Color matters. It's become less of a way to define your taste and more of a way to own a product that looks new again.

While some believe that this event could be one of Apple's most important in decades, I'm of the opinion that not only is this misplaced, but the casual customer will only be interested in this event if a new color for the iPhone 13, or the iPhone SE 3, is announced.

I can speak from experience here, having worked in a phone store for three years in a previous life.

Color is everything, and Apple knows it

One story of mine goes back to 2016. In the midst of launch day for the iPhone 7, Apple had announced an exclusive Jet Black color for the line. It collected more fingerprints than any model that preceded or followed it, but the shiny sheen did look great.

We sold out of these in the first three hours of opening, but there were still customers who had waited outside the store before opening, wanting only this color.

When I told them about the model selling out, I offered a waiting list, and they complied, regardless of their two-hour wait, and they came back in two weeks, ready to upgrade. Or go from their iPhone 7 in Space Gray on launch day, to Jet Black. It happened all the time.

Another similar story stems from when Samsung would offer its new Galaxy S7 smartphone in a light blue or Emerald Green color. Customers would switch networks just to have a semi-recent phone, but in a new color, and I'd help transfer the data across.

I mentioned previously that to see an iPhone 13 Pro in a shade of pink, alongside an iPhone 13 in a green variant could appeal to many, and with new rumors hinting towards this, I'm not surprised. I can see a similar story happening again for the iPhone 13 or iPhone SE 3, with the narrative repeating once again in stores across the world.

iPhone SE (2016) in Rose Gold

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The first iPhone SE in 2016 was modeled after the iPhone 5S in 2013 that was catered to those who wanted a smaller iPhone but with the latest features. But while the SE granted this wish, it also came in a new Rose Gold color that didn't appear in this design before.

From my time of selling and setting it up almost every day since it was released in March 2016, it was a challenge to find a Rose Gold iPhone SE for our customers at the time. Many simply didn't care about having the latest and greatest iPhone - they wanted one that has a great color that sets them apart from their family and friends, and that's still true in 2022.

The iPhone SE may come with better battery life, MagSafe, and more, but if it comes in a shade of purple or green, that's what will make the device another smash hit.

But we can go even further back than the SE, to when Apple and Nintendo were redefining color for audiences.

Game Boy (and the iMac) have been here before

Apple iMac G3 colors

(Image credit: Apple)

1998 heralded different color options for Apple's brand new iMac line, from Bondi-blue to cherry-red, alongside Nintendo bringing in an update to its Game Boy line, with the Game Boy Color.

For the first time you could play games in color on Nintendo's handheld, either with the games you already owned, or with ones to come that would be remade, but in full color such as Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening DX.

This line also came in countless color choices, to match the 'COLOR' branding:

Berry (C), Grape (O), Kiwi (L), Dandelion (O), and Teal (R).

With the final color being Purple, these choices lead the handheld to becoming a best seller soon after.

Links Awakening DX on Game Boy Color

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Color matters and Apple knows it. The event will most likely bring a new variant to the iPhone 13, and probably to the iPhone SE 3.

Green is a good candidate for the iPhone 13, but if the same form factor from the iPhone SE 2 goes unchanged for the iPhone SE 3, a purple variant in that design could be appealing to many.

Color has always made a difference to an existing product. Even the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had new colors to the team of Green and White over the years. But you can be sure that if there's a new M2 Mac that's touted as the most powerful, alongside an existing iPhone that comes in green at today's event, you'll be seeing more social media reactions about the new color instead of the new efforts of Apple Silicon.

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