ColorWare’s $1,600 iPhone 6s Retro recalls the Apple IIe

colorware iphone 6s retro
Bought an iPhone but finding its rose gold or space gray finish just too mainstream and pedestrian these days? ColorWare, the prolific Minnesota-based company perhaps best known for its splashy Mac and iPhone outer skins, is all to happy to help you stand out from the hemogony (but not inexpensively).

ColorWare offers aftermarket makeovers of all degrees of ostentation, but its latest design for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Retro, is an understated throwback. It’s a matte mix of beige and brown based on the angular outer shell of the 1983 Apple IIe, and as such features a few unique design touches. Ridges on the left and right sides that mimic airflow vents, and in place of the iPhone’s typically nondescript iconography is the Apple rainbow logo of ’80s and ’90s fame. And also just like a few of Apple’s early computers, the Retro models are rather exclusive: ColorWare’s restricting orders to 50 total (25 for the iPhone 6s and 25 for the iPhone 6s Plus).

Sticking out from the iPhone proletariat doesn’t come cheap, though. The unlocked iPhone 6s Retro starts at $1,600; the 6S Plus is $1,700. For ColorWare, that’s about par for the exorbitant course — the company’s last throwback Apple item, the 2014 MacBook Air Retro, was priced at $3,499 (and limited to a 10-model run).

ColorWare textures more than computers, but its other customizations don’t come any cheaper. A stylized PS4 controller runs upwards of $165. One red pair of wireless Beats headphones costs $749. But ColorWare says its manufacturing process is what justifies the premium: Instead of relying on the types of adhesive skins you see in, for example, the checkout line at Best Buy, it applies several layers of custom paint.

Be that as it may, more than a grand for a disco-era iPhone design seems a bit excessive. But if you simply can’t standing bearing the monotony of Apple’s colloquial iPhones, then the Retro edition might be your best bet. After all, what are the chances of running into any of those 24 other equally discerning buyers?

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