Following yesterday’s reports that a black aluminum MacBook Air could be released in the next refresh, an Apple employee apparently sent an email suggesting that Apple already tried producing a black MacBook Air, but were unsatisfied with its finish.
The email reportedly reads as follows:
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.
Although the source of the email does not have a proven track record, MacRumors did chat with him about it, and have found his report to be credible. Considering how touchy black objects can be (black gadgets, for instance, are notorious for showing fingerprints and dirt), this seems pretty easy to believe – although I’m disappointed that the new “black beast” will likely not see the light of day any time soon.