ColorWare, a company that specializes in painting gadgets, is now ready to turn your iPhone 4S green, pink, yellow, or some combination of dozens of colors beyond black or white. However, for some unknown reason they’re going to need $1500 from you to get that done (if you buy the phone directly from the company). Given that it “only” costs $400 to paint up an iPad 2, me and Shane McGlaun of SlashGear are wondering what’s up with this mess?
If you ask me, $400 is too much to paint up an iPad, even if you get to choose a different color for the back, Apple logo, and Home button. But people have been super into getting their phones, MacBooks, XBoxes and more done up in gaudy colors for years, so obviously there’s something appealing about it. But again, the prices for other gadgets, including laptops, are generally between $400 and $700.
The company offers two options: buy the device from them and it’ll arrive painted or send in the device you already purchased. Usually the prices for products shipped directly are normal retail plus the cost of painting. For the iPhone 4S, not so. Customers who send an iPhone in can get the paint job for $265. But if you buy an unlocked 16GB iPhone you’ll pay the $1500 price even though the phone itself will cost $649.
I decided to fire up the LiveChat and ask customer service what’s up with the discrepancy. According to the rep, the vendor the company purchases iPhone 4S units from charges more than retail. “We pay over $1000,” the rep said, though she or he wasn’t aware of which vendor this might be.
The lesson is to buy the iPhone yourself and send it in if you really want the color job. Or you can choose a less expensive and time-consuming method for personalizing your phone. GelaSkins has several sweet designs on their iPhone 4S page that will also cover the front of the phone (unlike ColorWare’s process) and includes matching digital wallpaper. Or you can just get an iPhone 4S case in a fun color.
I’d be really interested in hearing from someone who would rather send their phone to ColorWare or even buy it from them for $1500. Drop us a comment.