Retailers and wholesalers should consider the most popular cell phone colors when restocking.

The iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and other models come in a range of colors, and there’s no simple answer to the question of which phone color is best. iPhone color preferences tend to vary by model and geography, and while sales are still largely driven by camera, screen, and battery stats, it’s clear that color matters to many customers. Targeting and stocking the iPhone colors your customers want can result in more sales and less dead stock.

This post aims to provide information about the most sought after colors in the used phone market, based on our experience and sales data.

iPhone Color Options

The most common phone colors across Apple handsets are black, silver, gold, rose gold, and the high sheen jet black. Here’s a breakdown by model, keeping in mind that options for certain handsets have expanded over the years.

  • iPhone XS and XS Max — silver, space gray, and Apple’s newest shade of gold (all colors come with a black front to minimize the look of the notch)
  • iPhone XR — black, white, blue, red, yellow, and coral (the most color options since the iPhone 5c was released)
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus — silver, space gray, gold, and red
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus — matte black, jet black, silver, gold, rose gold, and red
  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold
  • iPhone 6 and 6 Plus — silver, gold, and space gray

Which Phone Color Is Best?

Apple doesn’t release information about which iPhone colors sell the best. Even if they did, those sales figures might not reflect the preferences of consumers buying used iPhones. The best way for retailers and wholesalers to answer this question is to look at their own sales figures. We can only share the observations we’ve collected over time, based on what retailers and wholesalers are buying from WeSellCellular. 

For example, the super shiny, super scratchable jet black is probably the least popular color among used phone wholesalers and retailers because the finish is so delicate. It’s hard to get a used jet black iPhone that isn’t showing its age. Rose gold has become the next least favorite color, which is unexpected considering it was one of the most sought after colors when it first came out.

Geography also plays a role in what iPhone colors are preferred. In parts of Europe, people tend to prefer plain black phones. Each country and possibly each city will have different phone color preferences, though it’s hard to say what drives those preferences or how they will change over time. 

Gold remains popular, especially for the iPhone 8 Plus, XS, and XS Max series. This may be because these are high-end iPhones, and the end consumer may prefer an opulent, exclusive-looking metallic finish. This can also explain why Apple is releasing the more affordable XR in brighter colors, similar to how the budget iPhone 5c came in blue, green, yellow, and coral, in addition to white. However, color seems to be less relevant when it comes to lower-end phones, and we’ll discuss why in the next section. When it comes to the upper mid-range phones, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus fans seem to prefer black and silver.

Gauging Customer Preferences

Consumer surveys are one place to look for information about the most popular cell phone color. An older survey by found that people overwhelmingly preferred black phones. Newer iPhone-specific surveys point to red and gold as possible fan favorites. However, when restocking inventory retailers should keep in mind that consumer preferences may not reflect actual sales. A cost-conscious consumer may like the red iPhone best, but they’ll buy white if that’s the most budget-friendly choice. Consumers also tend to care more about a phone’s condition and stats than its color when they’re buying lower-end devices.

What we do know is that there is less demand for the more “out there” iPhone colors, like the iPhone 5c and XR options. Historically, consumers have preferred black and white handsets over flashier colors like yellow. New iPhone colors often sell out faster in pre-order, but this may be because fewer of them are produced, and eventually, the initial excitement fades away. The early popularity of the rose gold iPhones 6s is an example of this. 

Which phone color is best will ultimately be influenced by what your customer base looks like. Some retailers will only buy used iPhones from a wholesaler if they offer a mix of colors, so wholesalers who sell to retailers or other wholesalers should carry a mix of different color options. Resellers may not need to worry as much about color unless they can identify obvious trends in their own sales, as iPhone resale value depends a lot more on the battery, the condition of the handset, and the generation. However, if you have customer demand for a less sought after color, this could be a great opportunity because you may be able to get those handsets at a cheaper price. 

These are broad observations based on our sales history, but they offer you a solid starting point when considering what colors to purchase for your inventory. 

Ready to start stocking up now? Whether you are a retailer, distributor, or refurbisher, WeSellCellular can help you find the devices you need, when you need them.

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