Recently a startup I know was heavily pressured by Apple to change their iOS app marketing material. The problem? The app was shown with a white iPhone image on their website.
That’s the first I’ve ever heard of Apple freaking out over the color of the iPhone skin in third party marketing materials. I asked a bunch of app developers if they’d ever heard about this, and none of these other developers had. And some prominent apps, like Flipboard and Path, use the white iPhone on their sites.
Apple has clear guidelines on the use of ios device images. There’s no specific rule about using only black device images, but there is a requirement that only approved images can be used. All of those approved images are black.
The private written communications I’ve seen from Apple, though, are quite clear on the restriction. In verbal communications they’ve said that they’re reserving use of the white iPhone for their own marketing materials.
Any other app developers out there that have been pressured by Apple to only use black device images? Dalton Caldwell, the CEO of App.net, works with thousands of developers to help them market their apps. He says he hasn’t heard a word about this. They may, soon.
(CrunchFund is an investor in Path.)