Why does the Deep Purple iPhone 14 Pro make me sad?

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max back at angle
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Tell me there is a purple phone and I can tell you which color I’m buying. Usually. I am a fan of purple, from slightly blushing blues to the deepest violet. You know there are plenty of purple people like me because there are stores devoted to purple. I’m not picky about my purple either, people. I just like purple, and I thought every purple. Until I saw the Deep Purple iPhone 14 Pro

There are two reasons I’m predisposed to buying the Deep Purple iPhone. The first is because it’s purple, of course. I like purple, I think I said so above. The second reason is that it’s unique. I value uniqueness, often more highly than other values. I think the silver iPhone 14 Pro is gorgeous, and the Space Black is very chic, but I was leaning Deep Purple simply because it’s different.

How else would you know which iPhone I’m using? 

Let’s be frank – it’s hard for an iPhone 14 Pro to stand out. I held my new iPhone 14 Pro next to a friend’s iPhone 13 Pro and it was almost impossible to tell them apart. Actually, that’s not true, because her phone was the light blue color Apple offers for that phone but not the new iPhone 14 Pro. I could recognize her phone because it was unique. I could tell it was an iPhone 13 Pro because of the specific blue color. 

That’s another reason to buy the Deep Purple, to show the world what you’ve got. You’ve got a big 48MP sensor behind those huge camera lenses. You’ve got the brightest smartphone screen in the world staring you in the face. If you don’t have that phone in Deep Purple, people may think you DON’T have autofocus on that selfie camera. Nobody will know about the satellites. 

It's more sinister than playful. It's the purple of Mordor...

I didn’t pre-order my iPhone 14 Pro to have on day one. I went to check it out in the store first, then managed to buy it on day two. I went to the Apple Store in Tyson’s Corner Mall in Virginia, one of the first two Apple Stores ever. It’s a humongous, gorgeous store, filled with light and wooden tables. Apple stores are lit so the products look exactly the same as they do in the commercial. I found my future iPhone 14 Pro, picked it up and felt … sad.

It was a dark and stormy iPhone. It’s an iPhone that reminds me of thunder approaching at night. It’s more sinister than playful. It’s the purple of Mordor, not the purple of The Joker. This isn’t an anti-hero purple, or a regal purple, or a tropical purple. It's purple with no joy. The iPhone 14 Pro in Deep Purple made me sad.

Samsung knows how to throw a purple party

I wonder what went wrong? Apple certainly knows a good purple. The iPhone 14 comes in a delightful purple color. It’s such a nice purple that when I bought a silicone case for my iPhone 14 Pro, I bought the light and friendly purple case that perfectly matched the iPhone 14. I need more power, more camera, more screen. I just wish I got a more friendly purple. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review Bora Purple V angled

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 in Bora Purple (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

Samsung really nailed purple this year, and you can tell by the way the entire product line has flushed with bora purple that it knows it found the right shade.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in Bora Purple, and Samsung brought the color back to the Galaxy S22 phone as well. The Galaxy S22 Plus comes in a lovely two-tone violet. You can even get the Galaxy Buds Pro 2 in Bora Purple, and there is a matching purple option for the Galaxy Watch 5 bands. A purple fanatic like myself can land in Samsung’s Galaxy and leave head-to-toe decked out in cutting-edge purple gear.

A phone called Pro needs to take things seriously

I understand why Apple went dark with its Deep Purple iPhone 14 Pro. Professional phones need to look serious. You can’t buy a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 or a Galaxy S22 Ultra in the happy-fun Bora Purple color. You may have a light blue, or a very natural-looking green color, or a very intense burgundy. You may not have a fun purple. This isn’t an Apple rule, this is industry-wide. 

That’s fine, I got a silver iPhone 14 Pro and it’s very nice, and then I slapped a purple case on it. As soon as I slipped the phone into the purple Apple Silicone case, the phone knew what it was wearing and changed the wallpaper to match. Apple-branded MagSafe cases are one of the best cases you can get, and they can communicate color information to the phone. Deep inside, my silver phone wanted to be purple, and it let just a little purple show through.

If color is less important than tip-top technology, you should read our list of the best smartphones money can buy.

Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.