two scientists looking at a brain

CloudArmy Reactor Reveals Which Apple Phone Your Non-Conscious Self Really Wants

Apple’s new iPhones offer consumers a choice of two main models and three colours. While there is much talk about the technical features of the new line-up, one of the key drivers of sales will be how visually appealing phone-buyers find them.

How intuitively attractive and appealing we find a particular design is not something we tend to be good at putting into words. For this reason, and being interested in how consumers are responding to the new designs, I decided to run an implicit response test to measure how people are reacting at an intuitive, non-conscious level to the just-released phones (in particular, the three color variants of the iPhone 8 and two color variants of the iPhone X).

Using the Cloud Army Reactor platform I was able to construct an implicit test immediately after the announcement of the new iPhones and launch it straight away. I decided to create a test measuring three key ‘associations’ with the new designs: how much each was driving desire, how much it was considered ‘attractive’ and how positively emotionally engaging it was.

The results were back within a couple of hours and showed some interesting patterns in how people were reacting to the new designs:

· Gold is the most engaging, attractive and desirable of the color options.

· iPhone 8 is more engaging and attractive, but iPhone X more desirable.
· In particular, it’s the silver iPhone X that’s most desirable.

While most tech products – including smartphones – are traditionally black or silver, it was interesting that the most emotionally engaging color, and the one that evoked most desire was the Gold option (only available on the iPhone 8, not the X), while Space grey was the least strong performer on those two metrics. Indeed, space grey, on both the iPhone 8 and X was the only color not to be statistically significantly emotionally engaging.

Also interesting is that the iPhone X evokes stronger levels of desire, while not being as automatically attractive as the 8 model. This could be due to the more unusual look of the X. The screen extends further out to the edges of the phone, maximising the viewing area and resulting in a thinner bezel.

These may be good things, but the screen extends unevenly at the top, resulting in a slightly strange shape. It may be that the superior technical features of this model, and the well-publicised expensive price make it automatically feel more desirable, despite not being as emotionally engaging or attractive as the 8.

When shown the images, the iPhone X evoked a statistically significant higher level of desire when seen in silver than in space grey. Similarly, the space grey color was significantly less ‘attractive’ on the iPhone 8 than the gold or silver versions.

If we look at all 5 phone designs we tested, averaging together the three types of scores, in terms of non-conscious appeal we would rank them in the following way:

1. Gold iPhone 8
2. Silver iPhone X
3. Silver iPhone 8
4. Space Grey iPhone X
5. Space Grey iPhone 8
In summary, it would appear that broadening out the color options available, beyond the more traditional space grey, is a wise choice on Apple’s behalf! However, the results would suggest that they may be missing out by not having a gold version of the iPhone X.