The person ultimately responsible for choosing colors for BMW cars, Sandy McGill, the other day attributed today’s popularity of white cars to the influence of Apple on consumers and designers.
Prior to Apple, white was associated with things like refrigerators or the tiles in your bathroom. Apple made white valuable.
McGill’s claims at first glance seem to be backed up by DuPont’s annual Color Popularity Report for 2011 that shows that 22% of new cars sold in the world were white, tied with silver. However, if you look at the historical data, white and lighter colors have been increasing in popularity for decades, long before Apple embraced white as their primary (no pun intended) design color.