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Is the red iPhone 12 pink?

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Is the red iPhone 12 pink?

The iPhone 12 comes in several different colors, including red. However, the shade of red used by Apple has sometimes appeared to look slightly pink or coral in photos online and in reviews. In this article, we’ll examine whether the red iPhone 12 is actually pink in color.

The Colors of the iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models initially launched in October 2020 in 5 colors:

Black White
Blue Green

Later in April 2021, Apple added a new purple color option as well. So in total there are 6 color choices for the iPhone 12.

The red color option has a glossy glass back and a matte aluminum frame, just like the other colors. Apple marketing refers to it simply as “red” or “(PRODUCT)RED.”

When Apple releases a red version of their iPhones, a portion of sales goes to the Global Fund to combat HIV/AIDS. So the red color holds special meaning for raising awareness and funds to fight disease.

How the Red iPhone 12 Looks in Photos

In official Apple product images and promotional photos, the red iPhone 12 looks like a bright, vibrant red. However, many reviews, unboxing videos, and customer photos seem to show the red color looking a bit different.

Under some lighting conditions, the red appears to look slightly pink, coral or rose gold. There is a subtle soft quality to the red tone in unofficial photos that make some question if Apple’s red is really more of a pink.

Reviewers have described the red iPhone 12 color as:

– “Pinkish red”
– “Rosy finish”
– “Coral red”

When put side-by-side with other red products, like red cases or red headphones, some feel the iPhone 12’s red looks more pink. The soft rose tone becomes especially apparent in low light compared to a true bright red.

What Accounts for the Pinkish Tone?

So what makes the red iPhone 12 look slightly pink or soft red in some photos and lighting conditions? A few factors may be responsible:

– The glass’s translucency – Light passes through the glass back showing the internal components, which affects the visual color.
– Reflectiveness – The glossy glass finish reflects nearby colors, such as skin tone, softening the red.
– Dyes and pigments – The exact formula of dyes or pigments Apple uses may lean slightly pinkish rather than a pure red.
– Metamerism – The red may look different under different light sources, an effect called metamerism.

The red iPhone 12 is constructed of layers of glass, coatings, aluminum, and internal components. Light passes through and bounces around these layers, interacting with the red dyes and pigments within the glass.

This can alter the way the red color is perceived compared to an opaque red surface. The translucency and reflectiveness of the glass give it an optical depth that makes the red take on a subtle rosy tone.

Apple may have intentionally chosen a red with a touch of pink. And metamerism means the color can look noticeably different under incandescent, LED, or natural lighting.

Is the Red iPhone 12 Really Pink or Red?

So is the red iPhone 12 really pink or red? The answer seems to be that it’s officially called red by Apple, but has subtle pinkish qualities that become noticeable in some lighting conditions.

A few key points:

– Apple officially calls the color “red” in marketing and on the website
– The red does look bright and vivid red in product photos and Apple’s official images
– In unofficial images, it often appears softer and slightly pink toned
– Translucency, reflectiveness, dyes, and metamerism may give it pinkish traits

While not a vivid, pure red, it’s not fully pink either. The subtle rosiness seems to be a side-effect of the glass construction interacting with the red pigment.

Perhaps the most accurate description is a soft, coral red with a touch of pinkish color that’s more visible in certain lighting. But Apple sticks with simply calling it red.

So while the iPhone 12 red may not be a perfect red, it provides a distinctive color option with its glassy, pink-tinged red finish. The color seems deliberately chosen by Apple to stand apart with its warmer, softer red tone compared to a flat, vibrant red.


The red iPhone 12 does appear to take on a pinkish or coral tone in some photos and lighting conditions. This seems to be an effect of the glass construction, reflectiveness, dye choice, and interaction with lighting.

While Apple officially calls the color red, it’s reasonable for reviews and customers to observe that it can look slightly pink or rosier compared to a pure, bright red.

Ultimately, color is complex. The red iPhone 12 probably doesn’t look perfectly uniformly red at all times, but that’s part of the uniqueness of its design. The soft red finish makes it distinctive in the iPhone lineup, while still providing a red option for those who want it.

So while not exactly pink, the red iPhone 12 could reasonably be described as a pink-tinged or coral red in many situations. But Apple’s designation as simply “red” isn’t wrong either. The subtleties of its color are part of what makes this version of the iPhone 12 stand out, even if it’s not a perfect red.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about the color of the red iPhone 12:

Does the red iPhone 12 look pink in real life?

It can look slightly pinkish or coral in some lighting conditions and photos, though in most official images it appears vividly red. The glass gives it a translucent, soft red tone.

What colors does the iPhone 12 come in?

The iPhone 12 models initially launched in black, white, blue, green, and red. Later a purple option was added.

Why does the red iPhone 12 look different in some photos?

Factors like the glass construction, reflectiveness, dye choice, and metamerism can make the red color look lighter and slightly pink toned in some situations.

Is the pink iPhone 12 a real color option?

No, Apple hasn’t released a pink version of the iPhone 12. The red model shows pinkish qualities in some lighting but isn’t fully pink.

Does Apple call it pink or red?

Apple refers to the color as red in all marketing and technical specs, not pink. But some reviews describe it as a pinkish red.


While opinions may differ on whether the red iPhone 12 is pink or red, examination shows it likely falls somewhere in the middle. The translucency and reflectiveness of the glass give it a lighter, rosier red tone that can appear subtly pink in the right conditions. But Apple sticks with calling it red, which isn’t inaccurate according to most images. Ultimately it provides an attractive color for customers that stands out from true bright red.