The imminent launch of the next-generation MacBook Airs brought along new rumors, one of which was that the ultraportable notebooks would be available in a premium black finish. MacRumors had first reported on the rumor after it received the tip from several sources. But today, it looks like the black version never made the cut.
MacRumors received an email from an anonymous Apple employee that confirmed the company was indeed working on a MacBook Air with a black finish. The black powder coating looked good but easily soaked up body oils making the palm rest areas look "gross." The email reads:
The rumors that the next iteration of the MBA's will have an optional black finish is grounded in truth.
We tried to powder coat the Air's (and Pro's for that matter) in black as a test run. There are more than a few floating around campus.
The coating looks good and holds up well, but it also soaks up body oils, making the palm rest look pretty gross. Ultimately that is the reason that the top brass (Jobs) killed the idea... it was just too easy to make the computer look like crap.
At some point we may offer a black coating, but it won't be powder coat, and it won't be anytime soon.
The anonymous employee does not have a track record with MacRumors, but from their conversations they believe he is telling the truth. So if you were hoping for a black MacBook Air, you'll have to wait indefinitely.