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BMW designer says Apple made white the most popular color for car buyers

Apple's design influence is felt well beyond consumer electronics, as the iconic white iPod and earbuds sparked demand for white automobiles, according to a designer with carmaker BMW.

Sandy McGill, BMW Designworks' lead designer in color, materials and finish, attributed the popularity of white automobiles to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. He said in an interview with Motoramic (via Fortune) that though white is a "high maintenance" color for cars, it has become the most popular exterior car color for American buyers.

"Prior to Apple, white was associated with things like refrigerators or the tiles in your bathroom," McGill told author Brett Berk. "Apple made white valuable."

The rise of white among automobiles has led the color to replace silver, which was the most popular exterior car color in America for nearly a decade.

Though white was the primary color for the iPod for years, Apple moved away from white for some time. Last year, Apple began offering the iPhone 4, iPad and iPod touch in white, signaling a comeback for the color in the company's product lineup, while all of Apple's iPod and iOS lineup have shipped with white headphones for years.

Leaked images have suggested that Apple's rumored "iPad mini," a smaller 7.85-inch version of its touchscreen tablet, will also be available in white when it launches later this year.