Apple’s Dragon Year Limited Edition Phone Case Sparks Controversy
By Chen Yingzhi, Journalist
As the Year of the Dragon arrives, many global brands have launched Dragon-year limited edition and China-exclusive products featuring “dragon elements.”
Recently, Apple also introduced a new Dragon-year edition phone case on its official website, priced at 498 yuan and compatible with the iPhone 15 series. It is worth noting that this series of phone cases is produced by OtterBox, a manufacturer known for producing protective cases for Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad, and illustrated by the renowned artist Yulong Lli.
From the product images, it is evident that the phone case features a red color scheme with a coiled dragon surrounding the Apple logo, creating a strong New Year atmosphere. According to the product description on Apple’s official website, this phone case “selects the OtterBox Lumen series MagSafe protective case specially designed for the Spring Festival to celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dragon,” and “vividly presents the mighty spirit of the dragon with splendid peony fireworks patterns, curved lines, and bright colors, symbolizing celebration and auspiciousness.”
However, the controversy arises from the fact that many netizens have pointed out that the dragon depicted in the illustration only has four claws, which contradicts the traditional Chinese cultural belief that “a dragon has five claws, while four claws symbolize a python.”
On January 22, the hashtag #AppleDragonYearPhoneCaseMockedAsPython trended on social media, sparking heated discussions. Some netizens directly mocked the situation, saying, “So, you’re not an Apple, but a Python.” Others focused on the price, commenting, “It’s not just a drawing mistake, but it also costs 498 yuan.”
Nevertheless, some argue that the number of claws and their symbolic meaning of the dragon have varied throughout different historical periods. In traditional Chinese culture, the dragon did not always have five claws from the beginning; it evolved from three claws to four claws before becoming five claws.
On the afternoon of January 22, the designer of the phone case shared their creative process on social media, stating, “The inspiration comes from the lively events during the Spring Festival, such as fireworks displays, acrobatics, and dragon dances, representing a fusion of tradition and modernity.”
According to a report by Beijing Business Daily on January 23, in response to this matter, Apple’s official customer service stated that the situation has been thoroughly documented and reported, but it is currently uncertain whether the product will be optimized or updated in the future.
Source: Morning News of Xiaoxiang