iPhone 5S (gold, two-up, left angled)

All the chatter over whether a gold (or champagne) iPhone would be a good move on Apple’s part has served to highlight a glaring gap in our global knowledge.

What started out last week as a report on the economic value of a golden iPhone, quickly morphed into suggestions that gold was a preferred color in China – even a ‘lucky’ color for consumers there. Now comes the coup de grâce of the color debate: a comparison of auto tints…

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt took a look at a chart of auto colors and wrote earlier in the week that the favorite color of Chinese consumers (at least those buying autos) is silver, not gold.

Note that gold is the easiest color to anodize onto the iPhone’s shell. Others suggested a gold iPhone would help Apple retain interest in its handset, a factor that often declines between product introductions.

dupont2011_china-colorhr

Forget looking at China’s auto tastes for hints.

After all, red is seen as good luck in China, not gold. Instead, look at the fashion industry, which is gaga over gold. Couple that with the fact HTC and other Asian smartphone brands already produce golden handsets, then top it all off with the reality that the iPhone is viewed more often as a fashion brand.

Besides China, a golden iPhone could sell well in other regions, particularly India. While China’s new rich are driving the demand for gold, in the world’s second most populace nation, gold for centuries has been seen as an item of good luck.

gold iphone 3

Indian weddings are drenched in gold, families eagerly going into debt to buy ropes of the material. As Reuters reports, a gold iPhone 5S could be a way for Apple to “upsell” iPhone 5C owners on a more expensive handset.

Although the iPhone 5S – believed to be the direct replacement for the iPhone 5 – is often mentioned as receiving the golden treatment, don’t expect the budget-minded iPhone 5C to go gold as well.

So, is gold lucky for Chinese consumers?

Not really.

But it could be a different story for Apple.

  • Linton Findlay

    how long until samsung start making gold variants of their phones if this is successful

    • OhSixTJ

      They’ve already made one. Google is your friend on this…

    • trumpet444

      They already have one. Its called the Hennessy. Please glance at a non-apple blog every once in a while before you go all fanboy again

      • Linton Findlay

        lol that looks like garbage. reminds me of this.

      • OMG

        looool

      • Stephen Michael Simon

        I used to own this exact phone “back in the day”…

      • Tikimaker

        Really ? Your hard timing this guy for not researching a golden phone? It gave you something to do and write about, you should be thanking him.

  • Manuel Molina

    I want one, but only if the phone has something better than looking like the same iPhone than the last. The gold is nice.

  • Nice. Expect Nokia, Samsung and HTC to copy.

    • Kash Gummaraju

      Copy what? None of the companies that you’ve named have copied anything from apple especially Nokia and HTC. It’s stated in the article that HTC and other OEMs already have gold colored phones being sold in China. And if you haven’t noticed Apple has been copying all of the other OEMS out there. If apple makes a gold iPhone it’s apparently original and then a company who has already been making gold colored phones for a while is as a copycat or they’re just seen as garbage? You fanboys make me sick. If you opened your eyes for once you might see that ever since ios 4 apple has been copying everyone else out there and marketing the stolen features as new and innovative and their own. Every other company is looking for ways to better battery life or better this or better that. But apple sits there and says that somehow not doing anything that helps their products actually stand up against competition is actually helping you. Nowadays consumers are becoming smarter and smarter they’re no longer fooled by Samsung’s touch wiz crap or Apple’s consistent attempts to persuade people that the price they’re paying is actually worth the cost. Consumers know that for the same price they can get a phone that does everything that the iPhone does and more. They also look for specs nowadays. So somehow you’re telling me that Apple is super original and everything they release is new and unheard of until they announced it? Think again the article states that Chinese phone companies already offer gold colored phones and if so then Apple is going to be copying them? It’s just a color no one will be copying anyone by using a similar set of colors.

      • mehrab

        Apple is not copying they are just implementing for e.g quick controls is baked on ios 7 but is unlike anything ever seen before in terms of look feel opening perfoming tasks on it

      • Kash Gummaraju

        OMG never before seen design. Yeah because no one else wanted to use the horrendous mess that ios 7 is. You’re saying quick controls are new and fully original? This is what I just stated in my essay, when Apple makes something it’s new and original and unheard of. But in reality it isn’t, quite possible the most original thing that apple may have made is the siri. Ever used an android device? Just pull down to notifications and when you click on a corner and voila! quick controls! There is nothing new about control center except the translucent design and from where it’s launched.

      • mehrab

        No i never said they came up with it first, i said they implemented it differently but the public really does not care who copied who its about who did it better in this case its apple. Notification centre came from a jailbreak tweak developer and was first seen on jb iphones. Ios is just gorgeous from the animations to the black and white themes inside the apps from the parralex to the panoramic wallpapers to the live motion wallpapers to the advanced design that makes everything more neat and simplistic. To the translucensies changing you”re wall paper has massive affects on buttons keyboards etc

      • mehrab

        Besides those companies basically ripped of iphones “the modern day smartphone” to begin with they ripped of the concept but did it with their implentations but mostly FULLLYYY COPIED

      • Kash Gummaraju

        No one ripped off of Apple, Apple ripped off of all the previous touch screen smartphones, it’s only considered modern because it was actually responsive and once again an Apple product. Try to come up with a different design for the smartphones that came after the iphone that also used the rectangular design that’s also appealing. You can’t,because rectangular black slabs are modern and have a futuristic look.
        Tell me which of the following is original and came first?

      • Piyush

        How is that copy , its just that apple removed black shade from top and bottom of previous ios lockscreen. PLZ dont start flame war.

      • mehrab

        Wooaaahhh this is soo big of a deal. This is not a copy ios 7 is unlike any other mobile os design

      • mehrab

        From the puch to zoom ti the app store to the buttons to the way it functions everything was a blatant ripoff

      • 3aloo1

        my eyes strained after reading this

  • therealjjohnson

    I hope there is a black and a white gold option.

    • TheEnderKidTZX

      I’ve always liked my iPhones to be black. I never had a white one but next iP or iPT will be white for me definitely. Unless they come with a nice new cyan blue color.

      • Singed

        A matter of preference, really. I enjoyed the black iPhones quite a bit until I got a white iPad and now I can’t imagine an Apple product looking any differently.
        As for the colored ones, ehhhh, they look pretty cheesy, if I will be getting a 5C by any chance, I’d like it to have the white color option.

  • STK10

    LOL there have been heaps of gold phones this isnt new. People thinking other brands have never used gold ROFL

    • OMG

      right but folks only take notice when its apples iphones cause the iphone the the most popular and desired phone.

    • Matthew Cooper

      Apple has always had a way of thinking they came up with things first

  • :O

    That first picture is…wow. I want it.

    • TheEnderKidTZX

      The first picture reminds me of Lint Chocolate.

      • Hyr3m

        *Lindt

        Btw the best (factory-made) chocolate in the world if Frey 😀

  • Markus Hudobnik

    I would buy it if it was gold

  • iOS 7

    Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to iOS 7

    • David Gitman

      ..

      • OMG

        and jit was great

    • Fevostone

      I don’t kno about you but I’ve been using iOS 7 from beta 1-6 and I don’t like some of the icons but now I don’t really notice them..

    • OMG

      ahahahhahaahhahahhhh that is funny as hell

    • mehrab

      I love ios7″s design but this is funny

    • JAE_Tech

      Oooooo

      • 3aloo1

        First time looked on a new smartphone

  • Fevostone

    So is this ip5’s going to have a 1080p display..?

    • Ian Jackson

      They’d have to change the aspect ratio of the phone and since this is an “S” don’t hold your breath. We’re talking about Apple here anyways.. They don’t innovate much. They just take current products and add their charm and optimizations.

      • Fevostone

        So true mate

      • Rowan09

        So who’s innovating much since Apple isn’t? I agree Apple isn’t doing anything revolutionary at the moment but this is not exclusive to Apple right now, no one is doing anything revolutionary, everyone is just improving on current devices.

      • *TOMBOMB*

        Improving is the stepping stone to innovation. They have to optimize current technology so that they can discover the next big thing. Pretty exciting times we live in

      • mehrab

        Since when did hard hitting specification become innovation? I have 1080 p phines its nothing special tbh

  • OMG

    so gold was not made cause it looks good it was purely a money making move by cook.. great

  • Joseph

    Samsung is readying their gold Galaxy S5. Those b*tches.

    • OMG

      yup

    • DissQuss

      Samsung readying their matte goldish galaxy s5 now that color is the shit!!

  • Jad Boukai

    Why does it even matter?! This is a color option, there’s no advantage over this one compared to the other models. Why is this something to even have multiple pages about? “It will also come in Gold/Champagne now,” that’s all Apple or anyone else needs to say. If there is anything to discuss, it should be if the iPhone will now come in a VARIETY of colors, not just one extra.

  • Joe Benning

    I’ve never understood why color is so important. I guess it’s because there’s no way in HELL I would have a iPhone without a case. Ever.

    • Dave Elg

      That’s interesting. I’ve owned more cases than I can count, yet I find a caseless iPhone to be my best option.

  • Kvan Rh

    wonderful