In a column at TechCrunch, MG Siegler adds his voice to the growing chorus of claims of Apple's plans to add a "gold" color option for its upcoming iPhone 5S, with information coming from his various sources. The report follows a parts leak last week that appeared to show photos of the gold/champagne casing for the iPhone 5S.
Yes, there will be a gold iPhone.
That’s the latest I’m hearing from multiple sources after several weeks of rumors and possible component leaks suggesting the same thing. At first, I couldn’t believe Apple would break from the tradition of offering the simple choice: black and white (or “slate” and “silver” if you prefer for the iPhone 5) for their flagship device. Gold simply seemed too gaudy, perhaps even tacky. But a few compelling arguments countered my disbelief. And now, upon checking, sure enough, there will be gold.
Siegler goes on to note that the gold rear shell that showed up in photos last week is said to be a somewhat inaccurate representation of the device's actual color, indicating that it will be "less 'gold' and more 'champagne'."
Mockup of iPhone 5S in "champagne" (Source: iMore)
As for why Apple is pursuing a gold iPhone option, Siegler points out that it could in part be a strategy to upsell customers in emerging markets where the lower-cost "iPhone 5C" is expected to be a significant player.
A number of folks have noted that a gold iPhone would likely do well in the Chinese and Indian markets as well, where the color is very popular. This is especially interesting given the talk about the “iPhone 5C” being key in these markets as well, with a presumed unsubsidized lower price-point. One line of thinking was that the lower-cost iPhone would all-but replace the higher cost one in these markets. But perhaps the gold option would still be enticing enough for some buyers to lure them to the higher end model. That’s all pure speculation, of course.
Siegler's comments follow a research note from last week in which KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that the iPhone 5S will be offered in a gold casing in addition to Apple’s traditional white and black offerings. Another report from Japanese blog Mac Otakara stated that the iPhone 5S would come in a gold color as well, while also sharing additional information about the device.
Apple will reportedly unveil the next-generation iPhone on September 10, but it is still unclear whether the event will focus singularly on the iPhone 5S or include the announcement of the lower-cost iPhone as well.