As has become par for the course, a flood of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C rumors have been unleashed on the tech world amid speculation that the Cupertino tech giant will release a new model next month. The latest rumor, concerning a gold-colored iPhone, may seem a bit far-fetched – but it is backed up by a series of leaks, analyst predictions, and tech insider speculation. It looks like gold may be joining Apple’s traditional black and white lineup.
Last week, a series of leaked photos showing a gold-colored iPhone rear casing appeared on French tech blog MacBoutic. The shell appears authentic, sporting the same machined edges as the current iPhone 5. However, the Apple logo is missing – allegedly “blurred” out, although no indication of a touch-up is visible.
“It's possible that this is a preproduction sample and that sort of lettering was missing entirely, or possibly a knockoff part not manufactured for Apple,” said MacRumors.
Earlier this month, BGR also contributed to the golden iPhone 5S rumor mill by posting photos of some “champagne”-colored components, which included the power button, silent mode switch, and volume rocker. While not quite as bright as a bar of yellow gold bullion, the color appears to be a good match for the more subtle shade of gold seen on the leaked backing.
Also last week, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told AppleInsider that the gold iPhone 5S would be offered to compliment the current color options. While previous iPhones have been offered in black and white, the iPhone 5 is technically offered in “Slate” and “Silver” (the faceplates are black and white, but the aluminum backing is a different shade). Perhaps a gold option would sit well next to a silver handset.
Kuo also shared a few other educated guesses, including the widely-discussed inclusion of a fingerprint sensor (which Kuo said will be embedded in a sapphire glass home button). He also said that the 5S will maintain the current 4-inch form factor but be augmented by an A7 processor and a better lens assembly for the rear-facing camera. He expects a 128GB storage option as well.
Today, TechCrunch reporter M.G. Siegler chimed in with his own assertion that the gold iPhone will manifest itself in the near future. After checking with industry sources, Siegler came to the conclusion that “gold would be one of the easiest colors to anodize onto an iPhone.” He also stated that gold is one of the most popular after-market case and cover color choices.
Siegler added: “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.”
As a company that caters to the “premium device” crowd, gold may prove to be a popular color choice for Apple – but some consumers may simply find it too gaudy.
In the race to build the best smartphone, aesthetic appeal only goes so far. As the saying goes, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”