The idea of Apple making a gold iPhone 5S would have seemed fanciful at best just a few months ago.
Now, after a string of parts leaks and well known Apple-watchers speaking up, such a device seems certain to be revealed at the company’s mooted launch event on September 10th.
While the colour itself is in dispute, with some saying it’s more ‘champagne’ than gold, the concept itself isn’t.
After years of taking a somewhat Henry Ford-approach to its smartphone, Apple is about to go all Technicolor.
The budget iPhone 5C has leaked in an array of different hues, from green to blue, and now the top-end iPhone 5S is set for a non-monochrome finish.
Apple’s reasoning is said to do with the luxury markets of China and India.
Bling is the thing across both countries, where the increasingly affluent upper middle-classes love to show off their designer kit.
But surely that’s not the sole excuse for a move that Steve Jobs would have doubtless found distasteful.
No, what this is also about is Apple finally having to make like every other mobile- manufacturer, and start offering features like different colours in order to entice customers in a hugely over saturated market.
Nokia’s been at it for years and Samsung is forever touting so-called limited-edition colours of its high-end handsets.
The aim is to make users feel important, without having to offer heaps of new functionality.
For years, Apple was immune to this way of doing things. Its brand alone helped sell phones.
Those days are long gone, as rivals can offer everything and more to consumers.
Apple is now playing catch-up, offering a bigger screen last year and new colours now.
It doesn’t change the fact that we’re now dealing with just another manufacturer.
Yes, a very successful one, but one which doesn’t make the conversation, merely participates in it.
There’s no doubt that a gold or champagne iPhone will sell to a certain kind of consumer; those who like Vertu phones and ostentatious kit.
But it seems a somewhat crass way of doing things. Apple equipment has always looked and felt classy, but this feels tacky in comparison.
A move like this is what others did while Apple got on with making beautifully designed tech.
The iPhone 5S will look great, but surely it’ll be better in its black or white form factor.