Already this week, a number of consumer technology heavyweights, including AllThingsD and 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman have given their nod of approval to reports that Apple will release a gold iPhone 5S alongside the expected white and black models. Today, Reuters is confirming the rumors as well, citing “supply chain sources in Taiwan” in an article examining how the Chinese market will react to Apple’s new offering.
The rumored iPhone 5C, a low-cost plastic smartphone, is expected to be Apple’s big push into emerging markets this fall, namely China, where Cupertino has struggled to gain a foothold amidst the hoard of low-tier Android devices. However, China also boasts a rapidly growing middle and upper class with a taste for the finer things, and that’s where the gold iPhone 5S comes in.
Apple is expected to target China’s affluent consumers seeking a status symbol in a country where the population just became the world’s biggest consumers of gold. However, a number of interviews with Chinese shoppers seem to suggest that Apple’s target consumers think a gold handset would be tacky, and detract from the iPhone’s luxury design. Based on photos leaked earlier today, it looks like production of the gold-colored iPhone 5S is already in full swing, meaning it may be too late for Apple to turn back.