Bring on the gold iPhone!

Bring on the gold iPhone!

Summary: Really? You don't want a gold iPhone? Oh come on... it's gorgeous!

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TOPICS: Smartphones
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I pity the fool who doesn't want a gold iPhone. I mean, look at it. As rendered here by the Apple blog iMore, it's beautiful, right?

Gold iPhone
Gold! (Gold!) ... Always believe in your soul ... You've got the power to know ... You're indestructible ... Always believe in, because you are ... Gold (Gold!), etc.

What do you mean you "don't like it"?

Fashion

If you actually ignore the fact that you shouldn't like it, I genuinely think this looks pretty good. It's a shame iMore has only done a white and gold rendering -- I think it'd look even better in black and gold.

However, if you're reading this in the US chances are that you'd never want this thing. If you're reading this in the UK, the same is probably true.

In other territories, gold makes more sense. In the western world we might look at this as a bit (as we say in the UK) "naff" -- it's bling for the sake of bling, bordering on the chintzy. But in China for example the color gold has much more sway, culturally speaking. The same is true in India. One company over there will even sell you a gold HTC One. A gold iPhone is designed to play well in those markets without much effort.

In markets that would naturally be resistant to the gold color, this is more about fashion.

Before Apple introduced the unibody MacBook, no one made a beautiful laptop. Now Apple laptops are instantly recognizable and desirable if you don't own one, and a pleasure to tote around and touch if you do own one. A good percentage of Ultrabook designs look to emulate the appearance of the unibody MacBooks, even if they're made of silvered plastic.

If we look at mobile phones, we see a similar thing. If a vendor wants to mimic Apple, they'll make their device out of metal and glass. But, that metal is always silver.

By creating a gold iPhone, what Apple will be looking to do is set a new fashion. They were the ones who created a desire for silver and glass, now the objective is to sell gold and glass as the must-have combination.

Remember, Apple is a fashion brand, not a technology brand. Their intention will be to steal a march and make gold consumer devices desirable, whilst at the same time owning the most desirable, the most up-to-the-minute gold device.

Apple wants to make gold "this season's color", globally. 

Problems

A gold iPhone also solves a problem for Apple in that when the average consumer sees someone using an iPhone in public, it's not obvious that this device is the latest-and-greatest. The differences between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S were all internal. Apple's problem here is that it can only create a demand in the market for the "new shiny" when normal people can tell the difference.

And a gold iPhone does exactly that. It's the very definition of "new shiny." If you're in your favorite local coffee shop and see one of those lying on the table, you're going to know it's a new iPhone, thus increasing the potential of you wandering into your local smartphone store and buying one.

Never underestimate the power of the new shiny.

Conclusion

stuartwithipadsmall
Tech fashion designer Stuart Hughes with his gold-plated iPad. Credit: stuarthughes.com

One thing I'll be intrigued to see if how on earth they're going to sell this in the keynote. Apple loves to control the message in their keynotes. But at this point everyone knows they're going to release a gold iPhone, and the audience of that keynote (mainly affluent tech reporters and bloggers from the US) is not going to be impressed.

There's no way Apple are going to want the audience groaning -- or even laughing -- at a new product, mid-keynote.

After the keynote, watch for all the other smartphone OEMs coming out with gold devices. They will be legion.

Mind you, I totally want a gold iPad too. That'd be awesome...

What do you think? Post a comment, or talk to me on Twitter: @mbrit.

Image credit: iMore

Topic: Smartphones

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51 comments
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  • Target audience

    I see two target audiences for this phone:

    1) Young heiresses with tiny lapdogs that they carry around everywhere in pink, fuzzy pocketbooks, and who have at one time or another had a "stolen" sex tape "accidentally" released to the public.

    2) Guys with mulltiple tatoos, at least one gold tooth, and who carry a loaded Glock in their baggy trousers at all times.
    dsf3g
    • kids will be happy :)

      yes yes, gold or yellow color is catchy for children like iPhone that is:

      1) not even able to copy a file
      2) choose your browser

      kids will be happy :)
      anywherehome
    • It's an iToy, like all others will be in a case condom

      so what does it matter what color?
      everss02
    • Such a limited viewpoint

      Only two types of customers, eh?

      Isn't that much of what was said when the first iPhone came out? Look what happened there.
      Vulpinemac
    • And...

      ...about a billion Chinese.
      Englishmole
  • I'm Waiting For The Vinyl Top ...

    .. with the two-tone colour scheme and the wood-grain finish.

    Did someone say "white sidewalls"?
    ldo17
    • Would you believe you could be right

      Why not match the phone to your car?
      Vulpinemac
      • RE: Would you believe you could be right

        "Why not match the phone to your car?"
        My car is silver. :(
        Garry Hurley Jr
  • Never in doubt

    Another click bait hit piece on Apple on ZDNet. Yawn.

    Oh and if Apple is a fashion company and not a technolog company why the heck does ZDNet write about them?
    Rogifan
  • Seriously?

    Some of us buy a phone for its capabilities not its looks.
    slickjim
    • agreed, but we are the few

      Far more people buy their phone for the look, status symbol of it than for its capabilities. The proof is in the popularity of the iPhone, and the brilliant marketing behind it. The campaign "if you don't have an iPhone, well you don't have an iPhone" was right to the point. There are far more capable devices out there but they aren't fashionable. This Gold one as ugly as it is. Will sell because it is shiny
      Stephen_81
    • You are in the minority

      People buy Apple because the phone feels great and looks amazing. They don't care if it lags sometimes, freezes up occasionally, need to be replaced often (two out of three iPhone in my house have already been replaced in less than 6 months). They get the same device everyone else has, like how everyone gets the same shoes or same shirt that season. If you're insecure about yourself, and most people are, you get an iPhone. Its safe. if anyone dares question you on why you purchased one, you just snicker and say "its an iPhone." You don't need to know anything, you'll always have the newest apps, and it will be in style of at least two years.

      Samsung is learning this. They have a distinct style. But making their phones out of plastic costs them the "cool" factor. Nokia would have been better off dumping wireless charging, losing 20% of their battery, and making the Lumias 30% thinner with metal backs. My iPhone rarely lasts me past dinner and during that time I check my email and occasionally Facebook. But when I pull it out, its hot to show off. I'd be embarrassed to pull out a brick of a Lumia, no matter how cool the phone is.
      A Gray
      • Call me crazy but...

        I bought my phone because I needed it to be tough, have stronger glass than say, an iPhone, and it had to be waterproof. Oh yeah, and long battery life was a must as well.

        I ended up with Droid Razr Maxx HD because I live in Florida and riding my bike, I always get caught in the rain. Oh and I also wanted it to have some chance of surviving if I'm cut off by a psycho driver. As you can see, pretty alone would have left me with a defective phone with one rain storm.
        slickjim
  • ugly as hell

    Think about all those scratches that are visible on a reflective surface. That's just ugly bling!. Anybody who had seen those scratched cheap plastic golden stuff would never buy such stuff.
    omgomgomg123
    • You're assuming plastic (which would self-heal and not show the scratches)

      On the other hand, the image implies aluminum, which is very easy to anodize.
      Vulpinemac
  • Beyond tacky

    Nuff said!
    Zarniw00p
  • Hipsters

    Articles like this are why Apple and their users are disliked by many. Technology is not about fashion. If one buys based on looks it speaks volumes about them and what they value.

    Everything about Apple has always had a "look at me - I'm DIFFERENT, HIP, COOL, -BETTER- then you.

    Gold, excuse Champagne is not in vogue. The majority of woman now prefer Platinum and silver. I guess there's the walmart crowd who still put gold touches in their decorating and teeth.
    MobileAdmin
    • Derogatory classist comments don't belong zdnet

      Respectfully, stereotypes such as this, do nothing to advance the discussion about technology–nor anything for that matter. When you make such a disparagingly snide judgmental remark that swipes a wide breadth of consumers based on their patronage to Walmart, you reveal more about the flaws of your own values than those you disrespect.
      brownreese
      • Welcome to ZDNet

        The Anti-Apple fanboys go nuts at the mention of anything Apple.
        Troll Hunter J
    • "Technology is not about fashion."

      Then why are there so many different models of Samsung smartphone? They apparently think technology is nothing BUT fashion.
      Vulpinemac