In Depth

Apple: why a 'naff' gold iPhone could work in India and China

It might look tacky to Western eyes, but a shiny new iPhone would help Apple in new markets

gold-apple-symbol-1.jpg

WHEN the successor to the iPhone 5 is launched next month it is expected to come in three colours – black, white and gold. Although the rumour has yet to be confirmed by Apple, tech website Gizmondo believes it must be true. "Gold iPhone reports have reached that saturation point... where they can't be ignored anymore," it said. Tech Crunch is equally confident. "Yes, there will be a gold iPhone," it said at the weekend, pointing out that gold is already the most popular "after-market" colour change (above) for people who have an iPhone and that the colour is easy to anodize onto a handset. On top of that, the colour gold is "in the midst of a renaissance". There is also a precedent. Apple did briefly sell a gold iPod Mini, which came in a muted shade of gold that most observers described as "champagne".

 Tech Crunch points out, rather desperately, that if the gold rumours turn out to be true and plans for a fingerprint scanner also come to fruition, the new iPhone could be nicknamed Goldfinger. But most observers are agreed that the key reason for the introduction of gold phones would be to cash in on the Chinese and Indian markets. Analyst Tim Bajarin says that a gold iPhone would be "huge" in China. "The market is driven by colours, and gold means prosperity," he told USA TodayQuartz agrees that a gold model could score in India and China -  but will it seen 'naff' in the West? "Whether or not a gold iPhone will juice Apple's numbers in emerging markets more than it alienates them in rich countries remains to be seen." Gizmondo does not think Apple will care too much about the phone's reception in the West - because the company is desperate to gain a bigger market share in the East. "The gold iPhone, if it exists, is Apple's love letter to China."

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