Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: The Gold iPhone 5S

I’ve been holding out on writing anything about the rumored “Gold” iPhone because I just haven’t been able to wrap my mind around it. It seems like one of the whackiest, most outlandish rumors the Apple rumor mill has cranked in as long as I can remember. Gold just doesn’t fit with anything else we’ve come to know and expect from the company. White and Black (well technically, silver and slate). Or in the case of the Mac, just aluminum with no anodized color options.

The only current Apple product that gives you a choice of colors other than black/white (which are both really the absence of color) is the iPod Touch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. And even still, a gold/champagne palette isn’t one of the options. So how does a gold iPhone make sense?

For the longest time, it didn’t, which is why I’ve stayed mum about it altogether.

Now, it’s seemingly more feasible, and in fact, seems almost inevitable because this rumor just won’t die, but I still don’t understand why. Here in the U.S., jewelry is the only commonplace item we’re familiar with made from the world’s third-most precious metal. We don’t use it for our coins or other forms of currency. In fact, even when considering the gold market, we don’t actually trade bullion bars. Gold exists mostly on paper here. However, it’s a different story internationally, where gold is still used as a form of currency and is held mostly in its actual true form. It’s a symbol of wealth, prestige and power. The more gold you possess, the better off you are.

Let’s consider India, the second most populated country in the world. Gold is more than just a precious metal in India. Here’s an excerpt from the Bombay Times describing what gold means to the Indians:

“In India, it always was and still is, much more than just a precious metal. It is part of the fabric of our culture and an inseparable part of our belief system. It is the essence from which the universe was created. In a dark and lifeless universe, the Creator deposited a seed in the waters he had made from his own body. The seed became a golden egg, bright and radiant as the sun. From this cosmic egg of gold was born the incarnation of the Creator Himself - Brahma.”

Even though a potential iPhone wouldn’t contain actual gold (rather, anodized gold coloring), it could still be a hit in countries like India. It’d also be a way to uniquely identify the difference between an iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S. Or, it could be the first of any number of future products to follow suit. It still just strikes me as odd. Gold is loud and proud. Apple is quiet and reserved. Gold is flashy and in your face. Apple is tactful and refined.

Regardless of what I think or anything else you read in the tech press, we’ll surely have our answer come September 10th, when Apple is expected to reveal the next iteration of the iPhone. Stay tuned.


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