Gold, or champagne-colored, iPhone is real

A growing number of reports are suggesting that Apple this fall will release a gold, or champagne-tinged, iPhone 5S.

Joining a growing number of reports pointing towards a gold or chapagne-colored iPhone is TechCrunch's MG Siegler.

In a recent post, Siegler writes:

Yes, there will be a gold iPhone.

That’s the latest I’m hearing from multiple sources after several weeks of rumors and possible component leaks suggesting the same thing. At first, I couldn’t believe Apple would break from the tradition of offering the simple choice: black and white (or “slate” and “silver” if you prefer for the iPhone 5) for their flagship device. Gold simply seemed too gaudy, perhaps even tacky. But a few compelling arguments countered my disbelief. And now, upon checking, sure enough, there will be gold.

Gold certainly does seem a bit tacky, which is why I'm inclined to believe reports that the iPhone will sport more of a champagne-esque hue than pure gold.

This mockup from Rene Ritchie over at iMore may be instructive.

What's more, Ritchie talked to some folks who informed him that gold is "among the easiest colors to anodize onto an iPhone," standing in stark contrast to the process involved in creating a completely black device. Also, you may remember that Apple has in the past experienced some difficulty in getting the exact shade of white on the iPhone it desired, leading to the delayed release of the white iPhone 4.

So is there a commercial benefit to releasing a gold iPhone? Sure. Not only have people speculated that a gold iPhone would do well in Asian markets where gold is a more popular fashion color, but the above mockup, if accurate, does look pretty sleek.

Also, Siegler proffers an interesting point worth considering. The iPhone 5C, Apple's rumored lower cost iPhone, will likely come in an assortment of colors. To that end, the champagne-tinged iPhone 5S may be Apple's way to satiate folks who want the high-end iPhone model but also want a little bit of color on their smartphone.

Looking ahead to the iPhone 5S release, it's also been rumored that the iPhone 5S will be the first device to come with 128 GB of storage. While not likely, I wouldn't be that surprised if the 128 GB model is only available with the champagne look.

Apple's iPhone unveiling is by all accounts scheduled to go down on September 10, so we'll be getting some firm answers on Apple's iPhone roadmap in just a few weeks.

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