The gold iPhone 5s (which still seems more “champagne” to me) was a phone that seemed improbable when it was first rumored, but Apple did indeed make it – and consumers seem glad. A report from the Wall Street Journal says that Apple is asking suppliers to increase production of the gold finish iPhone 5s in order to keep up with demand.
Currently, just a few hours after iPhone 5s orders have gone live on the Apple online store, the gold iPhone is the only model that’s showing a shipping time longer than “7 to 10 days”) in the U.S., and it’s not going to make it out to new buyers until October, per the order page. With every new iPhone, there are supply constraints initially in terms of how many Apple can produce, and it’s also possible that the gold iPhone carries additional constraints depending on how hard it is to produce the aluminum with that particular finish, but regardless it looks like the somewhat unorthodox color choice is the big seller this time around.
“I don’t care what’s inside the device,” the WSJ quotes TV-station employee Lian Jiyu, who was waiting for an iPhone 5s in Beijing, regarding his own device color choice. “Chinese people like gold.”
One launch day iPhone buyer on the ground at the Toronto flagship store reports that it’s already completely sold out, even before the doors have officially opened, thanks to a reservation system put in place for those waiting.
Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c launch in Hong Kong appeared to draw a considerable line, the WSJ reports, and in Beijing line-ups were manageable and without any kind of excessive drama. This differs considerably from previous years where there was almost a riot at the kick-off of iPhone 4S sales in the city. The company has changed its launch strategy as a result, giving customers the chance to pre-order and then assigning them a time to come to the location to pick up their devices.
Apple is selling the iPhone at launch in China for the first time ever, which could help alleviate grey market device sales, which are normally a big issue in the country. But it sounds like demand for the gold 5s, combined with scarcity of that model could create a different type of grey market opportunity, which is another good reason for Apple to ramp up production and try to supply the appetite for the gold finish device themselves.