A Japanese web-site has published pictures of what is claimed to be the lineup of Apple iPhone 5S smartphones that due this fall. In addition to traditional black and white models, Apple is now expected to release a gold model of its new handset. At present it is unclear whether the gold version will actually utilize precious metal and whether it will be a limited-edition product, or just a third flavor of the iPhone.
Ascii.jp web-site has published a number of images that are claimed to depict the Apple iPhone 5S family. Two items pictured – black and white versions – are either finished iPhone 5S handsets, or are demo phones to show in stores, or are just chassis without displays. The third item seems to be the rumoured iPhone 5S gold model, which is not finished and is currently represented by a frame and a backpanel made of yellow metal. It is noteworthy that black and white models carry all necessary product information and certification IDs, whereas the golden one does not feature any of such things.
Release of a golden version of the iPhone should help Apple make a unique proposal to those looking for stylish gadgets. Such a product may be made in limited quantities, or may be just added to the lineup as a slightly more expensive model. Both approaches will not be traditional for Apple, which tends to keep its product lineups very simple. Moreover, to address the crowd looking for luxurious gadgets Apple does not need to launch its own golden iPhone; there are plenty of design studios who improve the look of Apple iPhones using various methods.
But there may be a problem with the iPhone 5S gold. Apple iPhone 5S has nearly the same design as the iPhone 5 and most likely inherits its manufacturing technology as well. As is known, the back of iPhone 5 is made of anodized aluminum with inlays along the top and bottom made of ceramic glass (on the white and silver model) or pigmented glass (on the black and slate model). The frame of the iPhone 5 is made of aluminum as well. Manufacturing of white and silver model does not require addition of any colours to the back panel and the frame. However, the black and slate model requires additional colour that is added during the anodize process. It is well known that the black iPhone 5 is subject to scratches and scuffs. Therefore, in case Apple uses the same process to cover the iPhone 5S with gold, the model may be as ill-fated as the black iPhone 5, which many have criticized for being less durable than the previous-gen iPhones.
Apple iPhone 5S is projected to be announced on September 10, 2013.
Apple did not comment on the news-story.