The gold iPhone might as well be made of gold, as far as Apple is concerned.
The gold-colored option of the iPhone 5S has been so popular that it’s becoming hard for customers to find the popular phone and even harder for stores to keep it in stock.
When the gold iPhone went on sale just after midnight in September, it took only 10 minutes from the shipping date to jump from 7 days to 10 days. All three versions of the phone — the 16GB, 32GB, and 64 GB — were equally popular.
Now, fans hoping to score one of the gold varieties of the 5S are often being forced to turn to online stores. The phone is on sale at a number of outlets — including Apple and Best Buy — but the best bet appears to be eBay, where there were a number of gold iPhone varities on sale without delay.
Apple is trying to respond to the popularity of the gold iPhone. The company asked suppliers to increase production of the components used in the gold iPhone 5S in an effort to increase the supply of them.
Apple made other iPhone news this week, announcing that it plans to release two new curved iPhones. The phones will have a bigger screen with curved glass and sensors that make them more sensitive to pressure.
Though highly anticipated, the curved iPhone is still not as popular as the gold one. There are reports that the gold iPhone sold out in China and Hong Kong in a matter of minutes, while some carriers in Europe and Australia had literally none of the gold models left.
Some believe the scarcity is by design. By keeping the supply of gold iPhones just below demand, Apple is able to manufacture a sense of exclusivity for the phone. This has made the phone especially popular in Asia, where a gold phone is an important status symbol.
This idea seems to be boosted by reports that the gold iPhone has sold the least number of units of the three color options.
But others believe that Apple would not risk alienating its customers who want a gold iPhone and cannot find it, and certainly would not want to lose them to a competitor.