Why the gold iPhone will be a winner for marketers

22nd August 2013

What do you think of the idea of owning a gold iPhone? To some in the western hemisphere, the notion may seem classless, tacky almost. But that won’t stop consumers buying the new gold plated iPhone 5S as Apple gear up for an assault on the Chinese smartphone market. The development and launch of the new gold iPhone 5S will give Apple an opportunity to open up new foreign markets. As mobile app developers, it’s essential to understand how the market is shaping up. Here at Waracle, our role is to provide leadership in technology and drive consumer understanding of new trends and market patterns. So what does the new iPhone 5S mean for consumers and business owners?

White, black and gold iPhones

When the new iPhone 5S launches next month, the handset will be available in 3 different colours – white, black and gold. Apple are masters when it comes to generating demand for a particular product and the new gold iPhone is no exception. Apparently the colour gold is undergoing a fashionable renaissance. When modifying and customising handsets after purchase, gold is already the most popular colour choice for existing iPhone owners. In addition, the colour gold is relatively easy for Apple to adonize onto the existing devices. Does anyone remember the ‘champagne’ gold iPod mini that Apple released?

Fingerprint scanning technology

The new iPhone 5S is also rumoured to possess fingerprint scanning technology. This will mean that you no longer have to password protect your phone as it uses fingerprint biometrics to identify the correct owner. So as Apple gears up to announce the launch of the iPhone 5S with gold trim and fingerprint scanning technology, some analysts are dubbing the new device ‘goldfinger’. But most onlookers agree that the real motivation for Apple developing a gold iPhone is to tap into the lucrative and rapidly expanding Indian and Chinese markets.

A gold iPhone could be huge in Asia

In China, the market for smartphone consumption is driven through colour choice and gold is a colour that symbolises prosperity. As such the new gold iPhone 5S could potentially be huge in India and China. Some fear that whilst the new gold iPhone 5S could be hugely popular in developing economies, there’s a question over to what extent it alienates existing Apple customers in western market territories. Will people in America and Europe react well to a gold iPhone? Or is it something that would be viewed as slightly tacky?

The gold iPhone is being described by some as ‘Apple’s love letter to China’. So in effect, Apple’s desire to conquer the eastern hemisphere could override the requirement to provide an offering that’s deemed as being valuable and acceptable in the west. In other words, if the gold iPhone 5S fails to capture the hearts and minds of western consumers, if Apple manage to conquer India and China this will still be viewed as desirable and a massive achievement for the company, in a market currently dominated by low-end smartphones with a particular focus on Google Android.

Massive commercial opportunities for brands and businesses

For app developers, one thing’s for sure. If Apple can successfully open up the markets in China and India, this will present massive commercial opportunities for brands and businesses. Localisation is the process of taking western content and tweaking or adapting it appropriately to culturally suit foreign audiences. There will be huge potential in taking existing western developed apps and content and ‘re-skinning’ them for these rapidly expanding new audiences. essentially this is great news for mobile app developers already developing apps for iPhone and businesses and brands seeking to explore lucrative new territories.

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