Of the recent iPhone announcements, none was more stomach-churningly awful than the announcement that the iPhone 5S would come in gold. It makes sense from a business perspective, but the gold coloring on consumer electronics is tacky. And now Apple may have touched off a trend.

The Leak

The leak itself is fairly straightforward and comes from a pretty reliable source, a Weibo user who apparently either works at HTC or has an in with the company; he or she nailed both the mini HTC One and the blue version of the phone earlier in the year. And the image itself is basically the front of the HTC One in gold. This could be a manufacturing mistake or an anodization test, but really, HTC thrives on offering the off-brand iPhone, so this is most likely gold.

Why Gold Is Popular Now

Inexplicably, the gold color is extremely popular overseas; in fact, it’s one of the most common aftermarket modifications and cases in several Asian markets. Why this is, I couldn’t tell you, because it looks awful, but nonetheless it’s the truth. And, realistically, if you want to make a lot of money in selling consumer electronics, you ignore the billions of people across Asia at your own peril.

A Plea For Sanity

That said, though, gold has been irreversibly tainted by douchebags. Gold-plating your iPhone is a fad among the kind of person who has far more cash than they do taste or common sense, usually immediately followed up by encrusting it with diamonds, and usually announced by some jeweler as “the height of luxury” right before the new model comes out.


So, for the love of God, smartphone manufacturers, don’t do this. Don’t encourage the tacky. Don’t ruin your pretty phones, or at least leave that to the aftermarket crowd. Or alternatively, make them out of actual gold. That would actually be pretty funny.

Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.