Shift in Chinese color preference occurring as Apple readies new gold option for 'iPhone 5S'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
While whispers of a gold color offering swirl around September's rumored "iPhone 5S" launch, Apple may be positioning itself to ride the next wave of Chinese consumer taste in preferred colors.

iMore
Gold "iPhone 5S" mockup by Rene Ritchie of iMore.


As China's consumer base skews younger and the number of female buyers grows, forecasts from paint and coating manufacturers indicate that the nation's color preferences are shifting away from western palettes, and back toward those traditionally associated with Asia.

In the automotive sector, representatives from PPG Industries ? one of the largest producers of automotive coatings in the world ? believe that stalwart colors black and silver are set to take a backseat to lighter and more natural options. Cyndi Li, PPG China's color styling manager, said in an interview with China Daily that she believes black will cede market share to gold-beige and gray, with silver making way for beige, white-beige, champagne-gold and rosy-gold.

"Additionally, natural color, gold and orange will all become more popular," she said.

Black and silver accounted for 42 percent of the Asia Pacific market in PPG's 2012 color trend report, while fellow coating manufacturer DuPont's 2012 Automotive Color Popularity report had the colors clocking in at 35 percent. White took 23 percent and 22 percent share in the respective reports.

A July 2012 Asia-Pacific color trend forecast by global chemical giant BASF predicted a movement toward culturally significant hues. Reds, golds, and "colors of nature" like brown and olive were expected to see a rise in popularity.

The change in consumer preferences may bode well for Apple in the increasingly important Chinese market, as rumors began to circulate early last week that the Cupertino company may add a third color option ? described in reports as an 'elegant' shade of champagne ? when it releases the iPhone 5's successor. The iPhone is currently offered in only two color combinations, dubbed "black & slate" and "white & silver."

These reports run contrary to assertions from Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt, who reported Tuesday on lackluster consumer demand for gold automobiles based on a 2011 DuPont report. While gold may not currently be a dominant color among products in China, other data indicates its popularity is on the rise ? particularly among those more likely to buy a smartphone.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    China's demand for Buicks also kept GM from cutting the brand.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    This is a timely article!

    Earlier today I had read the Fortune article mentioning the DuPont 2011 car survey having silver as the preferred color.

    The author of the Fortune article said he could not find any information more recent than the 2011 survey.

    I wonder if he found, but chose not to disclose the more recent DuPont 2012 survey just to make his article be slanted against Apple's rumored choice of the gold color.

    Having more current data is awesome.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Somehow I have a feeling this gold/champagne colored iPhone isn't just because of China. Both MG Siegler and Rene Ritchie reported that gold is one of the top after market color options for the iPhone. My nephew who is 16 and is as white suburban middle America as you can get has his iPhone in a gold case. I could see this phone being popular with women and teens.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    There's more articles and comments here on a possible gold-tone iPhone than any anything else iPhone related the past couple of days. Is a possible color option really that newsworthy? :\
  • Reply 5 of 52
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,928member


    That mockup of champagne/gold and white looks absolutely hideous. Please find a better example!


     


    Looking forward to more colors of nature, like "dirt".

  • Reply 6 of 52
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    There's more articles and comments here on a possible gold-tone iPhone than any anything else iPhone related the past couple of days. Is a possible color option really that newsworthy? image


    You kidding!!!??? This is HUGE news! image


     


    When I first heard of Apple producing the champagne (gold) color I thought, for sure, that Apple was Doomed. Now that this study was published, my fears have been abated.


     


    /s

  • Reply 7 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,300member
    You kidding!!!??? This is HUGE news! :rolleyes:

    When I first heard of Apple producing the champagne (gold) color I thought, for sure, that Apple was Doomed. Now that this study was published, my fears have been abated.

    /s

    :D
  • Reply 8 of 52
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member


    I think this should definitely be the "iBling" model

  • Reply 9 of 52
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member


    Here's one assumption we can make: if Apple is making a gold phone, it's because having done their homework, they fully believe there will be a great demand for a gold phone. 


     


    They've been thinking about it for a long time, they vetted it thoroughly, they did focus group testing and surveys, and they felt it was worthy of their brand.


     


    I love how the press reacts as if Apple just decided to do something arbitrary, frivolous, desperate, or tacky.  


     


    This is one of the biggest, most successful companies in the world.  Of course they have damn good reasons.


     


    Heck, the storm of publicity around a COLOR choice is already proof that Apple was right.


     


    Just two cents to spend, save, or ignore on the sidewalk.

  • Reply 10 of 52
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    As long as they don't think they're riding the wave of MY taste. (Which may not be as vital to them as I think it is...)
  • Reply 11 of 52
    gatorguy wrote: »
    There's more articles and comments here on a possible gold-tone iPhone than any anything else iPhone related the past couple of days. Is a possible color option really that newsworthy? :\

    Lol. What's the matter? Can't find a "but but but you isheep are wrong about Google again" angle for this story?
    Stick with what you know, buddy! ;)
  • Reply 12 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 512ke View Post


    Here's one assumption we can make: if Apple is making a gold phone, it's because having done their homework, they fully believe there will be a great demand for a gold phone. 


     


    They've been thinking about it for a long time, they vetted it thoroughly, they did focus group testing and surveys, and they felt it was worthy of their brand.


     


    I love how the press reacts as if Apple just decided to do something arbitrary, frivolous, desperate, or tacky.  


     


    This is one of the biggest, most successful companies in the world.  Of course they have damn good reasons.


     


    Heck, the storm of publicity around a COLOR choice is already proof that Apple was right.



     


    Apple can get more press and attention out of saying NOTHING and showing NOTHING then any company I've ever known.

  • Reply 13 of 52
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    Oceans 13?  But better.

  • Reply 14 of 52
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    Oceans 13?  But better.


     


    If I remember correctly, it was a Samsung phone that acted as an EMP in that movie… image

  • Reply 15 of 52

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    There's more articles and comments here on a possible gold-tone iPhone than any anything else iPhone related the past couple of days. Is a possible color option really that newsworthy? image


    Yes.

  • Reply 16 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    512ke wrote: »
    Here's one assumption we can make: if Apple is making a gold phone, it's because having done their homework, they fully believe there will be a great demand for a gold phone. 

    They've been thinking about it for a long time, they vetted it thoroughly, they did focus group testing and surveys, and they felt it was worthy of their brand.

    I love how the press reacts as if Apple just decided to do something arbitrary, frivolous, desperate, or tacky.  

    This is one of the biggest, most successful companies in the world.  Of course they have damn good reasons.

    Heck, the storm of publicity around a COLOR choice is already proof that Apple was right.

    Just two cents to spend, save, or ignore on the sidewalk.
    Exactly! Not saying Apple can never make a mistake, but these things are clearly thought out. It's not like Jony Ive just woke up one day and said "we're doing a gold iPhone because gold is a popular color in China". As I already mentioned, others have reported that gold is a very popular after market color choice for iPhone users. Why in the world would Apple make a champagne colored iPhone if they didn't think it would sell?
  • Reply 17 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    And for those wondering about a black 5S, another image has leaked (5S is on the left, 5 on the right). Not sure if its just the lighting but the 5S back looks darker. I don't get why the logo and lettering would be silver though. Unless its an unfinished design, or is some Chinese knockoff or something.

    3_0.jpg
  • Reply 18 of 52
    oneof52oneof52 Posts: 112member
    I like the mock up. I'm most interested in the 128GB storage.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    If all this recent colour surveying in China is correct, Apple have been very clever and forward thinking with reference to a champagne gold iPhone. I'm even starting to like, or at least see the logic behind such a choice on Apple's part.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    Yes but an Apple iPhone would shut down the entire building.  LOL.

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