The rarest of the rare: Apple’s iPhone 5s 64GB Gold

“Long lines awaited the launch of the iPhone 5S in NYC but many customers soon found out the stores had shortages of the gold version,” Shara Tibken reports for CNET. “The first people in line at Apple’s flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue waited 15 days for the 64GB gold iPhone 5S only to find out the store had no supply of that device available.”

“Ceballo, who planned to buy the 64GB version of the iPhone 5S in gold, said he’ll settle for the gray version,” Tibken reports. “Many other people toward the front of the line expressed frustration with the lack of the gold iPhone. The 5S launch marks the first time Apple has offered its flagship phone in that color, and customers haven’t been able to preorder the device. To get the iPhone 5S on launch day, they have to stand in line. However, the gold color was rumored to be in short supply ahead of the launch, something confirmed by the lack of the device at one of Apple’s biggest stores in the country.”

Apple's iPhone 5s 64GB Gold
Apple’s elusive iPhone 5s 64GB Gold
Tibken reports, “Many outlets have reported that iPhone 5S supplies are constrained, and carriers are also reportedly facing supply issues. Even online, initial supplies of all three configurations of the gold iPhone 5S sold out within a half-hour. Apple promised a ship date in October, whereas with white and gray iPhone 5S models, ship dates slipped to 7 to 10 days only after hours on sale.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In our checks, iPhone 5s 64GB Gold began with a long shipping time, with delivery promised within 7-10 days from the very start of sales.

Did anyone nab an iPhone 5s 64GB Gold that “ships immediately” from Apple, a carrier, or other retailer?


  1. I don’t understand, how hard is it to produce a different color? It’s like they do it on purpose to drive demand making people think it’s rare. It’s just another color. I’m a big Apple fan but sometimes they frustrate me with the things they do. I mean, you finally come out with a new color besides white and black and now on launch day you don’t have many ready? Please.

      1. I actually do think it is the production that’s the problem. It’s probably the application of the gold paint that is causing low yields. How? In what way? I don’t know, but this is my best guess.

        1. I can’t think that is it, because it’s anodizing (not paint) and gold is one of the easiest (that and grey/black) colors to achieve (reliability and consistency with) via anodization.

          I think it is likely a combination of staggering demand and misjudging just how staggering the demand in the US was going to be (particularly with the press, bloggers and astroturfers panning it, it could have been a poor seller) thankfully it proves that people pretty much make up their own minds.
          I would expect given Apple’s legendary (literally) speed and flexibility in their supply and distribution channels, people should be able to (fairly) quickly get what they want despite the crushing demand.

          1. Good point – I’m not up to speed on the manufacturing process. I just can’t believe that they would look at it and not think that they would sell a boatload of them.

    1. I could not have said this better myself. Let me try; ” Yo Apple is podding me off right now!! They release the iPhone 5S in a third color option but the don’t make enough of the color. They are just evil geniuses trying to take everyone’s money and it works. Everyone’s new iPhone 5S requires a new 2 year contract and your locked into it for thousands and thousands. Apple is good they got me hooked. I’m a huge Apple fan. My iPhone 5S 64 GB in gold ships by Oct. 10 and this Golden phone better be what I am expecting!!

  2. I sent a picture to MDN. I got TWO 64 Golds with a 1-3 day ship time. Due by the end of the month. I checked the site afterward (just seconds)?and they were at 7-10 days. It wasn’t HOURS, but minutes.

  3. Who says Apple doesn’t do marketing surveys?! Hey let’s offer a new color, say gold, produce very little. Hype it up. See if it would be a big seller. When it turns out it would be, make the people continue to wait with some ridiculous delivery times. The NEW Apple… Same as the old one!

  4. I believe MDN’s question wasn’t if anyone was able to ORDER the gold version, but if anyone was able to buy it IN A STORE and take it home.

    As for the “unexpected” lines (only Wall Street Analysts could expect no lines), I’m sure the media will quickly point out that there is severe miscalculation of initial supply of the gold model, so as you know, Apple is doomed…

    1. … and how many previous models of iPhones were left sitting on store shelves unsold over the launch weekend ?

      Apple ( and anybody with any sense ) knows that whatever number of gold iPhones they are able to manufacture for the first couple of months, they will sell every last one of them immediately. After the first couple of weeks they will see what people choose to buy and can then adjust subsequent manufacturing capacity to reflect those preferences.

  5. I initially wanted to get a 32GB gold but that ran out, even tho I was 15th in the line. Limited stocks for 32GB were apparently delivered to the outlet. Between the 16 and 64, I got the latter instead. Blessing in disguise.

  6. AT&T in Winston-Salem, NC had no gold, and told everyone in line that no store in this region got gold, even the Apple store. (How would they know this?) So my wife opted for the grey 32g and I ordered a gold 32g at the store, delivery in 21 to 28 days. Oh well, I’d rather wait than to be wishing I had waited, for the next 2 years.

    And get this … the sales guy said he was only 1 of 2 “Android” guys in the store, and we were lucky (or not) that we got him. AND, he said, “Many people don’t know this, but most of the internals of the 5S were copied from Samsung.” I planted my face in my hands. Told him he must only read from Fandroid web sites. Can you believe there are people like that running wild in the streets?

    1. “Many people don’t know this, but most of the internals of the 5S were copied from Samsung.”

      Yes – obviously Apple must have copied those 64 bit phones that Samsung recently announced they were hoping to make one day.

    2. Running wild in the streets would’ve been preferable to being in the position of power he was in, where unwitting victims assume he has at least some knowledge of what he’s talking about and not completely bullshitting.

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