updated 10:06 pm EDT, Mon September 30, 2013
Not a perfect color match for genuine article, doesn't hide home button
Uses who have a white iPhone can, for as little as six dollars, transform them into the highly-desirable iPhone 5s -- thanks to a Chinese-produced sticker set. The severe shortage of the real thing has spawned a "gold skin" kit to help status-seekers fool their more gullible friends. Though not precisely matching the champagne coloring of the genuine gold iPhone 5s or changing the new home button, the kit has sold thousands of copies and is even available through Amazon and other stores.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the gold iPhone has, as expected, become a major status symbol, earning it the nickname of "Tuhao Jin" or "local tyrant's gold." Local ads for the product translate as "Dear one, don't sell your kidney for the new iPhone. Instead of 5,288 yuan, you only require 35 yuan to make your iPhone 5 look like the gold iPhone 5s in seconds." The cost of a 16GB iPhone 5s in China converts to about $864 US, making the $5.75 cost of the kit attractive.
The report notes that similar kits can be found in North America and elsewhere, mostly through Amazon and other online retailers. Apple is said to have increased orders of the gold iPhone 5s by over 30 percent from its manufacturing partners to help meet demand.