updated 11:37 am EDT, Thu October 31, 2013
Company exercising tight controls on visual marketing
Apple is curiously deterring app developers from using images of the gold iPhone 5s in product marketing, reports note. "Feature only the most current Apple products in the following finishes or colors: iPhone 5s in silver or space gray, iPhone 5c in white or blue, iPad Air in silver or space gray, and iPad mini in silver or space gray," the company writes in a new addition to its marketing guidelines. Accordingly, official image templates -- into which people can insert screenshots -- exclude the gold 5s.
Although the gold option is one of the distinguishing aspects of the 5s, and highly sought-after by the public, people trying to buy a gold model have often been frustrated. The 5s can still be hard to find as a rule, and gold phones are rarer still. Apple may be trying to steer marketing away from gold to keep demand more in line with supply. Alternately, the company may simply prefer more subdued advertising.
Another explanation may lie in the relative popularity of each color. A recent survey indicated that blue and white are the most popular iPhone 5c shades, and Apple's guidelines reflect that, notably excluding yellow, red, and green. Those colors are, however, included throughout Apple's own promotional material. Likewise, the gold 5s has appeared in plenty of Apple print and TV ads.