Apple iPhone rumors: Gold iPhone, China Mobile, iPhone 5 dead

Photo courtesy of iMore/Los Angeles Times

By Chris O'Brien, Los Angeles Times

With Apple widely expect to make a bunch of iPhone-related announcements on Sept. 10, the rumor mill has kicked into overdrive regarding the company's plans.

The biggest news over the weekend had to do with a story saying Apple would make a gold-colored iPhone. Yep. Gold.

According to M.G. Siegler, a venture capitalist who blogs at TechCrunch, he confirmed the existence of the gold iPhone with "multiple sources." The gold in this case would "not be a totally blinged-out gold."

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Instead, his sources said to: "Think: less 'gold' and more 'champagne.'"

Personally, I get no kick from champagne. But we'll see how users react.

Why would the company that seems to have obsessively stuck to white and black for its iPhones now deviate? And why gold?

Renee Ritchie at iMore speculates that the process for making a gold iPhone is relatively easy compared with other colors. And a gold iPhone would help create the appearance that Apple is doing something different with the new phone, even if it's not all that revolutionary on the inside.

Also, he says that gold is the most popular after-market color for people who change the color of their iPhones. Gold could also help Apple in China.

"Given how popular gold is as an aftermarket option for color-treatments, and how many gold cases there are -- including but certainly not limited to the Asian markets -- it could simply be the decision to offer supply where there's demand," Ritchie writes.

Speaking of China, 9to5Mac reports that KGI analyst Ming-chi Kuo has a report out that Apple has struck a deal with China Mobile, the country's largest carrier. Such a deal has been elusive for Apple, which has struggled in China and other emerging markets.

Kuo says the partnership is being driven by the new, lower-cost, iPhone 5C Apple is expected to announce next month.

When that new phone is rolled out along with the iPhone 5S (the new higher-end version), Apple is expected to discontinue the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4, according to MacRumors.

However, consumers may again have to wait for that new iPhone 5S. According to Business Insider, Apple is struggling to get production ramped up. Apple had a similar problem last year when it launched the iPhone 5. Though it sold 5 million in the first weekend, many users had to wait several weeks to receive their phone.