On social media, 20-year-old iPhone leaker Benjamin Geskin posted purported images of a so-called "Blush Gold" version of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone X. Additionally, Geskin said that the phone -- code-named "D21A" -- is currently in production.
Apple introducing a gold version of the iPhone X midway through the current product cycle isn't entirely unreasonable -- after all, credible reports say that Apple originally wanted to introduce a gold version of the iPhone X but ran into problems manufacturing the device. But I'm not sold on either the authenticity of the images or on Apple deciding to launch a gold iPhone X just months before production of the current iPhone X is expected to be discontinued.
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This "blush gold" iPhone X looks fake
The color of the phone depicted in Geskin's images looks identical to the color of the dummy models of both the iPhone X and the iPhone 8-series smartphones that were circulating the web before Apple announced the current generation of iPhones.
Although the gold iPhone X never materialized, Apple did release gold versions of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus and the shade of gold of those devices looked nothing like the color of the dummy units. The images posted by Geskin would be far more credible, in my view, if the so-called "blush gold" iPhone X looked similar in shade to that of the currently available iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus. Perhaps it should be a bit deeper since the silver iPhone X finish looks slightly deeper than the silver iPhone 8/iPhone8 Plus finish.
Why bring tomorrow's selling point to today's iPhone?
If Apple's goal is to do everything it can to boost sales of the current iPhone X, then it'd be sensible for the company to introduce a gold variant of the iPhone X. A new color, especially one that's particularly popular, could push somebody who is on the fence about buying a new iPhone to buy one.
However, in introducing a mid-cycle gold iPhone X, Apple would be taking away a potential selling point of the next-generation iPhone X/iPhone X Plus models, which are rumored to come in gold finishes. It'd also require Apple to begin manufacturing a new color of the iPhone X -- something that quite possibly necessitates a dramatically different manufacturing process (at least for the stainless steel edges) -- only to discontinue it shortly thereafter.
Ultimately, I think Apple would be better served by letting this (admittedly mediocre) iPhone cycle play out as it has been and then coming back in full force in the next product cycle. This way, Apple enjoys both easier year-over-year growth comparisons in the coming fiscal year as well as higher overall demand for the new models. To achieve that, Apple would likely want to keep all potential new selling points -- including something cosmetic like a gold finish -- restricted to the new iPhone models that'll come out later this year.
If Apple does put out a gold iPhone X in the current product cycle, though, then I'd expect the company to announce it at its upcoming education-focused event, which is expected to take place on March 27. It won't be long before we know whether the rumor of a gold iPhone X during the current product cycle is legitimate or just hot air.
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Ashraf Eassa has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.