Apple Inc. (AAPL) may be gearing up to launch a gold iPhone X—or was planning to and opted against it.
Citing a Federal Communications Commission filing, CNBC reported that Apple had filed with the FCC to produce a gold version of the iPhone X, but hasn’t moved to release it. Nor have there been leaks surfacing recently about the impending launch of a gold-colored iPhone X. When the original iPhone X hit markets last year, consumers had two color choices: silver or space gray. CNBC noted that the filing with the FCC has a six-month confidentiality clause, which was just recently removed. It was made in July, implying that a possible gold iPhone X was envisioned well in advance of the iPhone X launch. Before the iPhone X launched, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the Cupertino, California-based smartphone maker was having production issues with a blush gold X, reported CNBC. It’s not clear if Apple will roll out the gold version. It did launch the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in the color red recently, noted CNBC.
New Phones Coming This Fall?
Apple tends to launch a new line of iPhones in September of every year, and the gold one could be coming then, although speculation focuses more on Apple launching at least three new iPhones including a cheaper iPhone X with an LCD screen instead of an OLED one. (See also: Apple Working on Foldable iPhone for 2020: BofA.)
News of a potential gold version of the iPhone X comes as Apple appears to be struggling with demand, finding it hard to get consumers to spend $999 to upgrade their older iPhones. In late March, Goldman Sachs predicted the company will sell fewer iPhone Xs than expected in the first half of this year. The Wall Street firm now expects it to ship 53 million units in the March-ending quarter and 40.3 million units for the June-ending quarter. It has previously forecast the company to ship 54.7 million and 43.5 million, respectively. “iPhone demand expectations for March and June are already weak but we believe that early CQ1 (calendar first quarter) demand indications suggest even lower actual numbers than consensus is modeling,” wrote a team of Goldman analysts in the research report back then. (See also: Apple Faces ‘Demand Deterioration’: Goldman Sachs.)
While there are fears that lackluster demand will weigh on results, bulls point out that Apple does get higher average selling prices on the expensive smartphones, which should outweigh lower-than-expected demand. Apple reports quarterly results May 1.