The new gold color option for the iPhone 5s might be driving higher demand over the 5c in China, but for those unable to find or afford the more expensive model, gold stickers and skins have quickly become an inexpensive alternative. The Wall Street Journal reports that a long list of retailers in the country have started offering gold skins for the iPhone 5/5s, allowing users to give their iPhone a similar gold appearance for as little as $2.

“Dear, you don’t need to sell your kidney for the new iPhone,” one of the ads said.“Instead of paying 5288 yuan (the retail price of the 16-gigabyte iPhone 5S in China), you only need to spend 35 yuan to make your iPhone 5 look like a golden iPhone 5S in seconds.”

The report notes that online retailers through taobao.com have sold thousands of gold iPhone skins in less than a month, and there is certainly no shortage of similar options through Amazon and other online retailers.

The new gold iPhone is in limited supply at most retailers around the world, and even Apple’s own retail stores have had extremely limited supply of the model compared to other color options since the device’s launch on September 20.

As noted by WSJ, the gold iPhone 5s is considered somewhat of a status symbol in the country with local Chinese media often referring to the gold 5s model as “Tuhao Jin” or “local tyrant’s gold.”

Earlier this month reports claimed that Apple was increasing the production of the gold iPhone by one-third in order to meet demand, while online orders of the device from Apple’s website continue to list an estimated shipping time of “October” in most countries.

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6 Responses to “Chinese iPhone buyers desperate for gold turn to $2 stickers”

  1. If you’re going to fake it right, you need the gold ring on the home button – that’s the ticket to bragging goodness.

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  2. Andy Brooks says:

    i love the new iPhone but i would be so embarrassed to be caught looking so desperate as to apply a fake “gold” skin onto my iPhone. The space grey and silver good beautiful alone. applying this thin plastic crap would make it look so cheap and so obviously faked.

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  3. Do they have a $4 version in the actual color for the ‘not colorblind’ part of the population?

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  4. drtyrell969 says:

    Gold without the Orwellian tyranny! Brilliant!

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  5. The human race is so pathetic sometimes.

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  6. Gold is just outlandish. Not sure if that’s in a good way or not. In any case, using stickers to make a regular 5S gold is typical Chinese thinking — if you can’t produce or own the real thing, fake it — like much of the effects during their most recent Olympics.

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