Chinese iPhone buyers desperate for gold turn to $2 stickers

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.” Read more