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Samsung and Apple in `golden battle`

Posted September. 27, 2013 04:30,   


Gold is emerging as "it color" for smartphone users in the global market.

The company initiating this trend is Apple who has offered its newly-launched iPhone 5S in gold. iPhone 5S defied the odds and marked a record high in sales as soon as it was launched on Sept. 20 in nine countries including the U.S. and china. It is said that such a success is attributed to the popularity of gold version. Among the three colors launched, gold color is catching the eyes of the customers most.

iPhone 5S in gold has been in short supply after being sold out in 10 minutes after its release. Recently in global auction website eBay, gold iPhone 5S, which is different from other 5S phones only in color, was awarded at as much as 10,100 dollars (11.88 million won).

Chinese customers are in particular excited about the gold smartphone. Traditionally in China, gold is the color of emperor and known to bring fortune and wealth. Thus, many Chinese people carry gold-colored items in their body as a charm. According to Chinese local media, gold color was fully booked up in an hour during iPhone 5S pre-order. And the portion supplied on Friday last week also sold out immediately after release even though the market price soared twice of the list price, 5,288 yuan (920,000 won), to 10,600 yuan (1.86 million won). Apple plans to increase the output of gold iPhone 5S by a third.

An industry official said, “Gold marketing that Apple chose to apply for its first smartphone in China hit the jackpot,” adding, “The rich in China familiar only with premium cellphones made by Samsung started to pay attention to Apple products.”

Samsung Electronics has joined the so-called “golden battle.” Samsung plans to further launch its “Galaxy S4 Gold Edition,” which is currently sold in China and the Middle East, in Africa. Some foreign media criticized, “Only in five days after Apple unveiled iPhone 5S in gold, Samsung decided to make a copycat.”

However, Samsung refuted, “We released gold first in August.” An official from Samsung said, “Customers in the Middle East and China are so in favor of gold color that we have used `gold as a marketing tool` for TV advertisement,” adding, “Launching the gold edition in more markets including Africa is based on our own plan.”

Aside from Samsung and Apple, HTC of Taiwan is reportedly to launch “HTC One” in gold, heating up the “gold” competition in the global smartphone market.

In fact, it is not new that IT products in gold attract customers. In the past, Canon launched a limited edition of premium camera whose model name and dial were gold inscribed for Chinese customers. Back then, the company chose popular Chinese actor Jacky Chan as an advertisement model. The edition embedded with a flash where "龍," a Chinese character meaning dragon, was inscribed gained huge popularity. In 2008, Motorola also released “Razor Squared Luxury Edition” featuring 18K-gold-plated logo and buttons.