Asian consumers have snapped up Apple's first gold-coloured iPhone, but
many were left disappointed and frustrated at missing out during
Friday's highly anticipated global launch of the 5s.
From Japan to
Singapore, China and Hong Kong, there was a particular clamour for the
gold-coloured version, closely associated with wealth in Asian cultures.
(Also see: Apple unveils iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s)
It was not clear how many of the golden 5s also available in silver and "space grey" were available.
people had been able to pre-order, if they were fast enough, but those
who had not queued early or even overnight to get a piece of the "gold
"Our gold-colour iPhones were completely sold out within
four minutes when we opened online reservations on September 18," a
spokesman for market leader Singapore Telecom told AFP.
snaked through SingTel's launch event at the cavernous Marina Bay Sands
convention centre as thousands of Apple fans who had made online
reservations trooped there to pick up their new gadgets.
the first in line, said he decided to buy the golden iPhone because it
was "refreshing and a welcome change from the look of all the previous
The 24-year-old accountant queued for nearly 12 hours
before he got his hand on a 64-gigabyte version, but said the wait was
well worth it.
"I think it's worth the time especially when it is
something you cherish. It is just like queing for concert tickets," he
A spokeswoman for StarHub, another Singaporean carrier,
said the gold iPhone 5s (Review) was sold out within an hour in its 10 outlets
across the city-state.
Singapore's third carrier, M1, also ran out of the golden phones, according to a chart on its website.
There were similar scenes elsewhere in Asia.
China, state-run news website sh.eastday.com reported Wednesday that
the gold iPhone 5s models were quickly bought up after online pre-orders
began Tuesday morning.
Those looking to get their hands on
Apple's much-coveted latest offering said they did not mind the cost of
the 5s at least 5,288 yuan ($864).
In Beijing, Apple customer Yao Guibing said: "I've been using iPhone since its first generation.
"The colour is very special.. I believe in Apple's idea of design, so golden colour must be excellent.
"Though some people on the Internet say the golden colour is for nouveau riche, I don't think so."
by emperors and representing wealth and luxury in Chinese culture, gold
has become a badge of the country's newly wealthy.
In status-conscious Hong Kong, the golden version was almost nowhere to be found.
were able to acquire the 16 gigabyte models, we've gotten around 30 to
40 of the gold ones," Lau Chi-kong, of G-world Mobile in the commercial
district of Mong Kok, told AFP, which he described to be a small number.
"I think Apple released a limited amount of the gold version," Lau said.
Lau will sell the 16 gigabyte version of the gold coloured phone for HK$10,800, almost double its retail price, he said.
(Also see: 10 new features in Apple's iPhone 5s)
"There is demand for it, everyone wants it," he added.
Some customers who were left empty-handed vented their frustration online.
the point of having priority to purchase when (companies don't) even
provide sufficient phones for us?" asked Lipingg Jaimelody on M1's
"Launches at 8am, and (at) 8.40am gold was all sold out," she ranted.
sack Tim Cook who ain't cook enough gold for the consumer," customer
Teo PC also wrote on M1's Facebook page, referring to the Apple chief
iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s launch in pictures