I haven't been too keen on the idea of Apple making a gold version of the iPhone and instead have been thinking that's a better option for the rumored iPhone 5C. Based on the word on the street, I'm flat-out wrong, and that instead of being garish, it'll be a product that Smaug would be willing to fight for to keep out of Hobbit's hands.
Dragons of Middle Earth love gold, so they'll be first in line for the next iPhone
First, TechCrunch has sources saying the the gold iPhone is real, but that it will be more of a champagne color instead of a blinged-out gold. Then there's AllThings D with sources that back up TechCrunch's, and they're calling the gold color elegant.
I said last week that gold isn't a color Apple has used in the past and that it won't likely start now. I had forgotten about the gold iPod mini, so Apple does have a limited track record with gold colored products, and now it seems that gold is a popular color in large emerging markets like China.
Adding a gold option would expand the iPhone's color lineup to three, or at least two with a variation. The black model includes black glass pieces, too, where as gold will be an option in addition to silver for the white iPhone model.
Apple does have experience with multiple color options for its mobile devices. The discontinued iPod mini, along with iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and iPod touch all come in several colors, and the iPhone and iPad are available in black or white versions.
AllThings D along with The Loop have said that an iPhone introduction media event will be happening on September 10. That's as good as a confirmation from Apple, and that's were we'll get to see the gold iPhone for the first time. Apple will use the event to show off the iPhone 5 replacement -- presumably the iPhone 5S -- and introduce the lower priced iPhone 5C.
Preorders will probably start a few days later with product shipping shortly after that, most likely the 20th at the latest. My personal aversion to a gold iPhone aside, it will probably sell well in markets like China which has been part of the reason why I think it'd be a good option on the lower priced iPhone model.
Gold isn't currently an option in Apple's color lineup, and despite what I'd like to see, it looks like we're about to see it show up on the next iPhone. Start watching for one to show up in a dragon horde near you.