Technology

Gold iPhone X Was In The Works But Never Released, Reveals FCC Filing

Gold iPhone X Leak
Image Source: Federal Communications Commission (screenshot)

Months before the iPhone X unveiling last year, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple would release a “Blush Gold” color variant of the 10th-anniversary iPhone. We never saw the blush gold iPhone X, but Apple’s FCC filing that was made public only recently shows that the company was indeed working on the gold iPhone X. For reasons known only to Apple, it ditched the gold model and released iPhone X only in silver and space gray colors.

Kuo had said at the time that the gold iPhone X was facing manufacturing problems, and it could be released at a later date to give the tech giant some time to fix the issues. Just like every other smartphone vendor, Apple is required to share the details of its upcoming smartphones with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Apple submitted the documents in September 2017. Parts of the documents became available soon after the submission.

But sensitive details and external details of the phones were subject to a six-month confidentiality clause. Now that the confidentiality clause has expired, all the details are available to the public. Apple submitted pictures of a gold iPhone X that hasn’t yet seen the light of the day. The gold backplate has the same tone as the gold iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The stainless steel frame that supports the front and rear glass panels is also a shade of gold.

Gold iPhone X
Image Source: Federal Communications Commission (screenshot)

The FCC filing shows the device from multiple angles to outline its dimensions and features. As 9to5Mac spotted, the photo annotations contain references to an “LCD display.” That’s strange considering the iPhone X sports a beautiful OLED screen. In every other aspect, the gold iPhone X resembles the iPhone X available in the market. Other documents indicate that the Cupertino company had prepared its FCC filing in July 2017. It means the photos were taken several months before the iPhone X debut in September.

According to industry reports, Apple planned on launching the iPhone X in gold, silver, and space gray color options. But the gold version was dropped due to production issues. The rumor mill claims the stainless steel frame of the gold iPhone X was causing trouble. The gold iPhone 8 and 8 Plus use an aluminum frame.

It isn’t yet clear whether Apple would release it in the coming months to boost the mid-year sales of the iPhone X. The anniversary iPhone isn’t selling as well as Apple had hoped. The manufacturing issues should have been resolved by now. Even if Apple doesn’t release the gold iPhone X at WWDC in June, we can expect the 2018 flagship iPhones to be available in gold color.

The FCC filing surfaced on the same day Apple warned its employees to stop leaking information to media about its future plans and products. In a memo to employees, the tech giant said it had “caught 29 leakers” last year, and 12 of them had been arrested. Apple warned that people leaking information “not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere.” The iPhone maker is ridiculously secretive about its future products.

Though leaks sometimes help build hype around an upcoming product, Apple argues that they could hurt the sales of existing models and give competitors additional time to come up with a response. If the new products don’t have exciting new features, leaked information could lead to fewer sales. The Cupertino company says it wants to have a chance to “tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else.”

Last week, Apple released the (PRODUCT) RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The RED models have already hit the store shelves in the US and many other countries. The rumor mill was hoping that the gold iPhone X would release with the RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. But that didn’t happen. Neither was there a RED iPhone X. Instead, Apple introduced a leather folio for the iPhone X priced at $99. The RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cost the same as the regular color variants, but part of proceeds from the RED iPhone sales goes towards testing, counseling, and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in African countries.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple would launch three new iPhones in the second half this year. One of them will be the successor to iPhone X with a 5.8-inch display, another would sport a giant 6.5-inch OLED display, while the third model would have a 6.1-inch LCD screen and a reasonable price tag. All three models would feature the Face ID, Animoji, and a bezel-less design with a top cutout. Apple will reportedly remove 3D Touch functionality from the LCD model to reduce its cost of manufacturing.

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