"Gold-colored gadgets are popular among high-end consumers," James Yan, an analyst at IDC in China, wrote in an e-mail. "We are not surprised that some handset vendors have designed such products."
China's upper-class often treats gadgets like jewelry. On the streets of Shenzhen or Beijing, you can find stores selling gold-colored mobile phones from Nokia or street vendors carrying gold cases for iPods. These aren't actually made of real gold. (Though, that exists, too.)
"Chinese consumers generally have the 'buying-for-face' culture," Yan wrote. "This phenomenon is more obvious in consumer electronics."
The iPhone 5s -- also available in silver and gray colors, similar to the previous model -- is the first Apple phone to come in gold. It'll cost at least 5,288 yuan ($864). The gold 5s already looks to be a hit in China and Hong Kong, with pre-orders quickly selling out, according to state-run news website Eastday.com.
China is one of the most important regions to Apple's business, and growth is slowing. With the new phones set to come out tomorrow, Apple still hasn't announced a deal with China Mobile, the nation's largest carrier. Analysts expected the iPhone 5c to be Apple's savior in emerging markets. That was until they heard the price.