Apple's fascination with gold explained

There's a sound business reasons for all the gold-coloured iPhones and gold Apple Watches: Chinese customers.

Tim Cook told Bloomberg that its gold flavoured gadgets are popular in the East.

The company considers details including color palettes to suit local tastes, Cook said in an interview in the June 17 Chinese-language version of Bloomberg Businessweek, published under license by Modern Media Holdings.

The decision to offer a gold iPhone last year reflects in part the popularity of that color among Chinese users, he added. Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, is now Apple’s second-largest market and has become a battleground for the company as it vies with Samsung Electronics Co. and Xiaomi Corp. for smartphone supremacy.

The decision to cater to overseas markets has sound business support. In the most recent Q2 conference call, Apple's CFO said revenues from Greater China were "particularly impressive".

"Our performance was particularly impressive in our Greater China and rest of Asia-Pacific segments. In Greater China, we established an all-time quarterly record for revenue, which grew 71 percent year over year to $16.8 billion," said CFO Luca Maestri

The Apple Watch 18-carat gold editions start at Can$13,000. The custom gold alloy is supposed to be twice as hard as regular gold.

The iPhone can be purchased in either silver, gold or space gray.

Image by John Ragai