The Federal Communications Commission may have just confirmed the existence of a gold iPhone X.
The FCC has published photos, depicting what appears to be a gold iPhone X, that were included in a routine regulatory document. Before launching a device in the U.S., smartphone makers are required to share details of the device in documents such as these.
Filed back in September 2017, the document includes a handful of images of an iPhone X from multiple angles. But it’s apparent that the flagship is in an unreleased gold shade, which appears to be somewhat similar to the gold iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The device in the photos also appears to be a European variant, based on the regulatory etchings.
Based on other FCC documentation, it appears that the photos could have been taken several months before the iPhone X’s unveiling last September. The document with the gold iPhone X photos was protected by a confidentiality clause, which apparently has just expired.
To be clear, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a gold iPhone X is still coming. But it basically confirms that the device was, at least at one point, on the docket.
Apple was likely planning on releasing the iPhone X in Gold last September, alongside Silver and Space Gray. At the time, most rumors and supply chain reports seem to back this assumption up.
But Apple apparently hit a roadblock in the production of the gold iPhone X, which presumably forced it to shelve the original plan of releasing three color options on launch day.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in September that Apple was running into production problems with the gold iPhone. While Apple experienced more general production issues with the iPhone X, it’s likely that it wasn’t able to reach a sustainable yield for the gold version.
While we may know that Apple was originally planning on releasing a gold iPhone X at launch, it’s still unclear whether we’ll see the device released anytime soon. In his report mentioned earlier, Kuo suggested that the gold iPhone X could “go on sale at a later date than the other versions.”
But the gold color could still make an appearance. Last month, Japanese site Mac Otakara suggested that Apple is planning on releasing a gold iPhone X in the mid-year to boost sales of its flagship. Based on the current timeline, it could be unveiled at WWDC ’18 in June.
Even if we don’t see a current-generation iPhone X in gold, it’s likely that Apple has worked out its production issues by now. That could hint at a gold color option being included for this year’s stable of devices — which will include a direct iPhone X successor and a so-called iPhone X Plus device.