@ AC 1423h GMT - Re: More lipstick on a pig.
No joking. OK, then, serious now; I actuallly mean it. (And, although it won't pacify Steve, this also applies to Samsung.)
The reason for a 'gold' iPhone should be obvious. Show that it's an iPhone 5S, not an old iPhone 5 which you otherwise couldn't tell.
I've called high-end-mobiles 'Veblen Goods*' more than once. You will find them with people who neither need the functionality, nor are they able to use it to it's full potential. In this case the mobile is a fashion status symbol.
As a fashion article, it only serves it's purpose if it clearly shows that it IS high fashion. Hence the overwhelming branding on FCUK and Abercrombie & Finch wear or the Dolce & Gabanna handbags.
What if you can't tell the new from the old? You would have wasted your money on an article that does not immediately show that you're a trendy person, and thereby does not serve it's main function.
A Samsung Galaxy 5 that looks like a Galaxy 2 is a no-status phone, you might just a well have the old one.
An iPhone 5S in gold states that you have a distinguishable 'new' model, as last year's model only came in black or white. Even better, if the gold model is, let's say, £50 more expensive. This shows that you are successful enough to not have to worry about paying 10% above the average price.
The most clever thing about all this is the actual price point of the article. You couldn't afford an Aston Martin DB9 to show off, neither to have it resprayed in gold. But everyone can afford an iPhone. It might mean that there's £30 a month less to go around, but that can be picked up somewhere, it's only £7.50 a week. This is, in matters of inconvenience, much cheaper than a Breitling or a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti** sneakers.
See, Steve, no offence. This is not an Apple issue at all to me. This is a 'tech fashion' issue.
And no-one does this better than Apple.
**No, I didn't know that name either; I just googled for an example.