Apple's highly-sought-after champagne-colored golden iPhone5s handsets are currently selling for US$2000 on eBay - four times more than their in-store price. Yet some price-sensitive Apple fans in China have settled for a more affordable alternative: the gilded iPhone case.
'Golden' covers for both the 5s and older generations of the iPhone are currently advertised on Taobao, China’s online equivalent of eBay, with many retailers promising a “golden transformation” for older, or less gaudy, models.
“This super thin case will present the linear beauty of your phone,” claimed one seller from Zhejiang whose gilded cases ship at 118 yuan. A total of 69 have been sold in the past month, according to the vendor's page.
Other golden cases feature more bold designs. One uses a dragon on its back, and another a graphic resembling the logo of luxury car maker Rolls Royce.
Cheaper options are available for those who can’t get afford this year’s must-have smartphone accessory. A picture tutorial posted by a blogger  on Weibo teaches users to apply a golden sticker to the back of an old iPhone. The cost? Two yuan.
Apple has said that it is ramping-up production of its golden models to meet demand.
In a bid to catch up with its principal competitor, Samsung has introduced 'Gold Pink' and 'Gold Brown' editions of its popular Galaxy S4 model.