Detailed documents must be submitted to the United States Federal Communications Commission for any smartphone manufacturer bringing out a new device for the US market. Same went for Apple’s iPhone X in the September of 2017. But to our surprise, the prototype shown in the documents feature a soft and beautiful golden-hued iPhone X from several angles, one that never hit the markets.

The gold shade of the iPhone X used to showcase the model’s features and dimensions seem similar to that of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus of the same colorway.

According to several other documents, Apple’s preparation for FCC filing finished in July, therefore the photos from the production stage must date to several months earlier than the unveiling of iPhone X in September. Most of the documents used in the filing were made available soon after submission. But external photos and sensitive details came under six-month confidentiality clause that expired not long ago.

It can, therefore, be surmised that Apple’s initial plan was to release the iPhone X in three colors – gold, silver, and space gray. The gold color option must have been shelved ahead of release due to production issues.

Before the launch, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had said that Apple had problems regarding the manufacturing of a “Blush Gold” iPhone X. He had then suggested in September that the gold version might be launched later to afford Apple some time to fix the issues.

It may be possible that the stainless steel frame of the proposed gold iPhone X was causing problems which didn’t happen in case of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which came in Aluminium casing. Finally, Apple ended up releasing the iPhone X in only silver and space gray.

While it’s still not clear, Apple might introduce the gold version to boost mid-year sales of iPhone X. If that indeed happens, we could see its debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

It could be more logical to introduce the new shade along with the new spring-summer range of Apple Watch bands or even the recently announced Red iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Apple is probably then going to postpone the unveiling of the new color.

If manufacturing issues have been solved by now, Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup would come in traditional gold, silver, and space gray options, whether or not Apple releases a gold iPhone X ahead of the debut of the lineup in September.

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