Can't get the color iPhone 5s you want? There's an aftermarket for that!

One of the overriding issues from iPhone 5s launch day was the apparent lack of supply on the gold model. Everyone seemed to want one, few actually managed it – like Mobile Nations' own Kevin Michaluk. Apple did new colors this year for the first time, but while the Space Gray was plentiful, gold was not. But what about red? Or blue? Green, perhaps? If you know where to look, you can find the iPhone 5s color of your dreams – yes, even a gold one. What we have here is one of the very first examples anywhere in the world of a customized iPhone 5s, in a gorgeous and very striking red on black combination.

The phone is the work of the guys at mendmyi. Based out of the UK, their Colour Lab will take your new iPhone 5s in whichever color you managed to snag it in, and transform it into something more desirable even perhaps than those Apple sells. The change is completed by process of anodizing the phone, much like Apple would do themselves, only the coating is thicker as Riki from mendmyi told us:

Anodizing is measured in microns. Apple's anodized coating is averagely 12 microns. Ours is between 18 and 30 microns depending on the color.

So, a thicker coating should equal better durability over the life of the phone. At present, you can send in your iPhone 5s and have it transformed into a selected range of colors; red, jet black, gold, green, lime green, purple, pink, bronze, teal, orange, light blue and dark blue. They will consider matching Apple's shade of gold if there's enough interest shown in it.

In terms of what gets colored, you're looking at everything metal on the exterior aside from the buttons, SIM tray and the insides of the headphone jack and Lightning port. The Apple logo and text on the back also gets colored. Not coloring the buttons gives a nice contrast to the outer edges of the iPhone. In this case, we've retained the Space Gray of the original 5s, which matches a lot nicer to the red than you might think at first. Likewise along the bottom of the phone, where the color round the headphone jack and Lightning port provides a nice contrast. The slight view you get front on of the red edges means that from every angle, this is different, and boy does it stand out.

The feel of the phone is pretty much identical to the standard finish, too. Honestly, I thought I could feel a slight difference, but that could quite easily also be an element of the placebo effect kicking in. But the finish is extremely good quality, and certainly sets this iPhone 5s apart from the crowd.

So, by now you're possibly interested in doing this yourself, so how much does it cost? For customers outside the EU, the price is £80, while inside the EU you need to add VAT to this taking the total up to £96. If you don't have the phone yet, mendmyi will source an iPhone 5s for you, and charge Apple retail price for that model plus the price of the Colour Lab treatment. There's a bunch of different options, including having a replacement housing coated and installed and your own one returned to you. Naturally there's the cost implications of the parts involved there too, but it's an option, particularly if you're looking to spruce up a much loved iPhone 5, say.

So, there we have it. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Right now I just can't decide which color to go for. It's something a little special, something that sets your iPhone out from the crowd, and ultimately adds a little extra protection to the stock Apple finish. If it's something you could be into, hit up the guys at mendmyi at the link below and put together the iPhone 5 or 5s of your dreams, and check out the full photo gallery of this stunning red iPhone 5s.

Richard Devine

Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy. Follow him on Twitter and Google+