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+

  • I'm guessing this voids the warranty.
  • That's the only thing which would discourage me from doing it. Apart from the cost of course. But it does look absolutely fantastic!
  • I went to return a GENUINE, bought in store Apple USB to Lightning cable for my 5. It was one of two I bought and it failed within 3 months. When I explained to the Apple employee, and plugged it into my phone, he exclaimed "you JAILBROKE that voids the warranty"
    Uhhh- I'm here about the cable, man. You try it on ANY phone.
    After nearly 3 MINUTES, he finally gets it to show it's charging and (rather triumphantly) turns and says "it's because that phone doesn't run on iOS any longer. I'm not issuing a credit/refund/anything..." (Guess he doesn't realize it's reversible...and AT&T had zero issue through their warranty)
    So- I would HIGHLY likely figure this voids warranty.
  • Holy shitballs, that looks good. And I'm not even an iPhone guy!
  • That's sick! If you haven't gotten yours yet, Richard. Then who's iPhone is in the pics?
  • Review unit :)
  • Ahh I see
  • Bye bye warranty Sent from the iMore App
  • For those of us in the US, a small-town Minnesota company has been doing this very well for years:
  • As far as I know, Colorware paints, not anodizes. There's a rather large difference in quality, especially for aluminum products.
  • how much it cost to do something like this and is there a warranty on it if something does wrong?
  • Yeah but Colorware is overly espensive to send in your phone to have them color it is $289 and if you want to extend the warranty its an additional $299 for 1 year. and lets not talk about buying the phone from them already painted for a 16g it will cost you $1199 and for the 64g it will cost you $1399 *SMH*
  • Colorware is also paint and not anodizing. Sent from the iMore App
  • That looks absolutely badass. I would love to have the red color done to my 5S.
  • Who would want to void their AppleCare warranty for this if that's true? That's crazy and not even worth it.
  • On the 5s it's a consideration but on an iPhone 5 the original Apple warranty is probably up anyway.
  • i want mine in navy blue with orange accents chicago bears baby can't wait....
  • I would like to have the band on my 4s anodized...
  • I've been saying Apple should release a Product Red iPhone for years. And maybe cancer colors too.
  • So it's the iPhone 5SC!
  • LOVE!!!! Maybe when the warranty on my 5s runs out in two years I will get this done. ;)
  • AnoStyle does the same thing for quite some time?
    And they also do the buttons. Would love to have my 5 in full black ano!
    So I would prefer AnoStyle tbh.
  • The store I went to only had gold.
  • Sweet!
  • I have a space grey 64 GB 5s, but color is really immaterial, as I have it totally enclosed in a yellow aluminum case! [IMG][/IMG]