"We have some good sources. They gave us an idea of what the phone would look like," said Laban Roomes, founder of Goldgenie, which has sold more than 2,500 gold-plated handsets in the month since the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were launched.
Now, the privately owned company has developed a way to add a 24-carat gold veneer to Samsung phones for the first time. This should help it to double revenue to about 20 million pounds (USD 32 million) next year, Roomes said in an interview.
"We hope we can cover both angles by doing two of the best-selling phones in the history of phones," he said.
Goldgenie gets about half of its revenue from the sale of Apple products, online and through approved resellers. Its 64-gigabyte iPhone 6 sells for a little over USD 4,200, or more than five times the price of the phone's regular equivalent.
The company lists several celebrities and sports stars among its clients. Demand is also strong in the Gulf states – a limited edition iPhone features the national crest of countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Goldgenie is not without competition. U.S.-based Brikk LLC plans this month to release a gold-plated iPhone 6 with a price tag of USD 4,995, while London-based Gold & Co's versions – costing upward of USD 5,000 - went on sale on 21st September.
What caught the eye was Goldgenie's early release of images. Roomes said the company published details of the iPhone 6 four weeks before its official launch on Sept. 9. Reuters reporters saw the images on the website two weeks prior to the unveiling.
"We copied Apple and created hype long before it was launched," said Roomes. "We were able to get a set amount of stock a few days after the actual phone was launched in the UK."