It would make a product already attractive to criminals even more so, said Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York City Police officer and now a police studies professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
"There might be some perception that the gold one is the gold standard for somebody who is either planning or instantaneously decides to [steal a phone]," O'Donnell told the Huffington Post Thursday.
Many iPhone thefts are "opportunistic" not premeditated, he said, noting smartphone thefts currently make up around 40 percent of thefts in major cities.
"The reality is that crime tends to mirror fashion trends," he said. "Any flashy, new, fashionable trend-setting device is going to elicit attention from consumers and criminals."
A gold-colored iPhone would make it easy for a potential thief to knows he's targeting the newest iPhone, said Mat Mullen, the founder of a company making software to help find lost or stolen iPhones.
"If you're a smart thief you know that gold is the newest version," Mullen said. "There's going to be a higher market value for [a] gold one if you can immediately tell it's the newest version."
Thefts of iPhones tend to spike following the release of new models, the New York Police Department has reported.