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New photos may or may not show Apple's so-called iPhone 5S being assembled at Foxconn

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
A new series of over a dozen photos that showed up on a Chinese technology website last week are claimed to show both the internals an externals of an unknown iPhone model rolling off the assembly lines at Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Galaxy S III mini


The fourteen photos published by sjbbs.zol.com show trays of iPhone 5-like faceplates making their way through an assembly line, in addition to several shots of the internal componentry of the unknown models. Thus far, one discernible difference between the model shown in the photos and the existing iPhone 5 is the presence of a slightly different motor for facilitating the handset's vibration mode.

While the backside of the device in the photos is completely obscured, the frame and bezel of the device is visible and largely reminiscent to the one employed by the iPhone 5. If the photos are indeed genuine, they could imply that Apple has chosen to address with the iPhone 5S a much-criticized move on its part that saw the iPhone 5 employ a rotational motor, which has proven noisier than the "quieter and less annoying" linear oscillating vibrator found in the iPhone 4S.

On the flip side, there's been at least one effort by the folks over at nowhereelse.fr to debunk the images as inauthentic, publishing an annotated version of one of the photos that suggests the device in the images is simply a well-designed iPhone clone. Kyle Wiens, one of the tear-down experts over at iFixIt, raised similar doubt that the images portray a genuine iPhone devices, telling AppleInsiderthat "the internals don't look like something Apple would build."

A rudimentary analysis of that image by AppleInsider contributors found similar reason for concern but could not definitively rule out the possibility that the pictured devices could be early engineering validation test (EVT) units. At the very least, the photos could show a rare glimpse inside Foxconn's manufacturing facilities during a product run of an iPhone-like device.

The photos also surface amid a chorus of reports that suggest Apple is gearing up to begin preliminary builds of a so-called iPhone 5S as early as next month. Photos of components allegedly bound for this model, in addition to a rumored iPhone 6 also rumored for 2013, turned up a few weeks earlier.

Separately, there's also been increased talk of a lower-cost, lightweight iPhone that would include lower-cost components, a plastic enclosure and be targeted at price-sensitive emerging markets like China and India for around $300. This device would presumably be an addition to the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6, both of which are believed to be enclosed in more costly aluminum bodies.

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini

Galaxy S III mini
post #2 of 52
Already assembling? If true, we're talking about June launch the latest.
post #3 of 52
I highly doubt any major hardware changes coming to 5S just like any other 'S' version with comes with changes under the hood. The question though is can Apple can afford a 'S' version with minor upgrades? Im not sure if the rumors of finger print sensor are happening. Doesnt iPhone need a hardware change (atleast minor) to support it?

I can see A7 chip, better camera coming up. Cant think of anything else.
post #4 of 52
Those are some of the most extensive spy shots yet. I wonder how they get away with it? Someone with access to some sort of clean room looks like.
post #5 of 52

I'm also not sure if Apple can afford to do another "S" type upgrade. I can't see them succeeding with this every other year a major update comes out. I don't think NFC is really all that important....until Apple releases it. So far, I don't see a lot of people using NFC, however if Apple does include this in the next iPhone it will start to take off a little better than it has. It seems as if Apple is the driving force for certain things like this. 

 

I would really like to see them do something very revolutionary that really puts them ahead of the competition...what that is, well I don't know. That is what Apple does best. It comes up with things nobody thought of, or thought they needed until Apple releases it. I'd like to see them do this again. 

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post #6 of 52
legit. big home button indicating authentec biometric scanner. Sweet.
post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Already assembling? If true, we're talking about June launch the latest.

 

Or these are early test units. The vibe motor is something that has gotten a lot of complaints so trying something new for the next model sounds about right. And if they want to launch mid fall they will need to lockdown around Late July/August so six months of hardware testing fits with these being prototypes.

post #8 of 52
SD Card Slot ?! Are you serious ?! Just another crappy chinese clone... Just take a look... 1wink.gif http://twitpic.com/c1ucxk
post #9 of 52
Looks more like a counterfeit, given the yellow battery and the batteries seen in iPhones teardowns on iFixit.
post #10 of 52

Yeah these are knock off photos...

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post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by appletouches View Post

I highly doubt any major hardware changes coming to 5S just like any other 'S' version with comes with changes under the hood. The question though is can Apple can afford a 'S' version with minor upgrades? Im not sure if the rumors of finger print sensor are happening. Doesnt iPhone need a hardware change (atleast minor) to support it?

I can see A7 chip, better camera coming up. Cant think of anything else.

 

 

Probably depends on whether some of the other rumors about 1) a cheaper iPhone, and 2) an iPhone Plus are true or not. I personally hope both are true. The cheaper iPhone for emerging markets (e.g. China), and an iPhone Plus to compete with the tons of 5 inch Phones. 

post #12 of 52
Sure am hoping for some form of iWallet in the 5s. NFC or otherwise, I don't care HOW they do it, I just want the capability.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

Apple needs serious upgrades to iOS, along with some hardware changes like NFC to compete. The iPhone is starting to appear to be stale in the marketplace.

 

 

NFC? Where will we get to use it? The reality is Apple is smart not incorporating NFC as there are competing formats and I have to see any place where it can actually be used. Moreover, the phone takes a performance hit.

post #14 of 52
Fake. Apple only uses blue logic boards.
post #15 of 52
Wow, that picture of the employees sitting down in the clean room seems reckless. It shows nothing revealing about any Apple product but it may provide clues to home-in on the photographer. Why take the risk and publish it?
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Already assembling? If true, we're talking about June launch the latest.
It sucks, but to compete with the market, I believe they might start shooting phones out every 6-8 months.
post #17 of 52
iPhone 5S??? APPLE IS DOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEEEDDD!

Wall Street and the tech pundits already hate it. Not enough of an upgrade and looks the same as the iPhone 4S which is already five years out of date. If only Steve were alive he'd have built a totally organic smartphone that grows and shrinks to your needs. Samsung is now the greatest smartphone maker on the planet and Apple is ready to fade into obscurity. If Apple only sells 50 million iPhones per quarter Wall Street will be disappointed, as usual. Apple should get out of the smartphone business because the company isn't making enough money to satisfy investors. SELL YOUR APPLE SHARES NOW! Einhorn knew this would happen and now he's crying all the way to the poorhouse.

/s
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydr View Post

legit. big home button indicating authentec biometric scanner. Sweet.

Noticed that too
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple doesn't design to compete. They don't view this as a zero sum game. They design to make money by releasing what they view as the best product for their audience. Not what will make every possible group happy and sell cheap. And they are making money hand over fist. 

Folks around here call iOS stale and scream about needing fancy geek tricks like NFC. But the general audience, which is who Apple dominantly designs for, doesn't hold the same views. 

Of course Apple designs to compete. If they didn't, then they would never update their internals, put a larger screen on the phone, or improve the camera. All those things were perfectly functional on older models in isolation. In the context of the market however, incremental changes are necessary to stay relevant to consumers, for whose dollars Apple competes against other companies.

And it's not only members on the forums who want an update to iOS. Most reviews of the 5 (and maybe even the 4S) said that iOS is nice but stale.
post #20 of 52

Assuming the photos are real, if the only discernible difference is the vibration motor, can't Apple just be revising that in the iPhone 5? It is not uncommon for certain parts to be swapped out. 

post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagueve View Post

SD Card Slot ?! Are you serious ?! Just another crappy chinese clone... Just take a look... 1wink.gif http://twitpic.com/c1ucxk

 

Yes indeed.

 

The answer to how pictures like this of an unreleased Apple product were obtained is that it's not an Apple product at all.

post #22 of 52
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie
With no competition in the iPhone league, it certainly looks stale. That's because there's nothing out there to compare it to. Really, NFC? Use it where exactly?

There's a list of retailers who accept NFC-enabled payments here:

http://www.google.com/wallet/how-it-works/in-store.html#merchant-matrix

 

and here (note you can change the country):

http://www.mastercard.us/cardholder-services/paypass-locator.html

 

There's also "an app for that"

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mastercard.paypass&hl=en

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post #23 of 52

Hardware != the way it looks.

 

People have been living with personal computers that don't change the way it looks on the outside for a long time now, and have had your typical yearly CPU, GPU, memory, storage upgrades, and hardly anyone mentions that personal computer "hardware" hasn't changed.

 

If the iPhone is 2x CPU, 2x GPU, 2x RAM, 2x storage, 2x LTE band support or 2x more power efficient, then it's a monster upgrade. It's an upgrade that is about 1.5x to 2x the rate that you see in the personal computer world. This is what happened with the 3GS and 4S; yet, people still think they were incremental updates. Crazy.

 

Moreover, people haven't realized how good they have it with smartphones the past 5 years. The rate of performance improvement has been pretty close to 2x every year. Well, all the low hanging fruit for CPU, GPU design in ARM SoCs are basically picked. If you think these yearly improvements are "nothing" now, just wait a couple of years down the road when you would be lucky to got 1.15x perf improvement every year. The life cycle of cell phones introduced in 2013 may well be 3 or 4 years. If you think the smartphone technorati are bored now, the crying tears coming in the next few years will be enough to fill the oceans.

post #24 of 52
NFC would not be a geeky trick. It would be very valuable from a digital wallet/commerce perspective
post #25 of 52

I guess I am the only one who would rather have the rotating motor instead of the oscillating motor for the vibrate feature.  I didn't like how quiet the oscillating motor was.  

 

As for the pics, something is fishy.  The pictures showing the internals show a sloppy assembly.  Very sloppy.

post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by appletouches View Post

The question though is can Apple can afford a 'S' version with minor upgrades?

 

The 'S' versions have never been minor upgrades. They have all been major upgrades of the internals. The only thing that has remained the same in the 'S' upgrades has been the external casing and the screen.

post #27 of 52
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post
Fake. Apple only uses blue logic boards.


Well, black. But who's coloring… 


Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post
The only thing that has remained the same in the 'S' upgrades has been the external casing and the screen.

 

"But that's all that matters. Same phone same phone same phone same phone!" 

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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckD View Post

Fake. Apple only uses blue logic boards.

Agree , I think so . It doesn't seem like Apple . Green logic looks cheaper and fake iPhone alike.
post #29 of 52
Looks nothing like an Apple product. Cheap components, very poor quality assembly, inefficient use of internal space, SD card, wrong type of connector, ...

Did anyone look at the photos before releasing this story??
post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

 I don't think NFC is really all that important....until Apple releases it. So far, I don't see a lot of people using NFC, however if Apple does include this in the next iPhone it will start to take off a little better than it has. It seems as if Apple is the driving force for certain things like this. 

 

How true!! And before they do, Apple will make sure they have all partner agreements in place. I would further suggest they drag these things out to sweat out the ecosystem (manufacturers, suppliers, etc.) so they will give Apple a more prominent position in the market. (like they did with the iPhone and the carriers) 

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

 

How true!! And before they do, Apple will make sure they have all partner agreements in place. I would further suggest they drag these things out to sweat out the ecosystem (manufacturers, suppliers, etc.) so they will give Apple a more prominent position in the market. (like they did with the iPhone and the carriers) 

 

At some point (soon) I really think Apple has to have a solution for mobile payments.  The entire market seems to be waiting to see what Apple will do.  I'm not saying it's NFC, but SOMETHING.  I think being able to use Passbook in the Apple store is indicative of Apple moving to a mobile wallet sooner rather than later.  My guess is the 5s will be the time. 

 

I hope, anyway.  Really hope.

post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple doesn't design to compete. They don't view this as a zero sum game. They design to make money by releasing what they view as the best product for their audience. Not what will make every possible group happy and sell cheap. And they are making money hand over fist. 

Folks around here call iOS stale and scream about needing fancy geek tricks like NFC. But the general audience, which is who Apple dominantly designs for, doesn't hold the same views. 

I'd say that's how Apple would like to everyone (including themselves) to think how they operate. But there's no reason that "one form factor/iPhone per year" needs to be held up as Gospel. Multiple styles of Macs address different display size needs and entry prices (11 in - 27 in, 6 form factors, $999-$2,499). Same with iPods (5 form factors, $49-$299) and iPads (2/3 designs, $329-$499).

Why not have a 4.5-inch iPhone alongside the 4-inch iPhone? Heck they could keep the same resolution and make it just a hair less sharp. It would be nice for some segment of the market. Just like there's no one perfect Mac or iPod or iPad size.
post #33 of 52
Lower cost phone will replace 4/4s & be equipped with a lightning connector much like the ipad4 replaced ipad3. Ipad2 , 4/4s to be phased out by end of 2013.
post #34 of 52
Originally Posted by Jamesv View Post
Lower cost phone will replace 4/4s & be equipped with a lightning connector… 

 

I don't see it. Not all right away, at least.


 much like the ipad4 replaced ipad3.

 

That's a totally different analogy.


Ipad2, 4/4s to be phased out by end of 2013.

 

This is how I know it's not happening.

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post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

There's a list of retailers who accept NFC-enabled payments here:

http://www.google.com/wallet/how-it-works/in-store.html#merchant-matrix

 

and here (note you can change the country):

http://www.mastercard.us/cardholder-services/paypass-locator.html

 

There's also "an app for that"

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mastercard.paypass&hl=en

Yay! Thanks for the links! I had no idea there are so many places in my country (Romania) where I can pay with NFC!!! Well, since Apple doesn't want to release an iphone with NFC I guess I have to buy an Android phone! If Apple doesn't want to take my money who am I to argue with them, right? I can't wait to test this! 1biggrin.gif

I have to check with my bank but do you have any idea if all Mastercards with chip work with NFC or do I need a special card?

post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I don't see it. Not all right away, at least.

That's a totally different analogy.

This is how I know it's not happening.
post #37 of 52
This proves that all of the rumors are true: someone somewhere is making a cell phone.
post #38 of 52
A different analogy yes, but also an obvious example of how fast Apple wants to move its entire mobile product line to the lightning connector. A new lower cost up to date product that will support later versions of Ios7 will be a much more attractive deal for China Mobile to carry over the outdated 4/4s models. With that being said current buyers now of the 4s&4s would be supported, but with minimal features of the new ios7.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post

This proves that all of the rumors are true: someone somewhere is making a cell phone.

Yay for us.
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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by womble2k2 View Post

Looks nothing like an Apple product. Cheap components, very poor quality assembly, inefficient use of internal space, SD card, wrong type of connector, ...

Did anyone look at the photos before releasing this story??

AppleInsider said the photos may OR MAY NOT show the iPhone 5S, thereby absolving themselves of any mislabeling of these photos.

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