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Rumor: Apple planning $330 polycarbonate iPhone, deferring 4.5" model to 2014 [u]

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
A new iPhone design with a polycarbonate body similar to Apple's legacy entry-level MacBook may be released at a targeted price of $330, while plans for a next-gen handset with 4.5-inch display have been pushed back to 2014, according to a new report.

Update: In an update to its original report, Macotakara now claims there are two distinct forthcoming iPhone models, an iPhone 5 follow-up with a 4.5-inch LCD and a less-expensive version made from polycarbonate. The publication originally listed the two separate phones as one device. This article has been updated to reflect the changes.

The details were published on Thursday by Japanese blog Macotakara, which claims that Apple has "deferred" its planned release for a larger-screened iPhone 5 successor, but may debut a less expensive handset sometime soon.

As for the cheaper iPhone model, it is suggested Apple will be using a material similar to the glossy polycarbonate body seen on the company's entry-level MacBook, which was discontinued after it was replaced at the $999 price point by the 11-inch MacBook Air.


A pair of iPhone mini prototypes were revealed by Apple in its court battles with Samsung.


Apple apparently hopes to price its new entry-level iPhone at $330, matching what the company charges for the iPad mini. The entry-level iPhone is also expected to be thicker than the iPhone 5, thanks to the use of a polycarbonate body rather than aluminum and glass. The thicker material will reportedly increase the durability of the device.

But in spite of those changes and cost cutting measures, the cheaper iPhone is said to have a design largely similar to all previous iPhones, including a home button below the LCD display.

Finally, Thursday's report also made mention of Apple's follow-up to the iPhone 5, sometimes referred to as a so-called "iPhone 5S." It claimed that Apple apparently plans to add a dual-flash LED module on the back of the device to aid in picture taking. The two flash exposures are rumored to be stacked on top of one another to the right of the camera lens.

The publication noted, however, that Apple has put the brakes on unveiling the purported next-generation handset that is said to employ a 4.5-inch display, slightly larger than the the 4-inch panel seen on the iPhone 5.
post #2 of 37

Looks bad... maybe because its just a mock-up.. Apple would never release that

post #3 of 37
2014? might as well be never.
post #4 of 37
What? Plastic iPhone?
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelross2408 View Post

Looks bad... maybe because its just a mock-up.. Apple would never release that

 

If my memory serves me right, those are pre-first gen iPhone mockups.

post #6 of 37

I'm just glad that it doesn't say "menu" on the home buttons of my current iOS devices.

post #7 of 37
"A new iPhone design with a polycarbonate body similar to Apple's legacy entry-level MacBook".

So, ummmmm like uhhhhhh the iPhone 3G?
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

"A new iPhone design with a polycarbonate body similar to Apple's legacy entry-level MacBook".

So, ummmmm like uhhhhhh the iPhone 3G?

Maybe it is, with a facelift.
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post

If my memory serves me right, those are pre-first gen iPhone mockups.

That's exactly what they are. Good memory.
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post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelross2408 View Post

Looks bad... maybe because its just a mock-up.. Apple would never release that
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post

If my memory serves me right, those are pre-first gen iPhone mockups.


I don't think mockup is the most appropriate term. I think early prototype is much more apropos. Now the display UI doesn't look real so I'd call them mockups, if that's the case.

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post #11 of 37
2014 too late
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleh1234 View Post

What? Plastic iPhone?


Yeah. You know, like 3G and 3GS.

post #13 of 37

If this thing is real, it will NOT have a 4.5" screen. That much has been established.

post #14 of 37
Jeez these people are dumb. If Apple does make an entry level phone, it won't have a bigger screen than the top of the line flagship model. If they do make one, I see it having the same size as the 4 and earlier, without retina. IF!!
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post

 

If my memory serves me right, those are pre-first gen iPhone mockups.

Yes, You can tell by the icons that they predate the original iPhone.

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post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain J View Post

Jeez these people are dumb. If Apple does make an entry level phone, it won't have a bigger screen than the top of the line flagship model. If they do make one, I see it having the same size as the 4 and earlier, without retina. IF!!

Indeed the headline does not match the copy in the article.

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post #17 of 37

More stock manipulation.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefish86 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelross2408 View Post

Looks bad... maybe because its just a mock-up.. Apple would never release that

 

If my memory serves me right, those are pre-first gen iPhone mockups.

Yep. Don't know why those images are even being used here. (?)

post #19 of 37
They need this phone right now, otherwise their market share will shrink further.
post #20 of 37
What? Next year???? Way too late! Will give up huge share by then and when they finally do launch it great Android phones will be sub $100
post #21 of 37
Please. Take a rumor, strip away skepticism, cloak the source, embellish it with false details an repackage it as "this is what Apple is planning for 2014." Uh no. It's made up by the AppleInsider irresponsible rumor factory. Nothing more, nothing less.

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post #22 of 37
Why will the price be up and the same as IPad mini?
post #23 of 37
Originally Posted by michaelross2408 View Post
Looks bad... maybe because its just a mock-up.. Apple would never release that

 

Thanks for not reading the article.


Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post
Why will the price be up and the same as IPad mini?

 

Obviously because it will "only" be sold "off-contract". 

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post #24 of 37

What a bunch of crap. I don't believe them for a second. On what basis are they making this claim anyway?

 

And what do a couple of old "looks like" prototypes have to do with it?

 

Now, might polycarbonate be a suitable material for the job? Could be. But Apple has been moving away from plastics and toward high quality recyclables. Although PC is reusable, it's not quite the high end recyclable glass and metals are. I see no reason Apple would want to move in that direction now (but who knows?)

post #25 of 37
If you think Apple tries to cut the cost of the phone by changing the material to plastic, you must be smoking something here. The cost of materials for the case won't cost a lot that Apple can cut the price from $650 to $330. How much it cost to make iphone 5, $200? with plastic case, it will still cost a few dollars cheaper. This makes no sense. I think this rumor is just another garbage news.

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post #26 of 37

So these are the "great" products Cook is talking about?  I thought the 3.5" screen was perfect, then it was 4", now I guess 4.5" isnt so bad.  I'm curious to see how bad this quarter is going to be.

post #27 of 37
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post
On what basis are they making this claim anyway?

 

Their lack of knowledge about the industry, its consumers, and Apple's place in it.


Originally Posted by tkell31 View Post
So these are the "great" products Cook is talking about?

 

No, these are the "great" products Wall Street is stupid enough to think are good.


I'm curious to see how bad this quarter is going to be.

 

Probably better than the last one, which was the best quarter of any company in the history of humanity.

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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DESuserIGN View Post

What a bunch of crap. I don't believe them for a second. On what basis are they making this claim anyway?

 

And what do a couple of old "looks like" prototypes have to do with it?

 

Now, might polycarbonate be a suitable material for the job? Could be. But Apple has been moving away from plastics and toward high quality recyclables. Although PC is reusable, it's not quite the high end recyclable glass and metals are. I see no reason Apple would want to move in that direction now (but who knows?)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

If you think Apple tries to cut the cost of the phone by changing the material to plastic, you must be smoking something here. The cost of materials for the case won't cost a lot that Apple can cut the price from $650 to $330. How much it cost to make iphone 5, $200? with plastic case, it will still cost a few dollars cheaper. This makes no sense. I think this rumor is just another garbage news.

 

I agree. 

 

This rumor makes no sense whatsoever.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

 

 

I agree. 

 

This rumor makes no sense whatsoever.

Why do you have no faith in the "Mountain View Mole"?

 

Cheers

post #30 of 37

If Apple is sure to release Iphone mini, then it better be smaller than the Iphone 3G. Probably the size of an Ipod classic.You should design the world's smallest smartphone. It is quite sad to see people going back to having a thin pencil box in the pockets. As technology improves, the phones should become smaller and not bigger.

post #31 of 37
Anyone got an idea what the cost of the prev gen phone is? Wouldn't that already be in the price range?

Also, I gave a larger screen a other thought. While I never felt the current iPhone 5 screen is too small and I don't like big phones I feel a slightly larger screen indeed would be helpful as the usage over time since the iPhone introduction clearly benefits from more screen estate.
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post #32 of 37
according to this website quoting macotakara the iPhone 6, 5S will also propose a 4.5" screen
http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/440785/20130301/macotakara-iphone-6-5s-sport-4-5.htm#.UTCGA21di84
post #33 of 37
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post
They need this phone right now, otherwise their market share will shrink further.

 

They don't need it for any reason at any time.

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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallenjt View Post

If you think Apple tries to cut the cost of the phone by changing the material to plastic, you must be smoking something here. The cost of materials for the case won't cost a lot that Apple can cut the price from $650 to $330. How much it cost to make iphone 5, $200? with plastic case, it will still cost a few dollars cheaper. This makes no sense. I think this rumor is just another garbage news.

 

Save a little bit here, a little bit there.  Pretty soon you're talking about real money  :)

 

Let's do some rough back of the napkin figuring. (If you don't like the numbers, don't be lazy and diss them, come up with your own.)

 

  • iPad mini  = ~$190 BOM, sells for $330, gross profit $140.

 

  • iPhone4S = ~$130 BOM, sells for $550, gross profit $420.  

 

So the iPhone 4S supposedly costs $60 less in parts than the iPad mini, but sells for $220 more.  Clearly the iPhone 4S could come down in price a lot, but by how much?

 

At first glance, you'd think the 4S could sell for even less than the iPad mini.  Pricing it at $330 would still give a $200 gross profit.

 

Of course, one difference between the iPad and the iPhone, is the cost of cellular royalties.  That could be anywhere from $45 to $75 or more per device, bringing the two devices closer in cost.

 

This is why I keep saying that Apple cannot bring out a lower priced phone until they settle all the major IP licensing cases, so they firmly know what their total royalty payments will have to be.

 

That leads to the good possibility is that Apple will leave out some expensive royalty stuff like LTE, Facetime and VVM from the lesser model.   That could lower the cost perhaps $10 or more per unit.

 

TL;DR - Apple could apparently price a 4S type phone at $330 if they wished, and make the same profit they do off the iPad mini.  A major question is how much IP royalties they're not paying now, but will have to pay in the near future.

 

PS. I used AI's reported iP4S BOM number, but I think it's probably higher than that.

post #35 of 37

I'm glad that Apple is finally jumping into the bandwagon of so called "cheap, crappy plastic".

 

One less bullet for the fans to throw at each other.

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post #36 of 37
Stepping backwards in time is not Apple's thing. I doubt they'd go for this either because they'd get hammered by those jerks in Greenpeace for using non-recyclable plastic.

Now carbon fibre, that's I'd understand.
post #37 of 37
So the update to this article has Apple moving from 3.5" to 4" after 5 years and then dropping 4" for 4.5" after one year for a new display PPI? That is not their MO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Lowe View Post

Stepping backwards in time is not Apple's thing. I doubt they'd go for this either because they'd get hammered by those jerks in Greenpeace for using non-recyclable plastic.

Now carbon fibre, that's I'd understand.

1) They went from aluminium and then plastic for two years.

2) CF has limitations in structural capacity, durability, and cost for such a small and thin device. There are also issues with recyclability.

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