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Back panel claimed to be for Apple's low-cost iPhone shows curved design, Lightning port

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
A pair of new pictures show a plastic back panel with a Lightning connector, suggesting the component could be from a pre-release build of Apple's rumored low-cost iPhone.

iPhone lite


The pictures were posted to Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, and were highlighted by Apple.Pro. The pictures show a rear panel that appears slightly thicker than the iPhone 5, with a curved back similar to the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

The part appears to be plastic, and one picture shows a Lightning connector inserted into the bottom of the case. The authenticity of the images is unknown, but the design does match up with rumored expectations for Apple's low-cost iPhone.

Aside from the apparent inclusion of space for a Lightning cable, the part lacks any identifiable labels that would indicate the component is built by Apple. As such, it would be easy to fabricate.

But the plastic back panel is black, which does contradict an earlier rumor that suggested Apple would only offer its high-end iPhone models in black. That report claimed the low-cost model would be available in an array of colors, offering a selection beyond the current black and white options.

iPhone lite


Reports have suggested Apple plans to launch its low-cost iPhone later this year. It's believed that the new model is intended to counter cheaper Android-based smartphones that are sold without a contract subsidy, allowing Apple to address a new market segment in which it does not currently compete.

Separately, Apple.Pro also relayed a rumor that Apple's so-called "iPhone 6," the name given to a handset expected to be released in 2014, will feature an even larger 4.7-inch display. That would be an increase from the 4-inch screen on the current iPhone 5, which itself was a boost from the 3.5-inch display found on all iPhone models prior.

The report also said that the "iPhone 6" would have body length similar to the iPhone 5. It said the device would be made out of metal but feature a "slightly rounded point" in its design.

This year's anticipated iPhone model, frequently referred to as an "iPhone 5S," is expected to keep a design largely identical to last year's iPhone 5. Rumored additions include new color options, a dual LED camera flash, and a fingerprint scanner embedded under the home button.
post #2 of 64
Ewww
Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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post #3 of 64
I don't believe this for a second.
post #4 of 64
Remind me again why a low cost iPhone has to be plastic when an iPod touch doesn't?
Edited by Rogifan - 6/3/13 at 5:38am
post #5 of 64
3GS reincarnate.

And no one wants to see an array of colorful PLASTIC phones. No one.
post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Remind me again why a low cost iPhone has to be plastic when an iPhone touch doesn't?

Did you mean iPod touch?

post #7 of 64

1biggrin.gif  what a fake 1biggrin.gif

 

the best possible scenario for this photo is iPhone 5 in very ugly case, blown in the middle...

post #8 of 64

It doesn't look anything like an Apple case, lol. Are we sure that's a Lightning connector and not micro-USB or something?

post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Remind me again why a low cost iPhone has to be plastic when an iPhone touch doesn't?

I wonder why they wouldn't just make a case design similar to the Touch and iPhone 1G.

I understand that the iPhone 5 has a complicated case manufacturing process which probably adds to cost but what about a simpler aluminum design with a plastic "window" for the wireless radios, similar to the iPhone 1G and iPod touch?

But maybe Apple would use plastic as a differentiation from the 5, but I'm afraid that such a differentiation could cheapen Apple's brand.
post #10 of 64

Why is it that leakers can't focus cameras?

post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleinsiderFrm View Post

I don't believe this for a second.

Perhaps not this image but I think there is a case to be made for Apple making a low-cost iPhone for 1) China Mobile, India, et al., and 2) removing the iPhone 4S from the lineup so that 3.5" and the 30-pin dock connector can be eliminated in favour of 4" and Lightning port.

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post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It doesn't look anything like an Apple case, lol. Are we sure that's a Lightning connector and not micro-USB or something?

 

I don't think there's any connector whatsoever, it's just a lightning or counterfeit cable stuffed in some "opening".

post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

Did you mean iPod touch?

Oops yes.
post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

3GS reincarnate.

And no one wants to see an array of colorful PLASTIC phones. No one.

I agree.......it makes me wonder why Apple would get into the low end phone market. They have always stayed away from low end products. It really does look like the 3GS......

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post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Why is it that leakers can't focus cameras?

The trouble with leakers is that they have no taste.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Why is it that leakers can't focus cameras?

Because they were in hurry so that no one would see them clicking it.

post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I wonder why they wouldn't just make a case design similar to the Touch and iPhone 1G.

I understand that the iPhone 5 has a complicated case manufacturing process which probably adds to cost but what about a simpler aluminum design with a plastic "window" for the wireless radios, similar to the iPhone 1G and iPod touch?

But maybe Apple would use plastic as a differentiation from the 5, but I'm afraid that such a differentiation could cheapen Apple's brand.
I suppose the argument would be that the 3G and 3GS were plastic. But it still seems odd. iPod touch isn't plastic. iPad mini arguably has a better design than full size iPad (which will probably get the mini design later this year). Is a plastic case that much cheaper? Or is Apple that worried about a lower cost phone cannibalizing the more expensive phone? Or are we seeing fake cases that have been made based on rumors of a cheaper plastic phone? Can't imagine it would be that hard to do. And this photo doesn't even have a logo or anything on the back.
post #18 of 64

It could be a camouflaging case hiding the real thing.

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post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I agree.......it makes me wonder why Apple would get into the low end phone market. They have always stayed away from low end products. It really does look like the 3GS......
Assuming this an Apple prototype.
post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


Assuming this an Apple prototype.

That is true...we have no idea if this is real.....

Hopefully just another grab for headlines.....

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post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I wonder why they wouldn't just make a case design similar to the Touch and iPhone 1G.

I understand that the iPhone 5 has a complicated case manufacturing process which probably adds to cost but what about a simpler aluminum design with a plastic "window" for the wireless radios, similar to the iPhone 1G and iPod touch?
 

 

The first iPhone was/is (in my eyes) still the most beautiful one. I could see them go to that direction. Make it a bit thicker so you can use a battery and other components that are a bit cheaper. But I am PRETTY sure, they will not release something THAT ugly, just to have something cheap to offer.

 

Therfore I still doubt the whole "budget iPhone thing" a bit. Ramping up production for an entirely new iPhone would cost quite a lot, compared to just produce more of your "high end model" (marginal cost). So why not stick with your current scheme and offer last year's iPhone with a minimum of capacity, maybe less specs but in the same casing and sell it for less $$$. This price though has to come down further! 450 for an iPhone 4 is too high.

 

Get a brand new model for 199 with a 2year plan. Or get last year's model for 399 without any plan. That should be a price at which it would also sell in markets like China, India etc.

 

Something will happen with prices. The introduction of a new iPod Touch just ahead of WWDC is no coincident.

post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It doesn't look anything like an Apple case, lol. Are we sure that's a Lightning connector and not micro-USB or something?

Everything is going lightning so that detail is legit.

But given that you can print a gun with a 3d printer I'm not buying that this is definite

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #23 of 64
Couldn't that just be an iPhone 5 Case?
post #24 of 64
This looks unlikely and could easily be faked. The only possibility is that Apple has made prototypes with an external casing to hide the real design. I know for a fact that with the iPad early prototypes were only given to testers with the device sealed in a metal case that was literally chained to their desks. Similar to the way car manufacturers add fake bodykits onto cars for road testing to keep the design secret.
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluenix View Post

 

The first iPhone was/is (in my eyes) still the most beautiful one. I could see them go to that direction. Make it a bit thicker so you can use a battery and other components that are a bit cheaper. But I am PRETTY sure, they will not release something THAT ugly, just to have something cheap to offer.

 

Therfore I still doubt the whole "budget iPhone thing" a bit. Ramping up production for an entirely new iPhone would cost quite a lot, compared to just produce more of your "high end model" (marginal cost). So why not stick with your current scheme and offer last year's iPhone with a minimum of capacity, maybe less specs but in the same casing and sell it for less $$$. This price though has to come down further! 450 for an iPhone 4 is too high.

 

Get a brand new model for 199 with a 2year plan. Or get last year's model for 399 without any plan. That should be a price at which it would also sell in markets like China, India etc.

 

Something will happen with prices. The introduction of a new iPod Touch just ahead of WWDC is no coincident.

 

I don't think Apple should discount last years model any more than they do because that would hurt resale.

 

It seems that this year Apple's only option for a lower cost phone is to make a new one from scratch since the 4/4S are outdated with their 30pin connectors, and are now Apple's only products (excluding the iPod Classic) sold with the 30pin connectors.

 

All that to say, most signs are pointing to a new low cost iPhone. My wish would be that the low cost iPhone would be properly differentiated from the 5/5S in ways more than just plastic. I would hope to see a phone as unique to the iPhone as the Mini is to the iPad. High end and sleek, yet slightly more affordable. A 3GS reincarnate would not be that.

post #26 of 64
On names - More often than not, Apple will pick the top rumoured name and go with it. It's a marketing trick. Just type "ip" into google autosuggest and the top iPhone result... iPhone 6. It's unlikely they'll use 5S, it's been shown they don't care about consistency in public naming, and quite rightly, it's just for marketing purposes. The number of times Apple execs stumble over product names and you know they were thinking "codename" is great.
post #27 of 64
First off it is inexpensive not low end. It is still a smart phone after all. Beyond that I'd rather have an inexpensive iPhone than to waste money on an excessive expensive device. I'd much rather dedicate my computing cash to a high end iPad. For my needs iPad is a better value.
post #28 of 64
Yeah sure Apple has to come up with something really ugly to compete with samsung.

LOL
post #29 of 64
That looks like it could be a security case, not the actual phone.
post #30 of 64
Not only is it ugly, it may be Zune-ugly. Plus I don't see an Apple logo on it.
post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


Everything is going lightning so that detail is legit.

But given that you can print a gun with a 3d printer I'm not buying that this is definite

You cannot print a (working) gun with a 3D printer.

post #32 of 64
Apple better releases a bigger screen iPhone this year. They can call it iPhone 6, iPhone Max, or iPhone Jumbo, whatever they want. Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. pretty much every phone maker has a phone with screens bigger than the iPhone 5. Those phones have come to define what a "premium" phone looks like. The iPhone 5 should have had a bigger screen than 4", just when the concept of big screen phone started to take over the industry. Apple suffered a one-year lag, and if they don't fix it until next year, I'm afraid it may be too late.
post #33 of 64
Here's MacRumors take which I tend to agree with.

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/03/photos-of-plastic-low-cost-iphone-likely-an-iphone-5-in-a-case/

Especially this photo makes me think its not a low cost iPhone shell. Even an Apple prototype wouldn't be this shoddy.

post #34 of 64

I think the whole notion of having a plastic case for a rumored low cost iPhone is flawed... How much more low cost can the iPhone be from changing the external materials from Aluminum to Plastic?  I still think it is more about the association of the hardware and technology inside the device depicting price points.

post #35 of 64
At first look, it seems like an iPhone 5 case... that's a Lightning port connector, no need to beat it as a copy or another type. Then, the case itself follows the design patterns of previous iPhones, I favor it over any other plastic designs I've seen. Yeah, this is the real deal.
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I agree.......it makes me wonder why Apple would get into the low end phone market. They have always stayed away from low end products. It really does look like the 3GS......

That's not entirely true. Apple has often sold products that might be considered 'low end'. For example, when the MBA came out, none of the Ultrabooks could beat the price. For a long time, Apple's larger iMac was very price-competitive.

Rather than 'low end', consider it as a 'value' product. Apple will not make junk, but there's no reason they can't use their supply chain and manufacturing expertise to make a quality product that provides a lower price than they have traditionally offered.

That's a common business strategy that only rarely gets executed well - enter a market with a premium product and create a solid and loyal customer base. Use your expertise in the market to find cost reduction strategies to allow you to reduce your costs enough to also compete at lower prices - displacing low priced junk with low priced quality products.

The challenge is not so much introducing a low priced product - Apple can easily do that. The challenge is making it appealing enough to attract new customers without greatly cannibalizing your premium customers.
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post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by simtub View Post

I think the whole notion of having a plastic case for a rumored low cost iPhone is flawed... How much more low cost can the iPhone be from changing the external materials from Aluminum to Plastic?  I still think it is more about the association of the hardware and technology inside the device depicting price points.

Actually, going to a plastic case might have significant savings. You eliminate the cost of the aluminum (which is minor) but also all the machining costs. Quality control costs might well be lower.

However, I think your latter point is the relevant one. It's not about cost - it's about features/selling. Apple could probably introduce a low cost phone even with a metal case without having a large impact on profitability. The problem is that they can't afford for a low cost phone to cannibalize their premium phones - and a plastic case will help with that objective.
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post #38 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Apple better releases a bigger screen iPhone this year. They can call it iPhone 6, iPhone Max, or iPhone Jumbo, whatever they want. Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. pretty much every phone maker has a phone with screens bigger than the iPhone 5. Those phones have come to define what a "premium" phone looks like. The iPhone 5 should have had a bigger screen than 4", just when the concept of big screen phone started to take over the industry. Apple suffered a one-year lag, and if they don't fix it until next year, I'm afraid it may be too late.

 

Apple will NOT release a bigger screen for any iPhone or iPod touch. They keep it "simple" for developers, and a second screen resolution would NOT help.

 

I am not so convinced that "big screen phones started to take over the industry". For me this is mainly a niche for geeks (no offence intended!). People who are actually using a phone on the go want to make calls, text/email and look up directions or some things on the net. Even for casual games you don't need a big screen.

 

I own an iPhone 5 and I still think that the 3.5" screen was better to use in one hand.

post #39 of 64
People should look at this story on Macrumors. They seem to have much better reporting than Appleinsider lately.
post #40 of 64
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post
More often than not, Apple will pick the top rumoured name and go with it.

 

Nonsense.


Just type "ip" into google…

 

I ain't typing anything into Google! First of all, the level of intelligence that uses Google doesn't have any business setting the name for one of the most popular electronics products on the planet.


It's unlikely they'll use 5S…

 

I think it's ludicrously likely. Occam's razor says they should call it simply "iPhone", but we know the most intelligent thing isn't what they're after anymore. lol.gif


Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post
Apple better releases a bigger screen iPhone this year. 

 

Or you'll what, hold Tim Cook hostage? 1oyvey.gif


Samsung, HTC, LG, etc. pretty much every phone maker has a phone with screens bigger than the iPhone 5.

 

WHO GIVES A FRICK? Does this somehow magically make that GOOD?!


Those phones have come to define what a "premium" phone looks like.

 

You HAVE to be joking. Unless this is to be read as: A "premium" looks like absolute CRAP these days.


The iPhone 5 should have had a bigger screen than 4"

 

Because YOU, personally, know what's best for Apple.


…just when the concept of big screen phone started to take over the industry. 

 

Complete idiocy and either an unwillingness or an incapability of both miniaturizing components and making software that wasn't so pathetic as to steal battery life from the device… Is the reason the "concept of a big screen phone" existed in the first place. 


Apple suffered a one-year lag, and if they don't fix it until next year, I'm afraid it may be too late.

 

Shut up with your false concern.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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