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New 3D renderings show expected design of Apple's low-cost iPhone

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
With schematics of an alleged low-cost iPhone now in the wild, AppleInsider offers a glimpse of what that device might look like as an actual product in this pair of high-quality 3D renderings.

Render


These 3D renders are based on the schematics shown in blueprint images that leaked earlier this week. Major iOS accessory companies are currently high in their convictions that the leaked blue prints are indicative of the much-anticpated low-cost iPhone and are currently designing and building cases to fit this form factor.

The speaker and microphone holes on the bottom of the device are circular, and akin to the current iPod touch design. In an interesting marriage of hardware and software, the circular openings are also similar to the new signal indicators in iOS 7.

Like the iPhone 5, the bottom of the rumored low-cost iPhone also includes a Lightning port, with screws to the left and right, as well as a headphone jack.

Render


On the left side, the volume controls are pill shaped, like the iPod touch, rather than circular, like the iPhone 5. The back corners of the device are also curved, bearing a resemblance to Apple's iPod classic.

Aside from those tweaks, the anticipated handset is unmistakably an iPhone, featuring the standard home button and a 4-inch display. The leaked design is slightly thicker than an iPhone 5, and is expected to have a plastic back panel to keep costs down.

Despite the rumored plastic body, Apple's new, more affordable iPhone is not expected to be a particularly cheap device. The CEO of electronics manufacturer Pegatron even said as much in an interview this week.Accessory makers have enough faith in this design that they have begun manufacturing cases for it.

Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said earlier this year that although the back panel of the new iPhone model is expected to be plastic, the casing will be slimmer than with most plastic smartphones. As a result, he said, Apple could face challenges in manufacturing the unique device.

While case makers have enough confidence in this design to begin manufacturing accessories based on it, there is no guarantee that a low-cost iPhone will look like this, or even that such a device will exist. Companies famously gambled on a bogus teardrop-shaped design in 2011 that never came to be.

Rumors have suggested that Apple will introduce a less expensive iPhone model, alongside a premium "iPhone 5S," this fall. Market watchers believe such a device could allow Apple to tap into the fast-growing unsubsidized segment of the smartphone market.

In particular, emerging markets such as China and India have been pegged as potential growth opportunities where Apple could be missing out on sales, due to the non-contract pricing of its current lineup. Used iPhones are so popular overseas that Apple itself has partnered with Brighstar Corp to begin taking trade-ins at its hundreds of retail locations.

For more on Apple's so-called "iPhone Lite," see AppleInsider's extensive coverage of the rumored smartphone.
post #2 of 106
Didn't case makers make a bunch of cases for a larger iPhone before the 4s came out? Don't put much stock in them...
post #3 of 106
Its the iPhone 3G/3GS all over again! If this is what's coming soon, the purpose will be to replace the iPhone 4 while the iPhone 5 will replace the 4S with the 5S as the flagship. I'm also crossing my fingers for a 5X with a 5 inch screen, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
Edited by 1983 - 6/21/13 at 9:28am
post #4 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndirishfan1975 View Post

Didn't case makers make a bunch of cases for a larger iPhone before the 4s came out? Don't put much stock in them...

I recall the alleged teardrop shaped iPhone that even case makers went ahead and manufactured cases for. And then the iPhone 4S was unveiled which was an updated iPhone 4.

post #5 of 106
Right, because the "low cost" iPhone is going to be made out of the finest aluminium with the exacting chamfered edge. 1rolleyes.gif

This thing will obviously have a much larger battery, and probably internals similar to whatever the previous generation had. If it is also made out of aluminium like this, is much cheaper, and can be bought off contract, that would cannibalise something like 90% of the sales of the "pro" iPhone. Who's gonna buy a $600 iPhone, when there is a $100-$200 one with double the battery life and slightly slower specs?

It has to be a different value proposition aimed at a different segment of the market. This thing is done up to be almost identical to the current iPhone 5.
post #6 of 106
I like it better than my, supposedly costlier, 5! Great 'back corners', nice volume buttons.
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post #7 of 106
AppleInsider should post each rendering angle as a separate article for maximum ad serving potential. /s

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post #8 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

Its the iPhone 3G/3Gs all over again! If this is what's coming soon, the purpose will be to replace the iPhone 4 while the iPhone 5 will replace the 4s with the 5s as the flagship. I'm also crossing my fingers for a 5x with a 5 inch screen, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

 

Not quite. I wouldn't expect this lower cost iPhone to be made out of aluminum. That requires a lot of extra engineering for the antennas and things like that. Its more of an iPhone 4S with a plastic shell instead of an aluminum one, not really anything like the 3G/3GS.

 

And who said they were going to stop making the the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 once the new regular iPhone arrives?

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post #9 of 106

Good point : the "lick" criteria is satisfied !

 

 

"We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them."
-- Jobs, on Mac OS X's Aqua user interface (Fortune, Jan. 24, 2000)

post #10 of 106

AAPL stock price coming down to price match Low cost iphone lol

post #11 of 106

i like it. it reminds me of the early iPods

post #12 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

 

Not quite. I wouldn't expect this lower cost iPhone to be made out of aluminum. That requires a lot of extra engineering for the antennas and things like that. Its more of an iPhone 4S with a plastic shell instead of an aluminum one, not really anything like the 3G/3GS.

 

And who said they were going to stop making the the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 once the new regular iPhone arrives?

I didn't say it would, the 3G/3GS reference was because those phones were also plastic like this one is expected to be. And yes - I meant this low-cost model would probably be mostly 4S internals with a plastic body. Finally I didn't say they would stop making the iPhone 5, quite the contrary that model will replace the 4S - and why do I think the 4/4S models will be discontinued - because of the obsolete 30 pin connector. Thus this model together with the 5 and 5S will provide an all Lightning connector iPhone range.


Edited by 1983 - 6/21/13 at 9:47am
post #13 of 106
What are these renderings based off on? I'm assuming not Apple design specs.
post #14 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

These 3D renders are based on the schematics shown in blueprint images that leaked earlier this week.

Answered...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

What are these renderings based off on? I'm assuming not Apple design specs.

Before asked.
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post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Right, because the "low cost" iPhone is going to be made out of the finest aluminium with the exacting chamfered edge. 1rolleyes.gif

This thing will obviously have a much larger battery, and probably internals similar to whatever the previous generation had. If it is also made out of aluminium like this, is much cheaper, and can be bought off contract, that would cannibalise something like 90% of the sales of the "pro" iPhone. Who's gonna buy a $600 iPhone, when there is a $100-$200 one with double the battery life and slightly slower specs?

It has to be a different value proposition aimed at a different segment of the market. This thing is done up to be almost identical to the current iPhone 5.

All they have to do is remove LTE and the top model becomes attractive.
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post #16 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Right, because the "low cost" iPhone is going to be made out of the finest aluminium with the exacting chamfered edge. 1rolleyes.gif

This thing will obviously have a much larger battery, and probably internals similar to whatever the previous generation had. If it is also made out of aluminium like this, is much cheaper, and can be bought off contract, that would cannibalise something like 90% of the sales of the "pro" iPhone. Who's gonna buy a $600 iPhone, when there is a $100-$200 one with double the battery life and slightly slower specs?

It has to be a different value proposition aimed at a different segment of the market. This thing is done up to be almost identical to the current iPhone 5.

Who said anything about aluminum? The pictures show a plastic phone (with some metal parts, like the buttons). It's going to be bigger in all dimensions than the iPhone5 because plastic needs to be thicker for structural strength. This phone will probably have almost the same internals as the iPhone 5.

 

It looks like there will be 3 phones this fall: iPhone 5S (metal body), iPhone 5 (metal body) and then this phone (plastic) which will be free on contract in the US. They will all have the same size screen and the same lightning connector. That will leave only the iPod Classic with the old 30 pin connector but maybe they'll replace that with a new 200GB iPod Touch.

post #17 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Answered...
Before asked.
Ok but we still don't know that these are Apple's blueprints. It's all guessing at this point. And if this new phone is to be made out of plastic do we really expect it to have polished chamfered edges? I think these 3D renderings are pointless. They're just filler for when there's no real news/rumors to report on.
post #18 of 106
I see nothing low end about that look, even if it does end up costing less. Apple doesn't do "cheap." The fact that case makers are already making cases for this design doesn't mean it's right. They've screwed up before, and I'm sure they understand the risk they're taking in order to have cases ready to ship on day one.
post #19 of 106
It will most likely share internals with the iPod touch. Likely an A5, but with the iPhone 5 graphics chip. It is essentially a thicker touch with a plastic body. The camera will be similar to the 4S, and it will be an LTE phone. It will be mega popular.
post #20 of 106
Very nice. I'm shocked that most new sites, analysts and even people have not caught on to the fact that Apple will eliminate the old connectors and all products that contain them. Lightning is the new standard, which is why the iPhone 4 and 4S will be gone! This is the opportunity to do it. I highly doubt the 4S will stick around. The low end, plastic iPhone might just replace both the 4 and 4S.
post #21 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonshf View Post

Who said anything about aluminum? The pictures show a plastic phone (with some metal parts, like the buttons). It's going to be bigger in all dimensions than the iPhone5 because plastic needs to be thicker for structural strength. This phone will probably have almost the same internals as the iPhone 5.

It looks like there will be 3 phones this fall: iPhone 5S (metal body), iPhone 5 (metal body) and then this phone (plastic) which will be free on contract in the US. They will all have the same size screen and the same lightning connector. That will leave only the iPod Classic with the old 30 pin connector but maybe they'll replace that with a new 200GB iPod Touch.
I'm still not convinced this cheaper phone (if it does exist) is going to be plastic. When Cook was asked about a cheaper iPhone earlier this year he pivoted the conversation towards the iPod and creation of the shuffle. Ok the shuffle isn't just a touch with a plastic body. If all Apple is doing is creating a 3GS type device that's $300 off contract or whatever it will be a collective yawn with people asking what took you so long?
post #22 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Right, because the "low cost" iPhone is going to be made out of the finest aluminium with the exacting chamfered edge. 1rolleyes.gif

This thing will obviously have a much larger battery, and probably internals similar to whatever the previous generation had. If it is also made out of aluminium like this, is much cheaper, and can be bought off contract, that would cannibalise something like 90% of the sales of the "pro" iPhone. Who's gonna buy a $600 iPhone, when there is a $100-$200 one with double the battery life and slightly slower specs?

It has to be a different value proposition aimed at a different segment of the market. This thing is done up to be almost identical to the current iPhone 5.

Because you don't seem to get the fact that Apple is NOT going to make a $300 off contract iPhone. It doesn't exist, and that's not what they're going for here.

They are going for an iPhone 4/4S/5 replacement.....ONE phone to rule them all...from last year. Do you get it yet?

This iPhone will be $99 on contract. It will REPLACE the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will not continue to exist after the iPhone 5S launch.

There will very simply be 2 iPhone models. Cheap and Expensive. Both are brand new, despite the fact the specs and internals of this plastic one will be so old and cheap and out of demand that they will be able to have a device that looks nice, sells new, but is actually old.

I think with 8 GB of storage, they may be able to get this down to around $399 off contract / $99 or possibly FREE subsidized.

But $299 off contract isn't happening. $399 is stretch as it is.

Remember, these are same people that told you the iPad mini would debut for no higher than $249 "because they just can't compete any higher".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shervin View Post

Very nice. I'm shocked that most new sites, analysts and even people have not caught on to the fact that Apple will eliminate the old connectors and all products that contain them. Lightning is the new standard, which is why the iPhone 4 and 4S will be gone! This is the opportunity to do it. I highly doubt the 4S will stick around. The low end, plastic iPhone might just replace both the 4 and 4S.

As i said, its going to replace the 5 too, because of price point.

It is NOT going to be radically cheap as some delusional people are pretending it will be.
post #23 of 106
Who is going to buy a high end iPhone if this one is available?

If this phone is coming out at a lower price point, then a clearly better flagship phone must also be coming out

Maybe the new flagship iPhone has a larger screen.

Otherwise the phones look too similar, no?
post #24 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

And if this new phone is to be made out of plastic do we really expect it to have polished chamfered edges?

From an engineering perspective the metal bead around the face seems like a logical way to join the plastic side walls to the glass face. It would not necessarily be a chamfered polished detail but perhaps just a simple rounded bead. Think about how the edge of the glass would be exposed without it or how the top edge of the plastic wall would look without that metal part. To me this representation appears reasonable.

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post #25 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonshf View Post

Who said anything about aluminum? The pictures show a plastic phone (with some metal parts, like the buttons). It's going to be bigger in all dimensions than the iPhone5 because plastic needs to be thicker for structural strength. This phone will probably have almost the same internals as the iPhone 5.

It looks like there will be 3 phones this fall: iPhone 5S (metal body), iPhone 5 (metal body) and then this phone (plastic) which will be free on contract in the US. They will all have the same size screen and the same lightning connector. That will leave only the iPod Classic with the old 30 pin connector but maybe they'll replace that with a new 200GB iPod Touch.

You almost get it.

There will be 2 iPhones going forward.

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post #26 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

I see nothing low end about that look, even if it does end up costing less. Apple doesn't do "cheap." The fact that case makers are already making cases for this design doesn't mean it's right. They've screwed up before, and I'm sure they understand the risk they're taking in order to have cases ready to ship on day one.
Yep, remember all the teardrop designs? Everyone was so sure Apple would release an iPhone 5 in a teardrop design and we got the 4S with the 4 design.
post #27 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

Who is going to buy a high end iPhone if this one is available?

If this phone is coming out at a lower price point, then a clearly better flagship phone must also be coming out

Maybe the new flagship iPhone has a larger screen.

Otherwise the phones look too similar, no?

Who is gonna buy the iPhone 5S when the iPhone 5 becomes $99!!!?? 1oyvey.gif

Pay attention.
post #28 of 106

I have no idea how accurate this rendering is or even if Apple will release a less expensive version of the iPhone. Since this is all pure speculation I can say that if such an iPhone is released that is what I would imagine it to look like. If both phones will be 4" versions they will have to differentiate them on other specs like the CPU, camera, case, storage, and other features. I don't see Apple selling this unsubsidized for less than $449. At that price that would still allow this phone to be $99 or possibly free on contract and still affordable to pre-paid plans.Even some pre-paid are now offering a $100 subsidy for the iPhone 5 so that might drop the end price to the consumer down to $349.  I also don't think you would see as many storage options for such a phone. They might limit it to only 1 or 2 models with 16GB and 32GB. That would allow them to move to 32/64/128 with their standard iPhone. 

 

Apple management would only release such a phone if they were extremely confident in their margins and any repercussions in terms of cannibalizing sales from the standard iPhone. I see very little downside to offering choice and variety and expanding their price range to cover an entire new group of consumers numbering in the tens of millions. Steve Jobs once said at the original iPhone intro he would be happy with around 1% of the market share for cell phones since it was such a huge market. It has become so successful for them that they simply will need to expand their product lineup to cover more markets. The history of the numerous iPod models suggests they are not afraid to venture into new territories. 2013 will be all about iOS 7 and standardizing on lightning and 4" displays and then 2014 we will likely see them introduce the last piece of the puzzle which is an iPhone with a larger display and then they will be set for a decade or more. 

post #29 of 106
Am I the only one still believing that something such as a low-cost iPhone is not going to happen?
post #30 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

Who is going to buy a high end iPhone if this one is available?

There are all kinds of things that could differentiate from a high end phone.

 

As someone else mentioned leave off the LTE

One speaker instead of two

Lower res camera

Less memory

Lower res screen

Single camera flash 

Heavier

Bulkier

Slower processor/GPU

If the new one comes in colors as rumored this low end only only Blk/Wht

 

You can probably think of other differences

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post #31 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


And who said they were going to stop making the the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 once the new regular iPhone arrives?

The only way keeping them would make any sense is if you could only get this 'low cost' phone at full price. Which actually fits with the rumored markets since carriers don't subsidize in China, India etc

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post #32 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Because you don't seem to get the fact that Apple is NOT going to make a $300 off contract iPhone. It doesn't exist, and that's not what they're going for here.

They are going for an iPhone 4/4S/5 replacement.....ONE phone to rule them all...from last year. Do you get it yet?

This iPhone will be $99 on contract. It will REPLACE the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will not continue to exist after the iPhone 5S launch.

There will very simply be 2 iPhone models. Cheap and Expensive. Both are brand new, despite the fact the specs and internals of this plastic one will be so old and cheap and out of demand that they will be able to have a device that looks nice, sells new, but is actually old.

I think with 8 GB of storage, they may be able to get this down to around $399 off contract / $99 or possibly FREE subsidized.

But $299 off contract isn't happening. $399 is stretch as it is.

Remember, these are same people that told you the iPad mini would debut for no higher than $249 "because they just can't compete any higher".
As i said, its going to replace the 5 too, because of price point.

It is NOT going to be radically cheap as some delusional people are pretending it will be.

Lol. Who? I have seen one poster who suggested a $99 argument ever. And one thread.

The great rewriting of history begins again on AI. Deny that Apple will have a cheaper phone, then say I told you so when the rumours firm up because "the phone wasn't sold for $99"

And an iPad mini will someday be $249 or less when they sell last years model - or a cheaper this years mode (maybe without retina if retina is in the high end ).
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post #33 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Who is gonna buy the iPhone 5S when the iPhone 5 becomes $99!!!?? 1oyvey.gif

Pay attention.

We don't know the spec difference yet. That will answer the question for many.

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post #34 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Because you don't seem to get the fact that Apple is NOT going to make a $300 off contract iPhone. It doesn't exist, and that's not what they're going for here.

They are going for an iPhone 4/4S/5 replacement.....ONE phone to rule them all...from last year. Do you get it yet?

This iPhone will be $99 on contract. It will REPLACE the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will not continue to exist after the iPhone 5S launch.

There will very simply be 2 iPhone models. Cheap and Expensive. Both are brand new, despite the fact the specs and internals of this plastic one will be so old and cheap and out of demand that they will be able to have a device that looks nice, sells new, but is actually old.

I think with 8 GB of storage, they may be able to get this down to around $399 off contract / $99 or possibly FREE subsidized.

But $299 off contract isn't happening. $399 is stretch as it is.

Remember, these are same people that told you the iPad mini would debut for no higher than $249 "because they just can't compete any higher".
As i said, its going to replace the 5 too, because of price point.

It is NOT going to be radically cheap as some delusional people are pretending it will be.
I won't be surprised if a device like this is more expensive than we think but if its going to be plastic that will be a harder sell. Why can't they make an iPod touch like device with cellular capabilities? Whether plastic is really "cheap" or not that's what it would scream to the market, and if its plastic and $400-$450 off contract people will scream rip off. If its not going to be a super cheap phone price wise then I think Apple should stay away from plastic.
post #35 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shervin View Post

Very nice. I'm shocked that most new sites, analysts and even people have not caught on to the fact that Apple will eliminate the old connectors and all products that contain them. Lightning is the new standard, which is why the iPhone 4 and 4S will be gone! This is the opportunity to do it. I highly doubt the 4S will stick around. The low end, plastic iPhone might just replace both the 4 and 4S.

I think this, and the screen difference, is the most compelling reason to believe that there's any fire to these rumours.  Normally I'd expect Apple to just carry on carrying on, doing exactly what they normally do.  But if they keep their normal pattern of using last year's model as this year's cheap model, and with two iterations of old model, then that would mean they'd still be selling an iPhone with a dock connector and a 3.5" screen until fall 2014.  I can't imagine anyone at Apple would be happy with that, I'm actually surprised they've kept selling the 4 and 4S for a whole year after their latest and greatest connector was introduced.

 

Both 4 and the 4S are gone in a couple months, and the lineup is all Lightning and all 4".  That's my prediction.  5S at the top, 5 in the middle, and whatever this new one is called as the lowest cost iPhone available, where you would have normally expected the 4S to end up.  Possibly a bit cheaper.

 

I think that makes sense.  Plastic body, and 8GB only, and probably a bit thicker and weightier than its bigger siblings, but otherwise same/similar internals to the 4S - same camera, same 512MB RAM, etc.

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post #36 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

Who is going to buy a high end iPhone if this one is available?

People who actually care about products that do things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynic View Post

Am I the only one still believing that something such as a low-cost iPhone is not going to happen?

I believe they'd do a drastic price cut on the 4S, but not a brand new, cheap phone. They've had six years to follow the iPod model; they haven't.
post #37 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

We don't know the spec difference yet. That will answer the question for many.
A phone with the iPod touch design would be hot. Plastic is just going backwards IMO. And I can imagine the press having a field day considering how many Apple fans have a go at Samsung for their plastic devices.
post #38 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

There are all kinds of things that could differentiate from a high end phone.

As someone else mentioned leave off the LTE
One speaker instead of two
Lower res camera
Less memory
Lower res screen
Single camera flash 
Heavier
Bulkier
Slower processor/GPU
If the new one comes in colors as rumored this low end only only Blk/Wht

You can probably think of other differences

It's amazing that people understand a $200 difference for just extra RAM will still see the top end model sell but not get a $100 payment extra for LTE or a better processor etc.
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post #39 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Answered...
Before asked.
Ok but we still don't know that these are Apple's blueprints. It's all guessing at this point. And if this new phone is to be made out of plastic do we really expect it to have polished chamfered edges? I think these 3D renderings are pointless. They're just filler for when there's no real news/rumors to report on.

You're absolutely right. And I should've opened my post with a 'Lame post alert'.
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post #40 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

People who actually care about products that do things.
I believe they'd do a drastic price cut on the 4S, but not a brand new, cheap phone. They've had six years to follow the iPod model; they haven't.
Exactly. But I can see them wanting to move away from the 30 pin connector. So iPad 2, iPhone 4 and 4S would be gone. Perhaps what they replace the 4/4S with will be similar to the new touch they released (with camera of course included).
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