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Photos, video show highly suspect 'iPhone Lite' display and shell with no exterior buttons

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 
A series of images and a stylized video hit the Web on Saturday, all purporting to show a buttonless rear shell attached to a display assembly bound for Apple's rumored low-cost "iPhone Lite."

iPhone Lite
Purported "iPhone Lite" (left) next to Apple's current iPhone 5. | Source: Techdy


According to a post on its blog, accessory reseller Techdy claims to have snagged a white copy of the iPhone Lite's rear shell, as well as the device's accompanying 4-inch display, from up-chain supply sources in China. Making the claims highly suspect, however, is a complete lack of physical buttons on the exterior of the chassis.

It should be noted that AppleInsider cannot confirm the veracity of Techdy's report and offers the following information for purposes of discussion only.

Most suspicious of Saturday's images is the absence of any physical control buttons or cutouts on the shell ? even for a power switch ? meaning the sample is either an early working prototype, or, more likely, has been fabricated out of whole cloth.

iPhone Lite
Metal anchoring and EMI shielding shows power button cutout, which is not present on Techdy's shell.


Adding to the confusion, seated within the purported shell is a metal anchor plate meant for internal components. The lining has cutouts for external controls, like volume and power, which is consistent with previous rumored leaks, though Techdy's shell shows only small holes where these ports should be. This could mean the plate was taken from a previously-leaked shell and placed in the fabricated version.

Perhaps giving away the true intentions of the site's post is an Android handset it has for sale called the "Basic Bear," which appears to use a rebranded version of polycarbonate shell detailed in the report.

iPhone Lite
Volume controls replaced by two holes.


Techdy recently opened up shop in April with an open-source game controller for the iPad mini, and as such has no track record in "leaking" Apple products. The company's founders include M.I.C. Gadget's Chris Chang, who has a decent history in reporting on Apple's Far East movements.

AppleInsider was first to share 3D renderings based on iPhone Lite schematics provided by a major iOS device accessory maker in June.
post #2 of 98
No physical (side) buttons => waterproof finally?
post #3 of 98
How would you turn it on and off? Volume? Looks a little nicer than the other rumored photos
post #4 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbit View Post

How would you turn it on and off? Volume? Looks a little nicer than the other rumored photos

 

It's possible to create a smartphone that turns on by swiping (or some form of interaction) across the touchscreen, but obviously the more likely scenario is that they will have buttons when they're released.

post #5 of 98
Fake Apple hates its users by removing buttons!
post #6 of 98
Can't help but wonder if they're going to replace the iPod Touch with something like this. Something that would cost the same as an iPod Touch but has the option of turning on the cellular radio through a carrier. To be honest, I don't know if all that would work out (technology wise), but I guess I'm skeptical of them doing a cheap phone without some kind of nuance to it.
post #7 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Fake Apple hates its users by removing buttons!

 

I think you're the only one on the thread so far that's got it.  It's sure looking like those photos of coloured back shells are completely fake at this point.  

Even the earlier photos don't actually show the volume buttons or any of the cut-outs.  

 

There might be a real "iPhone cheapo" and it might match the schematics that were leaked and look very similar to this product, but the thing being shown here seems likely to be totally fake right now.  

 

What I find interesting is that if they really did copy the "real" shell of the "real" new cheapass iPhone … then their "bear" phone would be completely illegal as a one for one copy of the original.  If instead it has a different arrangement of buttons, then they could get away with it.  That might be what's happening here.  Just a very clever and intricate deception in order to sell their crap Android product.  It's almost a more interesting mystery than whether "iPhone cheapo" actually exists. 

post #8 of 98
A budget iPhone is stupid.
No matter what the phone cost you'll eventually be able to get it for next to nothing with a two year commitment by any of the number of pimps, cough, I mean cellular providers. Look at the iPhone 4. Walmart is giving it out for zero dollrs or a penny with a two year commitment.
post #9 of 98
Quote:
no exterior buttons

Ah, now we know what concessions Apple had to make to get the iPhone cheap enough for morons to afford it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

It's possible to create a smartphone that turns on by swiping (or some form of interaction) across the touchscreen...

Well, that's dumb. It's never actually off, then.

Originally Posted by helia

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

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #10 of 98
While it would be really cool if apple invented some kind of ultrasonic finger-sensing technology, These are still likely unfinished backshells. The holes mean nothing to us. The shape is likely a version of the next iPhone. Cheaper to make thanmachined aluminum, Apple may have found a way to make plastic cool again.
post #11 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well, that's dumb. It's never actually off, then.

 

Some people love it.  I'm not one of them either, but to each their own.

post #12 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

A budget iPhone is stupid.
No matter what the phone cost you'll eventually be able to get it for next to nothing with a two year commitment by any of the number of pimps, cough, I mean cellular providers. Look at the iPhone 4. Walmart is giving it out for zero dollrs or a penny with a two year commitment.

You do realize that carrier subsidies are not available on all carriers or in all parts of the world, right?

 

A budget iPhone isn't for AT&T or Verizon customers. It's for people in India or China or third-world countries who want a cell phone but can't afford to buy a $600-plus iPhone.

post #13 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

A budget iPhone is stupid.
No matter what the phone cost you'll eventually be able to get it for next to nothing with a two year commitment by any of the number of pimps, cough, I mean cellular providers. Look at the iPhone 4. Walmart is giving it out for zero dollrs or a penny with a two year commitment.

 

Try to think outside of the boundaries of your home town, Walmart, and the United States.  

 

A truck driver in Indonesia needs a smartphone nowadays as well.  He/she probably needs it to be cheap, durable, off-contract, and have a battery that lasts a long, long time. 

post #14 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Try to think outside of the boundaries of your home town, Walmart, and the United States.  

A truck driver in Indonesia needs a smartphone nowadays as well.  He/she probably needs it to be cheap, durable, off-contract, and have a battery that lasts a long, long time. 

Who is to say he would be Apple's customer?
post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

...
Well, that's dumb. It's never actually off, then.

 

While I'm not supporting the rumour or advocating a lack of physical buttons, it is possible to employ a fabulously low-powered supervisory chip for the sole purpose of detecting a touch (or movement). Battery life would not be affected noticeably. False activations might be a problem though - my pocket once phoned my sister-in-law. Quite specific input parameters could alleviate that risk.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
Reply
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
Reply
post #16 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

now we know what concessions Apple had to make to get the iPhone cheap enough for morons to afford it.

 

Yeah, those people are morons for being poor...they should prioritize phones over food & rent...1hmm.gif

post #17 of 98

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

I think you're the only one on the thread so far that's got it.  It's sure looking like those photos of coloured back shells are completely fake at this point.  

Even the earlier photos don't actually show the volume buttons or any of the cut-outs.  

 

There might be a real "iPhone cheapo" and it might match the schematics that were leaked and look very similar to this product, but the thing being shown here seems likely to be totally fake right now.  

 

What I find interesting is that if they really did copy the "real" shell of the "real" new cheapass iPhone … then their "bear" phone would be completely illegal as a one for one copy of the original.  If instead it has a different arrangement of buttons, then they could get away with it.  That might be what's happening here.  Just a very clever and intricate deception in order to sell their crap Android product.  It's almost a more interesting mystery than whether "iPhone cheapo" actually exists. 

 

 

^^^This!

 

When I first started watching the video I was convinced this could be the real deal, but when they got to their Android knockoff the whole thing smelled of a money grabbing headline stealing HOAX.

 

I hope Techdy enjoys their 15 minutes of fame. They'll be proven wrong shortly.

post #18 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

A budget iPhone is stupid.
No matter what the phone cost you'll eventually be able to get it for next to nothing with a two year commitment by any of the number of pimps, cough, I mean cellular providers. Look at the iPhone 4. Walmart is giving it out for zero dollrs or a penny with a two year commitment.

While subsidized phones along with a two year contract are very common in the US/Canada, a majority of people in Europe pay upfront for a smartphone and go with a cheap, often prepaid contract. I think if they can hit a €499 price with a budget iPhone then there's a huge audience in Europe and highly probable in other regions as well (India, China et. al.)

 

Just for the record: an iPhone 5 16GB is still priced around €600 in Germany, while the S4 dropped to under €500 now. If a budget iPhone can compete with the S4 on price, chances are it will take a huge chunk out of Samsung's sales given the still remarkably strong Apple image and desire for their products.

post #19 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A series of images and a stylized video hit the Web on Saturday, all purporting to show a buttonless rear shell attached to a display assembly bound for Apple's rumored low-cost "iPhone Lite."
...
Most suspicious of Saturday's images is the absence of any physical control buttons or cutouts on the shell ? even for a power switch ? meaning the sample is either an early working prototype, or, more likely, has been fabricated out of whole cloth.
 

Whole cloth? That sounds even cheaper than plastic.

post #20 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well, that's dumb. It's never actually off, then.

And a device with a non removable battery is never really off either.
post #21 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Who is to say he would be Apple's customer?

 

Who's to say he/she wouldn't? 

post #22 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Who's to say he/she wouldn't? 

Let me rephrase, why should Apple cater to them? There isn't a $300 Mac, there won't be a <$300 iPhone, off contract. That said, there may be a 300-400 iPhone, off contract.
post #23 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Let me rephrase, why should Apple cater to them? There isn't a $300 Mac, there won't be a <$300 iPhone, off contract. That said, there may be a 300-400 iPhone, off contract.

 

I agree. Google sells the Nexus 4 direct for as low as $299. Apple's unlikely to go lower for a phone that's probably more expensive to produce (plus they like margins). Apple's brand can support premium pricing. I would guess no lower than $399. 

post #24 of 98
We've been over this a million times. iPhone is the gateway product. If they can make a cheaper but solid phone for less without hurting margins, that's great. They have a big history of this very thing with the iPod line.

I don't know if they can swing this. But I'd love to see this new phone become the "iPhone" with the current style of ultra slim and light being the "iPhone Air"
post #25 of 98
The cheapo iPod touch 5th generation is $229 vs $299. The cheapo is less rear camera & 16g vs 32g or 64g & less color options but other than that seems to be the same form & construction. Maybe 5s cheapo will be 16g with A6 & Expensive 5s will be 32g or 64g with A7
post #26 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Try to think outside of the boundaries of your home town, Walmart, and the United States.  

 

A truck driver in Indonesia needs a smartphone nowadays as well.  He/she probably needs it to be cheap, durable, off-contract, and have a battery that lasts a long, long time. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Who is to say he would be Apple's customer?

Before wooing this Indonesian truck driver, Apple might have more to gain by focusing on selling more iPhones to Germans, Italians and Portuguese, whether they are driving planes, trains or automobiles. 

post #27 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soloman View Post


And a device with a non removable battery is never really off either.

 

You don't power your phone down when not in use?  1wink.gif

post #28 of 98
I don't like it, but if Apple want to do it they will do it right and they will be very successful.

Apple know what to do.
post #29 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

We've been over this a million times. iPhone is the gateway product. If they can make a cheaper but solid phone for less without hurting margins, that's great. They have a big history of this very thing with the iPod line.

I don't know if they can swing this. But I'd love to see this new phone become the "iPhone" with the current style of ultra slim and light being the "iPhone Air"

I would love to see an iPhone Air as the gateway iPhone.

If Apple can do what they did with the iPad Mini and reimagine thin and light that would be a show stopper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett Ruess View Post

The cheapo iPod touch 5th generation is $229 vs $299. The cheapo is less rear camera & 16g vs 32g or 64g & less color options but other than that seems to be the same form & construction. Maybe 5s cheapo will be 16g with A6 & Expensive 5s will be 32g or 64g with A7

You realize what you're postulating is an iPhone 5 right?

A cheapo 5S with A6 and 16GB? Yup iPhone 5 which will cost $549 when the 5S comes out, if Apple decides to keep it around.

$549 is not affordable enough for most of the world.

My thoughts on the upcoming cheapo phone is a phone based on the iPod touch. Colored aluminum ultra thin and light, sexy and colorful. Apple could totally do that with the aluminum design. They did it with the iphone 1 by simply adding a plastic window for the cell radio signals to go out from.

Anyway I see a device with a colorful aluminum case, A5, 5 megapixel camera, 8GB of storage and Qualcomm's LTE and CD-LTE wireless chips.

$349 budget iPhone: 8GB Black&Silver. A5, 5MP cam, LTE

$449 budget iPhone: 16GB Colors. A5, 5MP, LTE

$549 iPhone 5: 16GB Black&Slate/White&Silver. A6, 8MP, LTE

$649 iPhone 5S: 32GB Black&Slate/White&Silver. A7, 13MP, LTE
post #30 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Try to think outside of the boundaries of your home town, Walmart, and the United States.  

 

A truck driver in Indonesia needs a smartphone nowadays as well.  He/she probably needs it to be cheap, durable, off-contract, and have a battery that lasts a long, long time. 

 

When has Apple ever created a new product for a market that isn't the US? They have limited resources and yet some contend this new product is aimed primarily at other markets, why? Profit grubbers do that, they make products so they can go earn more profits, while Apple builds (a limited number of) products that people love. I don't believe for a moment that they will build a new product to go grab some profit in Indonesia, that's simply not Apple at all.

post #31 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

When has Apple ever created a new product for a market that isn't the US? They have limited resources and yet some contend this new product is aimed primarily at other markets, why? Profit grubbers do that, they make products so they can go earn more profits, while Apple builds (a limited number of) products that people love. I don't believe for a moment that they will build a new product to go grab some profit in Indonesia, that's simply not Apple at all.
I personally think you turn out to be wrong pal. Jobs not around anymore. Investors are crying all over the Street.
post #32 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

A budget iPhone is stupid.
No matter what the phone cost you'll eventually be able to get it for next to nothing with a two year commitment by any of the number of pimps, cough, I mean cellular providers. Look at the iPhone 4. Walmart is giving it out for zero dollrs or a penny with a two year commitment.

You do realize the prepaid market in the US is rapidly growing, right? If Apple hasn't noticed this, why are they striking up deals with Straight Talk, Virgin Mobile etc.? People are obviously buying them, or they wouldn't keep selling them. If Apple can produce/offer a more affordable iPhone, especially for prepaid, that will put a dent in Samesung's cheap garbage Android phones that are mostly on prepaid carriers. 

 

The sad part is, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint will probably make even more profit when customers buy these on a 2-year contract. 

 

My gut feeling is, Apple's shifting to a 2-phone lineup. There won't be any more model shifting when the new iPhones comes out. Hopefully Apple will be even more competitive with pricing: Premium iPhone = $599 (32GB)/$699 (64GB); Entry iPhone = $399 (8GB)/$499 (16GB). The feature sets will be nearly identical. The processor, chassis and storage size will separate Entry from Premium. 

post #33 of 98
Seriously people? If this is indeed a legitimate rear shell of an iPhone, then it is obvious that the shell didn't go through the whole production process when it was "taken". The power and volume buttons were obviously not machined before someone got a hold of the shell. Notice that the shell only has the apple logo and is missing the FCC seal along with all the other markings. This could still be in an early stage of the production process --again, assuming it is legit. Don't get distracted by the missing button holes.

One more thing. If this is a fake, why did the people machining this fake not bother with these holes but did machine the others ones?
post #34 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigh View Post


I personally think you turn out to be wrong pal. Jobs not around anymore. Investors are crying all over the Street.

 

I've worked for big companies and I think the attitude that companies can change their ethos willy nilly misunderstands how these companies operate. Every corporate process supported Steve and the way he wanted the company to run - that isn't something that is easily undone. Every single corporate process from product inception to product end of life will have supported Steve's ideas. Every single corporate process. To change direction at that level would require an undertaking that would be more difficult than simply starting a new company from scratch with this new ethos. Not going to happen, no matter how many tears Wall Street sheds.

post #35 of 98
Why bother to publish this if:
"It should be noted that AppleInsider cannot confirm the veracity of Techdy's report and offers the following information for purposes of discussion only."?

What is worth discussing?
post #36 of 98
Lack of buttons is wrong, but overall, love this design.

This is so much more practical than the iPhone 4/4S/5/5S. As much as I appreciate the beauty of those devices and have enjoyed using each one of them, the physical design makes no sense for a day-to-day device...

...unless of course your scheme is to give people bars of soap that break and scratch easily, and thus need expensive repair or get traded in because you can't stand the sight of the scratches anymore.

And you pretty much have to bury the beautiful design in a horrific case of some kind if you want it to last more than a week.

IMO its too bad that this design will only extend to the $0/$99 price points, and not be flagship model as well. Unibody molded plastic is what a Phone should be wrapped in.
post #37 of 98
Really sad that all the blogs are giving this stupid site hits. And then treating it as if its the real deal. 1oyvey.gif
post #38 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbrook View Post

Why bother to publish this if:
"It should be noted that AppleInsider cannot confirm the veracity of Techdy's report and offers the following information for purposes of discussion only."?

What is worth discussing?
Exactly. There is nothing worth discussing. Just like when AI and MacRumors commissioned someone to mock up what a budget iPhone might look like and then stuck it on their front pages as news. 1rolleyes.gif
post #39 of 98
Well touch panel home button, nice, removing volume controls (wtf) Why would someone want no way to turn off, (auto sleep but no Off) the power buttons staying!
post #40 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheProf View Post

Can't help but wonder if they're going to replace the iPod Touch with something like this. Something that would cost the same as an iPod Touch but has the option of turning on the cellular radio through a carrier. To be honest, I don't know if all that would work out (technology wise), but I guess I'm skeptical of them doing a cheap phone without some kind of nuance to it.
Why in the world would Apple redesign the iPod touch last year if they were going to replace it with something plastic this year?
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