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Prototype enclosures for Apple's 'iPhone 5C' apparently appearing on eBay

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ahead of the product's anticipated debut, prototype parts for Apple's so-called "iPhone 5C" have become so numerous, they're now available to purchase on eBay.

eBay


A new listing for a prototype "iPhone 5C" plastic back panel is currently available for sale on the auction website. The alleged Apple component has a "Buy It Now" price of $50, assuming the listing isn't pulled.

The part pictured on the site lacks the usual FCC and other regulatory logos underneath the iPhone product name. That suggests the part, if legitimate, may have been rejected in the manufacturing process.

Aside from the missing regulatory identifiers, the part appears to show all of the characteristics expected from Apple's new low-cost iPhone model. It features the Apple logo and iPhone name, space for speakers and a microphone, and a headphone jack and Lightning port on the bottom of the device.

Not shown in the accompanying pictures is the left side of the component, where the volume buttons and mute switch would traditionally be located. A picture of the front of the device shows that it is an empty shell, not a full-fledged prototype.

Parts claimed to be for Apple's "iPhone 5C" have been appearing online for months. The company is expected to formally introduce the device at a media event on Sept. 10, with an official product launch likely to occur on Friday, Sept. 20.

Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities expects the "iPhone 5C" will feature many of the same components as the currently available iPhone 5. That, along with the low-cost plastic back, is expected to allow Apple to have the new model in steady supply at launch.

The part listed on eBay shows a white plastic back for the device, which is the same color as dozens of functional units that appeared to be going through some sort of testing process in a photo leaked over the weekend. In addition to white, the "iPhone 5C" is also expected to be available in blue, red, yellow and green.
post #2 of 35

Looks EXACTLY like that bear… phone thing. They're either in a stupid amount of trouble or Apple just isn't making this.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #3 of 35

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

Hence your username
post #5 of 35

Apple should put the following into their contract with manufacturers...

 

For every part that is removed from the factory and shows up online, the manufacturer's fine is $100,000 per incident.

 

Problem solved.

post #6 of 35

Auction ending in 3, 2, 1,...
 

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

I never saw a plastic phone,
And Apple shouldn't build 'em;
But if they don't, 5 years from now,
Android will have killed 'em.

 

- with apologies to Purple Cow.

post #8 of 35

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

 

Think about it this way: their flagship brand offerings (the iPhone) also includes a product that you can purchase that is essentially 3+ years old. Their discount offering strategy over the past few years has been just that: offer an older product line at a reduced price. What Apple may have found is that they are losing some customers because of that stigma - those customers would rather purchase a different phone that just came out than a phone that was announced in 2011.

 

The C-line may take care of several birds with one stone - beyond better merging their iPod and iPhone lines and cutting into younger or other groups which this type of product would appeal to, it removes much of the "old product" stigma which belies the entire iPhone discount product line.

post #9 of 35

It also unifies the product line with a standard display size and connector. Those are big issues that Apple wants to put in the rear view mirror.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

Because it's not about just 'cheaper'. The rumored colored iPhone would appeal to a different market and expand the number of customers in a way that the 4S does not. Why is everyone so hung up on 'cheaper'? The cost of the case is a minor part of the entire phone. Saving a few dollars on the case doesn't have that big of an impact. Offering a wider range of products does.

Let's say you are a car manufacturer and you only make one car. That car has grown to be the top selling car in the world, but its growth rate is starting to level off. Do you focus on reducing the price by a couple percent or do you build a second type of car (perhaps a convertible or SUV)? Obviously, the latter is more important since you don't generally lose sales over a 2% difference in price.

When Apple started, it made sense to have only a single phone. Until you built an infrastructure and market, having multiple types was a distraction and added complexity (and cost). Now that they're selling the phones by the tens of millions, the volume is high enough that a second variety is feasible and will be large enough to be self-sustaining rather than a drain on their existing brand.

The existing iPhone appeals to one audience. This (rumored) phone would appeal to an entirely different audience - expanding their market. If it is cheaper, that may be part of the brand identity, but it wouldn't be the sole driving force.
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post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

 

Pretty easy to answer.  

 

1) the "selling old models" thing to address this market segment gives them a lower margin, higher costs and is unsustainable in the long run.

 

2) market share, not profits. 

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Looks EXACTLY like that bear… phone thing. They're either in a stupid amount of trouble or Apple just isn't making this.

I agree.

If the 5C is real, I bet a lot of the leaks we're seeing are actually copies and knockoffs.

If the entirety of the 5C ends up being fake I'm gonna laugh so hard 9/10/13. It will be sad that Apple's stock would probably drop into the toilet though.

Anyway if the 5C is real I think it will have a special something that will set it apart. Not just a black front/colorful back but maybe a unique manufacturing process or IMO maybe a special ecofriendly material used instead of polycarbonate (bioplastic?).

Knowing how Apple engineers strive for perfection I'm not buying that this is simply a plastic iPhone 5 with no special catch to it. The fakes are, but the real one? The real one will be one of a kind.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

 

The 3G & 3GS were record-setting smartphone releases. They were plastic. There is no argument against plastic.

 

They're building an ideal iPhone for so many markets. It is finally possible to make an iPhone and sell it for a little bit less. And, the device will be in every way an iPhone 5, not some neutered iPhone wannabe. So, this product is going to be fantastic. A perfect offering in the US for $0 & $99, and a fair off contract price for everyone else. Only slightly cheaper, around $449.

 

This of course does not take away from, but merely Adds to, the launch of their new Flagship iPhone 5S, which will be the best device to run iOS 7.

 

This such a brilliant and obvious move on the part of Apple it actually baffles me when it confuses people. 

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.

 

- The iPhone 4/4S don't have Lightning connectors nor the 16:9 screen. Apple wants to standardize those.

- Even cheap/poor people prefer to have the "latest" model, 2 years old models are less attractive. I'm pretty sure some sales rep use that excuse to push people toward Android phones. ('We have this cheaper iPhone, but it's a two years old model and you don't want that, here's a brand new Android phone model for the same price / for free")

- The 5C is already generating a lot of press coverage and will even more when it's released, unlike "selling older models at a discount" which is now old news.

post #15 of 35
hahaa.. Steve not about profits. That's a laugher. ANY Executive in a publicly traded company must be concerned with giving value to the shareholders. Otherwise, why be in business? Apple did this in the run up to 100 BILLION dollars in cash, with a rising stock price. Profitability is what fuels R D investments, and innovation. Without capital to invest in Apple's Skunk Works, there would have been none of the Apple innovations of the last ten years. And to think otherwise, is to believe in fairy tales. It takes money to make money.

BTW, can you show me the quote where Steve Jobs said Apple did not want to be profitable?

Steve DID say Apple isn't concerned with market share numbers, it's about making the best product they can.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

I never saw a plastic phone,


And Apple shouldn't build 'em;


But if they don't, 5 years from now,


Android will have killed 'em.


- with apologies to Purple Cow.

Have you never seen a 3G/3GS?
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post #17 of 35

Crazy that independent iPhone repair shops are already (purportedly) getting 5S spare parts.

Why?  iPhones have a 1 year hardware warranty, so can't Apple wait a year before shipping

spare parts?

 

(Also, as a FYI, AppleCare+ gives you two years of hardware repair coverage for $99 with up to

two "incidents" at $49 each.  You could smash your iPhone with a sledgehammer and get a new one

for $49 at any time during the 2 year AppleCare+ coverage.  Twice!)

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post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Crazy that independent iPhone repair shops are already (purportedly) getting 5S spare parts.
Why?  iPhones have a 1 year hardware warranty, so can't Apple wait a year before shipping
spare parts?

(Also, as a FYI, AppleCare+ gives you two years of hardware repair coverage for $99 with up to
two "incidents" at $49 each.  You could smash your iPhone with a sledgehammer and get a new one
for $49 at any time during the 2 year AppleCare+ coverage.  Twice!)

You get a new one for a month or two and then it's a refurbished one, and now they're relying more on actually repairing the device instead of replacing it.
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post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Crazy that independent iPhone repair shops are already (purportedly) getting 5S spare parts.
Why?  iPhones have a 1 year hardware warranty, so can't Apple wait a year before shipping
spare parts?

That would be insanely stupid.

First, many of the "independent" shops also do warranty repairs (that is, "independent" usually means "not owned by Apple" but doesn't exclude Apple Authorized Shops).

Second, lots of people don't worry about the warranty when it's a small repair. If I break a screen and it's $50 to replace, I might just pay a local shop to do so rather than drive 3 hours to the nearest Apple Store (or ship my phone away so that I don't have it for a week).
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post #20 of 35

The "iPhone 5S's" rumored black logo/lettering and choice of black front panel weighs down the lightness of the industrial design and the two black iOS 7 icons (Stocks and Compass) feels inconsistent with the overall design language and strategy of iOS 7. Besides problematic aesthetics, why are those icons-and only those icons-black? No explanation I've read about functional attributes underlying those icons has made any sense to me. From a distance, those two black icons stick out on the home screen like sores, drawing attention away from the screen as a whole.

 

Similarly, the contrast between the black  and lettering of the rear case design and the colorful cases is unappealing and makes no sense design-wise. Black does not "scream fun" and light. And the contrast between the colorful cases and the icons create too much contrast and attention to the logo. (If that's what Jony Ive was going for, Lord help us all.) The black front face of the "5C" that we've been seeing also would be more attractive if it were silver or gray (or even white). It would match a silver or  and lettering that could and should be used in the rear case design, would provide a more distinct design language for the 5C hardware, open up a design conversation with the "5S" hardware (MacBooks, iPhones, iPods), and better convey "young", "light", "fun", and "approachable".

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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Apple should put the following into their contract with manufacturers...

For every part that is removed from the factory and shows up online, the manufacturer's fine is $100,000 per incident.

Problem solved.

Might already be in there.

Which means someone might be getting hit with a fine. Or at least an audit to see if this is a legit leak.

After all, I can write anything on a blog, a profile, an auction and who is to say that it is legit. Even if this sells and it turns out that apple doesn't release something like this I could always say that I was up front that it was a prototype and I never claimed it was the final version

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That would be insanely stupid.

First, many of the "independent" shops also do warranty repairs (that is, "independent" usually means "not owned by Apple" but doesn't exclude Apple Authorized Shops).

Be that as it may, the first comment stands. Why would Apple be shipping parts to repair shops for a product that hasn't been announced. That is asking for leaks.

They wouldn't. They would have them ready and ship them when the devices launch since no parts are needed for something that can't be broken since no one has one.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGlass View Post

Don't really understand this.  Why should Apple build a plastic phone.  A less expensive iPhone already exists in the 4S and the 4.  Building "cheaper" doesn't advance the brand or improve the product.  During the Jobs era, he repeatedly said that Apple wasn't about profit, it was about product that added value to our lives. A cheaper iPhone does nothing except make the Wall St. folks happy if it adds income and profits.  Apple doesn't really need the money at this point. It has sufficient $$$$$$$$$$ to fund R&D for a long time.  I, for one hope to never see a plastic iPhone.


Apple needs to compete with a lower priced current iPhone.

Just a slight reduction in manufacturing cost can make a very significant reduction in the down payment.  That is the price many people see. 

They don't realize how much of all smart phone costs  are covered by their contract's monthly fee.

post #24 of 35
Where there's smoke, there's plastic.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Be that as it may, the first comment stands. Why would Apple be shipping parts to repair shops for a product that hasn't been announced. That is asking for leaks.

They wouldn't. They would have them ready and ship them when the devices launch since no parts are needed for something that can't be broken since no one has one.

Then he should have said that instead of suggesting that Apple didn't need to ship spare parts for a year.
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post #26 of 35
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post
Apple needs to compete with a lower priced current iPhone.

 

No, not really.


Just a slight reduction in manufacturing cost can make a very significant reduction in the down payment.  That is the price many people see. 

 

Who cares what they see? They also see their monthly cost. $199 vs $0 is meaningless over two years. Just as $399 vs $649 is meaningless over the same period.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

They don't realize how much of all smart phone costs  are covered by their contract's monthly fee.

They shouldn't be buying a smartphone if they can't afford all that it entails.
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post #28 of 35

$600 for an alleged rear shell of a stolen prototype? Sheesh

I'd be surprised if that auction still exists by the morning

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post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bclapper View Post

$600 for an alleged rear shell of a stolen prototype? Sheesh
I'd be surprised if that auction still exists by the morning

Over $12,000 now. But, of course, I doubt if the person who made that bid will ever have to pay.

I agree, the auction won't last until the end.
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post #30 of 35

Looks fake. The pictures are from leaked articles.

post #31 of 35

Up to $16,000 now.  Thank goodness for shill bidders.

post #32 of 35
Instead of selling my 5, maybe I should auction it ¡
post #33 of 35
Auction has been ended - as expected.
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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Auction has been ended - as expected.

That cease and desist letter got there just in time.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #35 of 35
Well, it now does appear that there will be a less expensive iPhone coming if all the press is to be believed. But I've argued with droid users re market share that just as Toyota sells more cars than Mercedes, the Lexus LS doesn't sell anything like S Class numbers. I think the analogy works for the Galaxy S4 v iPhone 5. I must concede however that the connector issue likely is a problem that will be resolved with 5C. As for Jobs attitude re profit vs product, recall that he was fired from Apple at one time perhaps due to this position. And it is well-known that he lived rather simply for all his wealth much in the vein of Warren Buffett. In any event, I for one will not look for a cheaper iPhone. Someone once said (a rich guy) that always buy the best and you'll never be disappointed. 😁
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