New pics show off supposed low-cost iPhone's plastic rear shell

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Supposed images of a polycarbonate-backed, low-cost iPhone have hit the Internet, along with predictions that the cheaper Apple handset will see release in the fall of this year.

image


The image, released Thursday, started anew the rumors that Apple is planning to release an iPhone to compete for the lower-cost market. The casing shown looks to be a polycarbonate shell measuring between 0.4mm and 0.6mm thick, according to tech blog Tactus. It is less rounded than the iPhone 3GS, the last Apple phone to feature a plastic backing.

As Apple does not comment on speculation about future products, the image is near-impossible to verify. It does appear to bear some pixelization around the "iPhone" lettering and the Apple logo, as well as the holes for the camera and flash. These, though, could be the result of poor image quality as opposed to digital manipulation.

skepticism
Zooming in on the iPhone text shows some pixelization and apparent irregularities.


Inside, the budget iPhone is said to have an A5 processor like the iPad mini with a 32nm diecast. It would also supposedly pack a 3.5-inch Retina screen, smaller than the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5. Tactus' account also has the device slated for an October 15 release, with a price of $300. This information in particular should be taken with a grain of salt, as it's unlikely that Apple would have a specific release date and price nailed down so far in advance, let alone that such information would leak to the supply chain.

The idea of a plastic-backed iPhone does jibe with recent rumors regarding Apple's plans to address the low-cost smartphone market. Apple, along with Samsung, captures the lion's share of profit in the smartphone sector, but Apple's iPhones are premium products with a corresponding price. A plastic iPhone, it is thought, would help Apple address the low end of the market and grow its share even further.

Observers disagree on what shape a low-cost iPhone might take. Consensus seems to have settled around a polycarbonate chassis, but some reports have Apple putting a non-Retina display in the device, while others have the company keeping the same display that's seen in the iPhone 5.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 97
    Hope not. Looks like a third-rate product.
  • Reply 2 of 97
    widmarkwidmark Posts: 31member
    looks pretty fake to me!
  • Reply 3 of 97
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,172member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    Hope not. Looks like a third-rate product.


     


    What do you expect? This is what you get when you try to make something cheap....which is why I don't think Apple needs to make a cheap phone. If you can't afford it then oh well. You can't always get everything you want. Apple has always said they aren't going to be in a race to the bottom and this is exactly what a cheap phone does. They're starting to compete on price, which is exactly what you don't want to do. 


     


    This is what happens when you start to listen to shareholders, customers, analysts, etc and lose focus on just creating great products. 

  • Reply 4 of 97
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    The fakest fake I've ever faking seen.
  • Reply 5 of 97
    macxpress wrote: »
    What do you expect? This is what you get when you try to make something cheap....which is why I don't think Apple needs to make a cheap phone. If you can't afford it then oh well. You can't always get everything you want. Apple has always said they aren't going to be in a race to the bottom and this is exactly what a cheap phone does. They're starting to compete on price, which is exactly what you don't want to do. 

    Not sure where this logic comes from. Just because it's cheaper in price doesn't mean it's not an Apple worthy product. They did this with their iPods, offering all different sizes and capacities to reach as broad of an audience as they could. They also did this with the MacBook, remember the polycarbonate version of that? Just because it isn't as nice as say the iPhone 5 in that it doesn't use metal as it's chassis, doesn't mean it can't still be a quality product at a lower price point.
  • Reply 6 of 97
    yvvvyvvv Posts: 18member
    I prefer the materials and the look of the iPhone 5, but I still like this polycarbonate shell. Sure it will look better with the marketing lust from Apple.

    High-end phones with premium material and low-end phones with cheaper materials.
    It will sell if it's cheaper than what Apple's current price structure offers with its last generation phones.
  • Reply 7 of 97
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by widmark View Post

    looks pretty fake to me!


     


    Looks pretty REAL to me.


     


    This is absolutely horrible if true. I don't want Tim Cook and Co. LISTENING TO ANYONE but themselves. I don't want these idiot whiners to dictate company policy. We'll never have any future products that way. The iPhone would have had a keyboard and the iPad would have run OS X. And the mouse never would have gone into a consumer product.


    Ugh, look at that thing. The case curves up around to the front; there's a lip there… ????

  • Reply 8 of 97
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) It looks like someone took the white MacBook design and applied it to the iPhone. I can't see a budget iPhone doing that. I'd expect it to at least copy the back of he 2nd and 3rd gen iPhone's plastic back so that it tapers to the edge.

    2) At 3.5" that seems like an issue since Apple is no longer accepting such apps that are only designed for the 3.5" UI, and I don't thin require you to build for the 3.5" UI. That doesn't sound like a good plan if they are to introduce 3.5" back into the market.
  • Reply 9 of 97
    yvvvyvvv Posts: 18member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Looks pretty REAL to me.


     


    This is absolutely horrible if true. I don't want Tim Cook and Co. LISTENING TO ANYONE but themselves. I don't want these idiot whiners to dictate company policy. We'll never have any future products that way. The iPhone would have had a keyboard and the iPad would have run OS X. And the mouse never would have gone into a consumer product.


    Ugh, look at that thing. The case curves up around to the front; there's a lip there… ????



     


    Still, it will happen. I like this shell. You're not forced to buy it. And Apple will keep on making the high-end iPhone.

  • Reply 10 of 97
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    I still find it hard to see a use case, or a market that these phones could be sold in without completely destroying the sales of the "main" iPhone. The plastic casing wouldn't shave that much off the cost, it would have to use last year's components for starters and that would still only make it marginally cheaper than buying last year's iPhone instead.

    The cost would have to be below $200 off-contract, and they would have to stop selling last year's models as they currently do (there would be a recycling cost there as well). Then the offer could be more like "This year's iPhone is $200 on contract, and the cheap one is last year's iPhone (in a cheap shell) for $200 *off* contract."

    Even so, I'm not sure buying last year's iPhone guts, housed in a plastic shell is really going to sell well, but then I have never understood why anyone would buy last year's anything.
  • Reply 11 of 97
    yvvvyvvv Posts: 18member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    1) It looks like someone took the white MacBook design and applied it to the iPhone. I can't see a budget iPhone doing that. I'd expect it to at least copy the back of he 2nd and 3rd gen iPhone's plastic back so that it tapers to the edge.



    2) At 3.5" that seems like an issue since Apple is no longer accepting such apps that are only designed for the 3.5" UI, and I don't thin require you to build for the 3.5" UI. That doesn't sound like a good plan if they are to introduce 3.5" back into the market.


     


    2) Chances are pretty good it will have a 4 inch screen.


    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/03/15/apples-budget-iphone-expected-to-have-same-4-inch-display-as-iphone-5

  • Reply 12 of 97
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,545moderator
    Hope not. Looks like a third-rate product.

    You mean like a (badly) photoshopped Nokia Lumia?

    1000

    Camera hole is too high, iPhone text has no perspective on it and the grey strip isn't part of the watermark.

    If they did make one, it would look like the 3G(S):

    1000
  • Reply 13 of 97
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by yvvv View Post

    Still, it will happen.


     


    Well, no, that's not at all true.






    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    skepticism


    Zooming in on the iPhone text shows some pixelization and apparent irregularities.



     



     


    Yeah, it's called a JPG. That's why I don't use them, myself. I hate JPGs. image

  • Reply 14 of 97
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    I don't want Tim Cook and Co. LISTENING TO ANYONE but themselves.
    Why do you assume that they are? Steve Jobs could have had this idea while working on the original iPhone. The 3G could have been the first attempt. It's a perfectly rational plan by any manufacturer, especially when considering markets like India and China.
  • Reply 15 of 97
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,476member
    ireland wrote: »
    The fakest fake I've ever faking seen.

    Yeah, I'm not getting the changes in the mute switch and volume rocker switch.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a 3GS looking iphone with better guts and display. Not just bargain priced for consumer, I can see corporate liking a lower cost, less fragile design.
  • Reply 16 of 97
    yvvvyvvv Posts: 18member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Well, no, that's not at all true.



     


    Ok, that's your opinion and I have mine.


     


    Right now, IMO, the chances are leaning heavily towards a budget iPhone becoming a reality at the end of 2013.

  • Reply 17 of 97
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by yvvv View Post

    Ok, that's your opinion and I have mine.


     


    Right!






    Right now, IMO, the chances are leaning heavily towards a budget iPhone becoming a reality at the end of 2013.



     


    Even if we pretend this IS true, the argument then becomes over the means by which this is accomplished. Whether it be wasting resources on a horrible phone like this or just dropping the 4S to $300 off-contract.


     


    Heck, what is it now, $450? $350 off-contract would be enough.

  • Reply 18 of 97
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    I think, it is going to do really good business.  Even in America it will sell out like anything.

  • Reply 19 of 97
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Blech. Hope it's a prototype that never leaves the design or manufacturing site.
  • Reply 20 of 97
    We are Samsung. Resistance Is Futile. You Will Be Copied.
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