Leaked schematics reveal what case makers expect Apple's low-cost iPhone & 'iPhone 5S' will look lik

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Using design plans believed to have originated at Apple, accessory makers are beginning to manufacture cases for the company's anticipated low-cost iPhone, and AppleInsider offers a first look at the schematics they are using to predict the device's appearance.

Lite


The above 3D rendering was created by a well-known third-party case manufacturer based on blueprints it received that are alleged to reveal the design of a so-called "iPhone Lite." The design shows curved edges and a slightly thicker frame, consistent with other rumors and leaks that have come before.

People familiar with the accessories industry say they believe strongly that the design documents are legitimate and represent what Apple's low-cost iPhone will look like.

To that end, case makers are already manufacturing accessories that they believe will fit Apple's rumored "iPhone Lite." As can be seen in the diagrams included below, the handset is expected to resemble the iPhone 5, with the same 4-inch screen, home button, and FaceTime camera on the front of the device.

Lite


The alleged blueprints also suggest Apple's next flagship handset, referred to unofficially as the "iPhone 5S," will have relatively the same design as its predecessor. Meanwhile, the schematics show a low-cost iPhone that would be a hair wider and taller than the "iPhone 5S."

As for the thickness, the documents suggest that the low-cost iPhone will be about 0.8 millimeters thicker than the next flagship iPhone. Its back edges would also be rounded off, much like Apple's iPod classic.

Lite


Aside from those design tweaks, the "iPhone Lite" is shown to have the same general design as previous iPhone models. On the bottom is space for the headphone jack, microphone input, Lightning connector, and speaker output. Up top is a lock button, while volume controls would be on the left side.

The back of the "iPhone Lite" is also shown to have an iSight camera, rear-facing microphone, and LED flash. The low-end iPhone is shown having a singular LED flash, while the "iPhone 5S" features a pill-shaped design that earlier rumors have claimed will house a dual LED flash for greater brightness.

Lite


It should be noted that case makers have bet ? and lost ??on unofficial schematic designs in the past. In 2011, for example, Hard Candy ordered $50,000 worth of steel moldings based on leaked 3D models of a tear-drop iPhone design that never came to be.

However, the "iPhone Lite" design details provided to AppleInsider are consistent with other leaks related to the rumored device.

While the documents obtained by case makers suggest the size and shape of a low-cost iPhone, they give no indications about other features of the device. For example, it's been said that the handset will be made of plastic and will come in multiple colors, but the documents offer no information that would either support or contradict those rumors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 120
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    Could also be for a Samsung device.
  • Reply 2 of 120
    nchianchia Posts: 124member
    Maybe you could get a case to make your 5/5S look like a Lite.
  • Reply 3 of 120
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    If this is real, there is no reason to make "iPhone cheapo" that [B]fat[/B] … unless they are are least doubling the battery life.
    Just sayin.
  • Reply 4 of 120
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    If this is real, there is no reason to make "iPhone cheapo" that fat unless they are are least doubling the battery life. Just sayin.
    2 things I don't get: why a lower cost iPhone has to be plastic and why it has to be thicker. Unless Apple would do that to keep it from stealing flagship device sales. But they didn't do that with the iPad mini. Most likely the next full size iPad will take its design cues from the mini.
  • Reply 5 of 120
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    If the original phone really looks like this schematic prototype, iPhone Lite is going to be awesome too!

  • Reply 6 of 120
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member


    All over this article the writer calls this low-cost phone the iPhone "Lite", when the images all say "Light".  Kind of embarrassing that they missed this in the editing process.  So which one is it AI?

  • Reply 7 of 120
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Didn't they try this with the iPhone 4S and fail.
  • Reply 8 of 120
    abazigalabazigal Posts: 114member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    2 things I don't get: why a lower cost iPhone has to be plastic and why it has to be thicker.


    My guess is that they want to make the lower-cost iphone feel "less premium" than the iphone5s, to avoid cannibalising its sales. Thicker could be because of different brand of parts which are not as small? For example, there are rumours that Apple might not use their A-series of processors, but instead utilise snapdragon processors. 


     


    I am more interested to know how they intend to "gimp" it. My guess is that it will obviously omit Siri, but buying into the IOS ecosystem would mean consumers still enjoy maps, mail, facetime, imessage and icloud. Will it still be retina? 

  • Reply 9 of 120
    abobrekabobrek Posts: 31member
    I think someone made these up for page views. Why does one iPhone button have the, "rounded corner square" and the other doesn't? Schematics are meant to be precise. I don't think Apple would miss something like that nor does it makes sense to have it on one and not the other.
  • Reply 10 of 120
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    If this is real, there is no reason to make "iPhone cheapo" that fat … unless they are are least doubling the battery life.

    Just sayin.


    it's very likely that he thicker iPhone 'light" is going to have older/slower parts in it to save money.  The article does say something to that effect regarding the camera.  Perhaps Apple will be using some parts from the iPhone 5/4s in this low-cost option, hence the need to make it thicker.

  • Reply 11 of 120
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by abazigal View Post


    My guess is that they want to make the lower-cost iphone feel "less premium" than the iphone5s, to avoid cannibalising its sales. Thicker could be because of different brand of parts which are not as small? For example, there are rumours that Apple might not use their A-series of processors, but instead utilise snapdragon processors. 


     


    I am more interested to know how they intend to "gimp" it. My guess is that it will obviously omit Siri, but buying into the IOS ecosystem would mean consumers still enjoy maps, mail, facetime, imessage and icloud. Will it still be retina? 



    agreed on the "Less Premium" feel to it.


    disagree that Apple will go with a 3rd party processor...very un-Apple-like.


    disagree that Apple will omit Siri.  It's part of the standard features and even the 4s has it.  So there's not sense in omitting something that's been a standard feature in Apple devices for nearly 2 years now.


    My guess about retina display is that it's the norm now for the iPhone and it probably make little sense to downgrade now.  Also since Apple has put the smack-down on Devs to update all their apps to the current display aspect and screen res.

  • Reply 12 of 120
    I think moving forward, Apple will have two iPhone lines moving forward: Premium and Standard (instead of light or low cost). This way, they don't keep selling iPhones from three years ago. The "standard" line may also get a cheaper data plan as well. Pure speculation on my part.
  • Reply 13 of 120
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    It's not that thick actually.
  • Reply 14 of 120
    jessijessi Posts: 302member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post



    If this is real, there is no reason to make "iPhone cheapo" that fat … unless they are are least doubling the battery life.

    Just sayin.


     


    There are many reasons:  First, plastic is much cheaper to make than the glass and metal case currently being used. Secondly, plastic is much weaker than metal, therefore you need more of it to get the same strength.  Thirdly, the cheaper device is probably using older, less efficient parts, meaning it does need a bigger battery to get the same battery life.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    2 things I don't get: why a lower cost iPhone has to be plastic and why it has to be thicker. 


     


    Plastic is cheaper to make but weaker than metal.  Plastic itself is lower end. 

  • Reply 15 of 120
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post



    I think moving forward, Apple will have two iPhone lines moving forward: Premium and Standard (instead of light or low cost). This way, they don't keep selling iPhones from three years ago. The "standard" line may also get a cheaper data plan as well. Pure speculation on my part.


    i'd say that's a pretty safe bet to make.  The iPhone and the Pro..although I doubt they'll call it iPhone Pro.

  • Reply 16 of 120
    jessijessi Posts: 302member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post



    I think moving forward, Apple will have two iPhone lines moving forward: Premium and Standard (instead of light or low cost). This way, they don't keep selling iPhones from three years ago. The "standard" line may also get a cheaper data plan as well. Pure speculation on my part.


     


    The nice thing about selling the past years phones is that Apple didn't have to do the extra engineering to do another design.  They just sold the older model as-is which, presumably, was going down in cost each year as the components got cheaper. 


     


    The downside of that is that the cases of these devices-- the metal band in the 4 series, for instance-- are really expensive to manufacture. 


     


    I think Apple will have a standard phone, which they'll call "iPhone" and a higher end model which might be called iPhone+ or Pro.   The standard design will be made with cheaper materials, like plastic, and but will likely still be mostly last years phone.


     


    EG: A6 processor in the pro, and A5 in the standard, then next year, A7 in the pro, and A6 in the standard.


     


    It's just the market has gotten big enough that it's worth the cost to maintain two designs, and more efficient to sell a seperate design out of plastic than to keep making last years model. 

  • Reply 17 of 120
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    2 things I don't get: why a lower cost iPhone has to be plastic and why it has to be thicker. Unless Apple would do that to keep it from stealing flagship device sales. But they didn't do that with the iPad mini. Most likely the next full size iPad will take its design cues from the mini.


     


    I agree. I think if Apple were making a cheaper phone it would be far more unique and far more premium in look and feel.


     


    I think that these iPhones in plastic cases are probably 5Ss or 6s that Apple is cloaking in rounded plastic cases for testing purposes. I don't think these leaks are actual plastic phones Apple is going to produce.

  • Reply 18 of 120
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    abazigal wrote: »
    My guess is that they want to make the lower-cost iphone feel "less premium" than the iphone5s, to avoid cannibalising its sales. Thicker could be because of different brand of parts which are not as small? For example, there are rumours that Apple might not use their A-series of processors, but instead utilise snapdragon processors. 

    I am more interested to know how they intend to "gimp" it. My guess is that it will obviously omit Siri, but buying into the IOS ecosystem would mean consumers still enjoy maps, mail, facetime, imessage and icloud. Will it still be retina? 

    Apple does not make "less premium" products. They also do not worry about cannibalising their other devices. This sounds like the thinking of an analyst, not the thinking of an Apple engineer.

    If this phone does exist (and I'm still very skeptical) then I expect Apple has a major curve ball for all the people who are talking about all the stuff the new phone won't have.
  • Reply 19 of 120
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,396member
    Why are people saying this phone is too fat?
    It's less than 1mm thicker than the iphone5 and still thinner than the 4/4S.

    Why would a cheap version of the iPhone for developing markets be thinner and have a larger screen than the cheap iPhone for developed markets?
  • Reply 20 of 120
    abazigalabazigal Posts: 114member
    iaeen wrote: »
    abazigal wrote: »
    My guess is that they want to make the lower-cost iphone feel "less premium" than the iphone5s, to avoid cannibalising its sales. Thicker could be because of different brand of parts which are not as small? For example, there are rumours that Apple might not use their A-series of processors, but instead utilise snapdragon processors.

    I am more interested to know how they intend to "gimp" it. My guess is that it will obviously omit Siri, but buying into the IOS ecosystem would mean consumers still enjoy maps, mail, facetime, imessage and icloud. Will it still be retina?

    Apple does not make "less premium" products. They also do not worry about cannibalising their other devices. This sounds like the thinking of an analyst, not the thinking of an Apple engineer.

    If this phone does exist (and I'm still very skeptical) then I expect Apple has a major curve ball for all the people who are talking about all the stuff the new phone won't have.

    I would argue that Apple does in fact worry about product cannibalisation, just that they would rather lose sales to themselves than to another competitor.

    That's why the ipad doesn't get full productivity features, so it doesn't obsolete the Mac. Likewise, if you look at their product line, it seems very carefully crafted to avoid overlaps with one another.

    That said, I suspect the cheaper iphone may be available only overseas, and may not be sold in the US at all.
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