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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 105
    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...
  • Reply 2 of 105
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 105
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member

    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.

  • Reply 4 of 105
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Right, because the "low cost" iPhone is going to be made out of the finest aluminium with the exacting chamfered edge. :rolleyes:

    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.
  • Reply 5 of 105
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    I like it better than my, supposedly costlier, 5! Great 'back corners', nice volume buttons.
  • Reply 6 of 105
    AppleInsider should post each rendering angle as a separate article for maximum ad serving potential. /s
  • Reply 7 of 105
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,374member

    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?

  • Reply 8 of 105
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member


    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)

  • Reply 9 of 105


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

  • Reply 10 of 105


    i like it. it reminds me of the early iPods

  • Reply 11 of 105
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 105
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    What are these renderings based off on? I'm assuming not Apple design specs.
  • Reply 13 of 105
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    These 3D renders are based on the schematics shown in <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/06/19/leaked-schematics-reveal-what-case-makers-expect-apples-low-cost-iphone-iphone-5s-will-look-like">blueprint images</a> that leaked earlier this week.

    Answered...
    rogifan wrote: »
    What are these renderings based off on? I'm assuming not Apple design specs.

    Before asked.
  • Reply 14 of 105
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,685member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    Right, because the "low cost" iPhone is going to be made out of the finest aluminium with the exacting chamfered edge. :rolleyes:

    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.
  • Reply 15 of 105
    jonshfjonshf Posts: 90member

    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. image



    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.

  • Reply 16 of 105
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    philboogie wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 105
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 503member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 105
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 105
    shervinshervin Posts: 11member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 105
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    jonshf wrote: »
    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?
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