First images of purported 'iPhone 5C' logic board show minor design changes

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A batch of photos claiming to show the logic board bound for Apple's rumored low-cost "iPhone 5C" hit the Web on Saturday, with the alleged part showing minor design changes from the current iPhone 5.

iPhone 5C Logic Board
Purported front (left) and back (right) of iPhone 5C logic board. | Source: Sina Weibo


As seen above, not much can be gleaned from the images posted to Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo (via Nowhereelse.fr) as protective EMI shielding obscures much of the internal circuitry. The sections left uncovered, however, do reveal a few subtle tweaks from last year's iPhone 5.

At the top of what is thought to be the front of the logic board sits five connection points that assumedly branch out to the unit's display, microphones and speakers, cameras and other functional components. This area also shows the biggest change.

On the iPhone 5 logic board, an STMicroelectronics three-axis accelerometer is positioned just above the first EMI shield that covers Apple's A6 SoC. With the purported 5C board, it appears that the accelerometer has been repositioned, or is hidden beneath the black covering surrounding the connectors.

The next structure is completely obscured, but should be an A-series chip as the shielding is almost identical to the part found on iPhone 5's logic board. It is not yet known what processor the iPhone 5C will use, though some industry watchers believe Apple will rely on existing technology to keep build costs down.

Next, the nano-SIM port is clearly seen situated above another shield, likely covering the phone's modem and RF transceiver communications package. The battery connector is to the left of this covered ares.

Finally, the backside of the board shows a monolithic piece of EMI shielding and what looks to be an antenna connector seated next to gray structure similar to the Wi-Fi module on the iPhone 5. We note that one of the flex cable connection points has been moved to the front of the logic board.

Apple is widely expected to launch the iPhone 5C alongside a next-generation iPhone 5S at a special media event on Tuesday. A rollout is anticipated for Sept. 20, which will likely bring a closer look at the handsets' inner workings as device teardowns get underway.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    Very highly integrated.
    It's an SOC and some connectors.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    I think they'll be very careful how its made, presented, and advertised to make sure it doesn't come across as just a iphone 5 or 4s in a cheap shell.

    I see it being angled as a new phone aiming at a different price point, rather than a re-packaged old phone for cheap...
  • Reply 3 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iRon man View Post



    I think they'll be very careful how its made, presented, and advertised to make sure it doesn't come across as just a iphone 5 or 4s in a cheap shell.



    I see it being angled as a new phone aiming at a different price point, rather than a re-packaged old phone for cheap...

    What is wrong with you?

     

    If it is a re-packaged model of the current best smartphone in the world, but designed and marked accordingly as another viable option, for different costumers, isn't that great?

     

    Isn't it awesome that in a year Apple could use most components of the best smartphone and use them for a less expensive device that targets new users?

     

    That is a great strategy. Much better than the thing they have now. They are selling outdated devices for 550€, now (4s and 4. By outdated you have 30pin connector, screen size, etc).

  • Reply 4 of 52
    What is wrong with you?

    Hang on, my wife can probably best answer that - I'll go get her :o)

    If it is a re-packaged model of the current best smartphone in the world, but designed and marked accordingly as another viable option, for different costumers, isn't that great?

    Sure, whatever is done it will sell, but I just don't see best marketing being to say "here's the budget version of last years phone".

    Sure, if it comes as predicted it's likely to be the entry level model, but I think they'll still try and bring the focus to it being a new phone.

    We'll find out soon enough anyway.

    Isn't it awesome that in a year Apple could use most components of the best smartphone and use them for a less expensive device that targets new users?

    That is a great strategy. Much better than the thing they have now. They are selling outdated devices for 550€, now (4s and 4. By outdated you have 30pin connector, screen size, etc).

    That's my point really - the iPhone 4 is over 3 years old, and it still sells well.

    When you go in to buy one it's obvious that you are buying old tech, so I'm thinking that they'll want to make buying the 5C feel like you're going in for one of Apples latest 2013 phones at that same entry level price, not old tech, or repackaged old tech.

    Again, either way it'll sell.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

     

    What is wrong with you?

     

    If it is a re-packaged model of the current best smartphone in the world, but designed and marked accordingly as another viable option, for different costumers, isn't that great?

     

    Isn't it awesome that in a year Apple could use most components of the best smartphone and use them for a less expensive device that targets new users?

     

    That is a great strategy. Much better than the thing they have now. They are selling outdated devices for 550€, now (4s and 4. By outdated you have 30pin connector, screen size, etc).


     

    I dont think he was refering to himself in that statement. Rather, how the press will spin it.

  • Reply 6 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    iron man wrote: »
    I think they'll be very careful how its made, presented, and advertised to make sure it doesn't come across as just a iphone 5 or 4s in a cheap shell.

    I see it being angled as a new phone aiming at a different price point, rather than a re-packaged old phone for cheap...
    I agree. It will be very interesting to see how Apple announces and markets this. Also the price point - set a price that's too high and it defeats the purpose, set a low price and it cannibalizes the flagship and makes some people wonder if the flagship is overpriced. I still wonder why the decision to go plastic. Is it because the manufacturing process is cheaper? Or Apple really wants a clear distinction between the flagship and cheaper model? Or both?
  • Reply 7 of 52
    I hope 5c is also for the US, we will buy 2 if they are 4g LTE (in bright colors) and as soon as Apple makes a proper (for our useage) 5"ish size iPhone, hand down the 5cs to our little kids to be used as iTouches
  • Reply 8 of 52
    rogifan wrote: »
    I agree. It will be very interesting to see how Apple announces and markets this. Also the price point - set a price that's too high and it defeats the purpose, set a low price and it cannibalizes the flagship and makes some people wonder if the flagship is overpriced.

    I only see it as going in at the same price point as the current iPhone 4 8Gb, and that it'll sell a lot more because it's new and has the colour options.

    I don't see them even thinking about trying to do a budget option.

    I still wonder why the decision to go plastic.

    With the lower margin on that price point then even if they only save a dollar per casing over say 20 mil sold...
  • Reply 9 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    iron man wrote: »
    I only see it as going in at the same price point as the current iPhone 4 8Gb, and that it'll sell a lot more because it's new and has the colour options.

    I don't see them even thinking about trying to do a budget option.
    With the lower margin on that price point then even if they only save a dollar per casing over say 20 mil sold...
    $450 USD is stil pretty expensive. Would be cool if they could get it down to $399.
  • Reply 10 of 52
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    $450 USD is stil pretty expensive. Would be cool if they could get it down to $399.

     

     

    If Samsung can sell GS3s for $399 off contract, I think Apple would have no problem selling 5Cs for $450...

  • Reply 11 of 52
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





     I still wonder why the decision to go plastic. Is it because the manufacturing process is cheaper? Or Apple really wants a clear distinction between the flagship and cheaper model? Or both?

     

    I feel the same way on this point. I still want to see an anodized aluminum 5C, but that's obviously not happening at this point.

     

    Only thing I'm semi-hoping for now is that the 5C is made from a Bio-Plastic Environmentally friendly material. That would give Apple a cool interesting marketing angle for the device no one is expecting. Combine a trendy "eco" image with fashionable colors and you'll have a winner not only in China but also in US hipster communities as well!

  • Reply 12 of 52
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iRon man View Post





    I only see it as going in at the same price point as the current iPhone 4 8Gb, and that it'll sell a lot more because it's new and has the colour options.



    I don't see them even thinking about trying to do a budget option.

    With the lower margin on that price point then even if they only save a dollar per casing over say 20 mil sold...

     

    I personally want to see a lower price than that (hoping for $350!), but I wouldn't be surprised if the 5C were priced at $450.

     

    It's a much better deal than the 4 was at that price (LTE, 4 inch screen, Siri, A6 processor, 8MP cam etc) and it's new!

     

    Compared to the GS3 ($399) the 5C is going to be a much better phone, and it will come in fresh new colors as well, all of which may be justification enough for Apple to price it at $450.

  • Reply 13 of 52
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    … I still wonder why the decision to go plastic ...

     

    I think it's because the manufacturing process is both cheaper and faster.  If the product is successful at all, it will sell in even higher volumes than the current iPhone which already sells in ridiculously high volumes.  It will also probably change each year so there is a limited amount of time to ramp up production each year.  

     

    When you design a product, you generally design how you want it to look based on it's function but you also design how it is made based on expectations about manufacturing, product life, sales etc. I find the way they have the metal inserts inside the plastic rather interesting from that perspective because the logic board and the components are screwed into that, not the plastic shell.  This means that next year they could make room for a completely different set of internals merely by changing the position of those little brackets and bits of metal inside, keeping the manufacturing process for the shell itself identical.  

     

    There could also be other advantages to using the plastic shell, like durability and the fact that it imitates the same "look" that most people are going for with the high end phone once they have inserted it into any number of silly plastic cases.  

     

    Finally, given that the current all-metal, precision machined shell is easily one of the most difficult, expensive, and time consuming shells to produce, and that pretty much all the other options involve some sort of plastic … what the hell else could they make it out of?  ?

     

    I think for a mass-produced, cheaper phone, it was always going to be plastic.  Nothing else makes much sense IMO. 

  • Reply 14 of 52
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

     

     

    I personally want to see a lower price than that (hoping for $350!), but I wouldn't be surprised if the 5C were priced at $450.

     

    It's a much better deal than the 4 was at that price (LTE, 4 inch screen, Siri, A6 processor, 8MP cam etc) and it's new!

     

    Compared to the GS3 ($399) the 5C is going to be a much better phone, and it will come in fresh new colors as well, all of which may be justification enough for Apple to price it at $450.


     

    I think it would be a miracle if Apple could actually produce an inexpensive product.  It would certainly be a first for them.  

     

    However, from a marketing perspective, I still think the price they should hit (if they can) is actually $300.  If they don't hit that, then the 5c will be a very limited success and people will still be talking next year about "why can't Apple make a cheaper (than the 5c) phone?"  

     

    Currently, at least in Canada, if you go into any cell phone store, the guys behind the counter will aggressively steer the customer to an Android device.  They always have iPhones available but you have to be very, very persistent about wanting one and have to sit through several sales pitches for whatever the latest Android stuff is first.  All these Android phones are about $300 off contract, and between free and $100 bucks on contract.  The iPhone, if you manage to get them to sell you one, currently *starts* at $200 on contract and goes up from there.  The iPhone 4 and 4s are cheaper of course, but they will rarely even mention those to the customer and stock is always somehow "limited." Buying one off contract isn't even an option for most people and you have to go to the Apple store 9 times out of 10 to even get one that way. 

     

    All the "rebels" and the real cheapie-cheap folks go to a third or fourth tier carrier where they can get an unlimited everything contract (all the big three will rape you blind),  and buy the phone outright.  Again, the phones are all $300, and they don't officially even support the iPhone, although you can switch the SIM to an iPhone afterwards and it works.  The catch is you usually have to buy the $300 phone up front to get the SIM though. 

     

    For Apple to break into the cheap prepaid market, they have to be a good substitute purchase in these situations.  They need to sell to the third and fourth tier carriers, and they need to be able to sell to regular customers in the Apple store, off-contract.  To really be competitive, they need to hit this $300 price.  

     

    There is also enough margin in the Android phones that the minute Apple meets or gets close to the same price, their prices will likely drop anyway.  So even though I think you may be right about a $450 iPhone 5c, IMO it isn't going to do what Apple needs at that price.  

     

    $450 is basically over or at least around $500 with all the taxes and crap added in and $500 is simply not "cheap" for the majority of the market they are seeking to address.  It's really just a slightly better deal than what is currently on offer.  Especially when you consider that a customer can opt for the top of the line model for $200 if they sign a contract, or buy last year's model on Craig's list for even less.  I have a 64GB top of the line iPhone 5 right now and though it's in perfect condition, I would be lucky to get that $450 for it second hand.  That's already less than a presumably 16GB plastic iPhone 5c with the same internals, and four times the storage space.  

  • Reply 15 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

     

     

    I think it would be a miracle if Apple could actually produce an inexpensive product.  It would certainly be a first for them.  

     

    However, from a marketing perspective, I still think the price they should hit (if they can) is actually $300.  If they don't hit that, then the 5c will be a very limited success and people will still be talking next year about "why can't Apple make a cheaper (than the 5c) phone?"  

     

    Currently, at least in Canada, if you go into any cell phone store, the guys behind the counter will aggressively steer the customer to an Android device.  They always have iPhones available but you have to be very, very persistent about wanting one and have to sit through several sales pitches for whatever the latest Android stuff is first.  All these Android phones are about $300 off contract, and between free and $100 bucks on contract.  The iPhone, if you manage to get them to sell you one, currently *starts* at $200 on contract and goes up from there.  The iPhone 4 and 4s are cheaper of course, but they will rarely even mention those to the customer and stock is always somehow "limited." Buying one off contract isn't even an option for most people and you have to go to the Apple store 9 times out of 10 to even get one that way. 

     

    All the "rebels" and the real cheapie-cheap folks go to a third or fourth tier carrier where they can get an unlimited everything contract (all the big three will rape you blind),  and buy the phone outright.  Again, the phones are all $300, and they don't officially even support the iPhone, although you can switch the SIM to an iPhone afterwards and it works.  The catch is you usually have to buy the $300 phone up front to get the SIM though. 

     

    For Apple to break into the cheap prepaid market, they have to be a good substitute purchase in these situations.  They need to sell to the third and fourth tier carriers, and they need to be able to sell to regular customers in the Apple store, off-contract.  To really be competitive, they need to hit this $300 price.  

     

    There is also enough margin in the Android phones that the minute Apple meets or gets close to the same price, their prices will likely drop anyway.  So even though I think you may be right about a $450 iPhone 5c, IMO it isn't going to do what Apple needs at that price.  

     

    $450 is basically over or at least around $500 with all the taxes and crap added in and $500 is simply not "cheap" for the majority of the market they are seeking to address.  It's really just a slightly better deal than what is currently on offer.  Especially when you consider that a customer can opt for the top of the line model for $200 if they sign a contract, or buy last year's model on Craig's list for even less.  I have a 64GB top of the line iPhone 5 right now and though it's in perfect condition, I would be lucky to get that $450 for it second hand.  That's already less than a presumably 16GB plastic iPhone 5c with the same internals, and four times the storage space.  


     

    I completely agree.

     

    $300 is close to the sweet spot for people that want a decent smartphone. That's why I'm hoping for Apple to at least offer a 5C model for $350 because a lot of people would be willing to spend a little more for an Apple branded phone.

     

    But now with the Lumia 520 for only $99 the concept of affordable is likely to change once again. In a sense if folks that go to these prepaid carriers start expecting to get high quality smartphones and OSs for less than $100 than the same issue of "Apple needs a cheaper 5C" will still happen.

     

    But as with the iPad Mini if the 5C is still a somewhat competitive price and is faster and smoother than the competition (with the A6 it should be), it should be fine even as Samsung, Nokia, and now possibly Amazon start giving smartphones away.

  • Reply 16 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I think it's because the manufacturing process is both cheaper and faster.  If the product is successful at all, it will sell in even higher volumes than the current iPhone which already sells in ridiculously high volumes.  It will also probably change each year so there is a limited amount of time to ramp up production each year.  

    When you design a product, you generally design how you want it to look based on it's function but you also design how it is made based on expectations about manufacturing, product life, sales etc. I find the way they have the metal inserts inside the plastic rather interesting from that perspective because the logic board and the components are screwed into that, not the plastic shell.  This means that next year they could make room for a completely different set of internals merely by changing the position of those little brackets and bits of metal inside, keeping the manufacturing process for the shell itself identical.  

    There could also be other advantages to using the plastic shell, like durability and the fact that it imitates the same "look" that most people are going for with the high end phone once they have inserted it into any number of silly plastic cases.  

    Finally, given that the current all-metal, precision machined shell is easily one of the most difficult, expensive, and time consuming shells to produce, and that pretty much all the other options involve some sort of plastic … what the hell else could they make it out of?  ?

    I think for a mass-produced, cheaper phone, it was always going to be plastic.  Nothing else makes much sense IMO. 
    I also think its another way to position the flaghsip as the premium device. Especially with introducing a couple new metallic colors like slate and champagne. One device will look budget the other expensive. I hope Apple doesn't get too greedy on the pricing of the 5C. But I guess it depends on how concerned Cook and Co. were with the continued popularity of the 4 and 4S. Were those sales to people who didn't buy a 5, or people who went Apple and not Android. If Apple prices too expensive it kind of defeats the purpose. If its cheaper than expected people might opt for it instead of the 5S. Of course Apple would rather cannibalization than people going Android or Windows phone. But they'd really like them purchasing the flagship model. That's why I see the 5S getting fingerprint scanner/NFC, dual flash, etc. and not the 5C. Make it worthwhile to pay more and keep some people from downgrading to something that's just good enough.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    blackbook wrote: »
    I completely agree.

    $300 is close to the sweet spot for people that want a decent smartphone. That's why I'm hoping for Apple to at least offer a 5C model for $350 because a lot of people would be willing to spend a little more for an Apple branded phone.

    But now with the Lumia 520 for only $99 the concept of affordable is likely to change once again. In a sense if folks that go to these prepaid carriers start expecting to get high quality smartphones and OSs for less than $100 than the same issue of "Apple needs a cheaper 5C" will still happen.

    But as with the iPad Mini if the 5C is still a somewhat competitive price and is faster and smoother than the competition (with the A6 it should be), it should be fine even as Samsung, Nokia, and now possibly Amazon start giving smartphones away.
    With the iPad mini Apple was able to charge more because it still looked like a premium device and had amazing build quality. People saw it and wished the full size iPad had the same design. If these 5C leaks are accurate that device doesn't seem have the same premium feel as the flagship. I'm sure the build quality will be excellent, but aesthetically it will look cheaper. So I'm not sure Apple can get away with too much of a premium just because its got an apple logo on the back.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    iron man wrote: »
    I only see it as going in at the same price point as the current iPhone 4 8Gb, and that it'll sell a lot more because it's new and has the colour options.

    I don't see them even thinking about trying to do a budget option.
    With the lower margin on that price point then even if they only save a dollar per casing over say 20 mil sold...
    But will 5c be 4g LTE capable?
  • Reply 19 of 52
    rogifan wrote: »
    With the iPad mini Apple was able to charge more because it still looked like a premium device and had amazing build quality. People saw it and wished the full size iPad had the same design. If these 5C leaks are accurate that device doesn't seem have the same premium feel as the flagship. I'm sure the build quality will be excellent, but aesthetically it will look cheaper. So I'm not sure Apple can get away with too much of a premium just because its got an apple logo on the back.
    iOS is what's inside though & IMO worth a bit of a premium
  • Reply 20 of 52
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,518member
    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
    rogifan wrote: »
    With the iPad mini Apple was able to charge more because it still looked like a premium device and had amazing build quality. People saw it and wished the full size iPad had the same design. If these 5C leaks are accurate that device doesn't seem have the same premium feel as the flagship. I'm sure the build quality will be excellent, but aesthetically it will look cheaper. So I'm not sure Apple can get away with too much of a premium just because its got an apple logo on the back.

    But when you're talking about aesthetics, there is more than just one spectrum or continuum, cheap on one end, "premium" on the other.

    Plastic is going to be higher on the coldness vs. wamth continuum, on the fragility vs. dropability, on the grey vs. colorful, the stolid vs. lovable, and so on.

    Prepare to be charmed when you actually hold it in your hand. And sold on it when you realize that it won't need a case.
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