Alleged 'iPhone 6c' rear shell suggests Apple will repackage iPhone 5s parts

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2015
On the heels of a new report saying Apple will continue to offer a 4-inch iPhone with a new "C" model, a set of new images show what appears to be a revised design for an unreleased iPhone that could feature parts from the current iPhone 5s.


Image via Future Supplier.


Referring to the plastic casing as a so-called "iPhone 6c" handset, Future Supplier posted the images on Monday. Notably, they appear to show a plastic 4-inch iPhone model with an elongated "pill" shaped camera flash, which Apple used in the iPhone 5s for its first True Tone flash.

That would suggest that Apple could use parts from the current iPhone 5s to build a next-generation "C" handset model. Apple took the same approach with the iPhone 5c, which features essentially all of the same components as the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5c remains available in Apple's lineup as the free-on-contract handset, and if the company were to continue its usual annual release schedule, the device would be retired this fall. That would allow the iPhone 5s, currently available for $99 with a new two-year service contract, to take its place.

Further supporting the possibility of a repackaged iPhone 5s is the fact that the speaker and microphone holes at the bottom of the device are shown in two rows. The current iPhone 5c has one row of holes for speaker and microphone, but the iPhone 5s sports two rows.




Finally, the plastic casing also appears to show a camera module that would be flush with the rear of the device. Apple's latest generation iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus boast thinner designs that have resulted in a protruding camera.

Just last week, a report indicated that Apple is planning to launch three new iPhone models this year, including a new 4-inch handset. Also referring to it as an "iPhone 6c," the report suggested the device might sport updated internals, gaining the A8 processor found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

But Monday's leaked part, with its pill-shaped True Tone flash, would suggest the parts may not see such a significant upgrade. That's because the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus maintained Apple's True Tone flash, but improved the design with a smaller and circle-shaped flash component.

Because the images only show a rear shell, it's impossible to say whether a supposed "iPhone 6c" would include the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that debuted in the iPhone 5s.

In recent years, Apple has updated its iPhone lineup in September, and it's expected that the company will continue that trend this fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 101

    It would make more sense to me to simply put the iPhone 6 flash into it. Given that I still see a lot of 5c's around, I think it's smart to continue the line.

     

    This also brings TouchID and 64-bit processing to the full lineup, a smart move.

  • Reply 2 of 101
    I'd love to see the NFC chip and A8 processor from the 6. Also, make it available in 16, 32, and 64GB. Ditch the 8GB option.
  • Reply 3 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    I'd love to see the NFC chip and A8 processor from the 6. Also, make it available in 16, 32, and 64GB. Ditch the 8GB option.



    The A8's probably pushing it, but NFC would also be smart since it'll have TouchID and the necessary parts.

     

    I could see 16/32 like the 5S is now.

  • Reply 4 of 101

    Seems fairly obvious that this will be the 5sc not the 6c, occupying the lowest tier ($0 with contract, per pricing scheme in the US). It would make sense then for Apple to have a 4.7" 6c in the $99 tier, which will be sufficiently differentiated from the 6s. This would make for a very simple and appealing lineup, with 2 sizes of "c" (4" and 4.7") and two sizes of premium iPhone as we have today (4.7" and 5.5"). Apple might even refer to both "c" phones as iPhone 6c, and let size be the differentiator, rather than the internals.

  • Reply 5 of 101
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    If this is going to be the free on contract phone I doubt it will have iPhone 6 internals. Apple's not going to go from $199 to free in one year. And if it has 5S internals I could see Apple keeping the 5C name and just say the internals have been upgraded.
  • Reply 6 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

     

    Seems fairly obvious that this will be the 5sc not the 6c, occupying the lowest tier ($0 with contract, per pricing scheme in the US). It would make sense then for Apple to have a 4.7" 6c in the $99 tier, which will be sufficiently differentiated from the 6s. This would make for a very simple and appealing lineup, with 2 sizes of "c" (4" and 4.7") and two sizes of premium iPhone as we have today (4.7" and 5.5"). Apple might even refer to both "c" phones as iPhone 6c, and let size be the differentiator, rather than the internals.




    I don't know how well Apple could manufacture a 4.7" polycarbonate phone though. I'd be worried about body flex and cracking at the corners.

  • Reply 7 of 101
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,030member
    We can't tell from the "fact" that the camera isn't going to protrude that it will be using the older design. I assume it will because of cost and differentiation. But the polycarbonate shell is notably thicker, and that difference could allow a 6 camera to be flush. Again, I'm not saying it would use that, just that the flush lens itself means nothing.
  • Reply 8 of 101
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    It's almost certainly going to come with Apple Pay. If Apple indeed goes along the 4 inch route for the C series that's great and it will be my next buy for sure.
  • Reply 9 of 101
    ciacia Posts: 144member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    We can't tell from the "fact" that the camera isn't going to protrude that it will be using the older design. I assume it will because of cost and differentiation. But the polycarbonate shell is notably thicker, and that difference could allow a 6 camera to be flush. Again, I'm not saying it would use that, just that the flush lens itself means nothing.



    Well they also say that the shell is thicker then the 6 back, so if it's a little larger the camera wouldn't have to protrude like it does with the 6.

  • Reply 10 of 101
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,030member

    I don't know how well Apple could manufacture a 4.7" polycarbonate phone though. I'd be worried about body flex and cracking at the corners.

    Polycarbonate is very tough. Nokia has made polycarbonate phones for several years, quite successfully. Microsoft has taken that over, and continues to use poly.

    Many people think of acrylic when they think of cracking. Acrylic is brittle, and will easily crack with a decent blow, or twist. But poly is almost unbreakable. I build a lot of things with it. It's not as stiff as acrylic though. ABS is also used for phone bodies, and it's also pretty rugged, but it's hard to color in pastel hues.
  • Reply 11 of 101
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,030member
    cia wrote: »

    Well they also say that the shell is thicker then the 6 back, so if it's a little larger the camera wouldn't have to protrude like it does with the 6.

    That's what I just said.
  • Reply 12 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    Polycarbonate is very tough. Nokia has made polycarbonate phones for several years, quite successfully. Microsoft has taken that over, and continues to use poly.



    Many people think of acrylic when they think of cracking. Acrylic is brittle, and will easily crack with a decent blow, or twist. But poly is almost unbreakable. I built a lot of things with it. It's not as stiff as acrylic though. ABS is also used for phone bodies, and it's also pretty rugged, but it's hard to color in pastel hues.

     

    But larger sizes are difficult, especially with the curves Apple prefers. This is why the iPad wasn't launched with it. The unibody polycarbonate MacBooks also had issues with cracking and breaking at corners/hinges.

  • Reply 13 of 101
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,030member
    But larger sizes are difficult, especially with the curves Apple prefers. This is why the iPad wasn't launched with it. The unibody polycarbonate MacBooks also had issues with cracking and breaking at corners/hinges.

    I don't see why. Curves aren't a problem. Thickness f plastic is a problem if you want stiffness in thinner bodies. But this series is less expensive, and going to plastic is giving that thinness race up.

    Hinges in laptops have always been a problem no matter what the material of the case. The poly bodies had no more problems with that than anything else. It's a matter of design. Its VERY hard to crack poly. It's just as easy to crack aluminum, easier, even. Apple's main problem with the poly bodies in the Macbook was with the discoloration of the white models., and some keyboard issues.
  • Reply 14 of 101
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    But larger sizes are difficult, especially with the curves Apple prefers. This is why the iPad wasn't launched with it. The unibody polycarbonate MacBooks also had issues with cracking and breaking at corners/hinges.

    Yes. And I believe Jony Ive mentioned it's more difficult to work with plastic as things get thinner. I never had a problem with the 5C. I played around with one in an Apple Store and it felt really nice, certainly not cheap like a lot of people think of plastic as being.
  • Reply 15 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I don't see why. Curves aren't a problem. Thickness f plastic is a problem if you want stiffness in thinner bodies. But this series is less expensive, and going to plastic is giving that thinness race up.



    Hinges in laptops have always been a problem no matter what the material of the case. The poly bodies had no more problems with that than anything else. It's a matter of design. Its VERY hard to crack poly. It's just as easy to crack aluminum, easier, even. Apple's main problem with the poly bodies in the Macbook was with the discoloration of the white models., and some keyboard issues.



    You're thinking the non-unibody models. I mean the final 2009-2010 models. If you look at them, they frequently have damage at the back curve where the MagSafe port is, and cracks on the hinge area on both sides.

     

     

     

    Now, thickness would help, but it'll be a challenge either way. Adding more reinforcement will boost weight as well.

  • Reply 16 of 101
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member

    The Fall iPhone range will probably consist of this the 6C (rebodied 5S, maybe with Apple Pay) last years iPhone 6 as the mid-range $99 with contract phone and the upgraded 6S/6S Plus.

     

    As the 5S is the only iPhone to use this pill shaped flash, using it again after the introduction of an upgraded version of this flash in the 6/6 Plus and claiming it to be a new model (6C) would be a bit insulting to the intelligence of iPhone users I think...or these photos could just be fake.

  • Reply 17 of 101
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,311member
    melgross wrote: »
    Its VERY hard to crack poly.

    Initially perhaps, but it seems to work harden quite rapidly, and then crack easily. Plus once the crack starts, it keeps spreading.

    You're thinking the non-unibody models. I mean the final 2009-2010 models. If you look at them, they frequently have damage at the back curve where the MagSafe port is, and cracks on the hinge area on both sides.

    Apple have always had problems with the polycarbonate casing cracking. The iPhone 3G used to crack around the Dock connector, and a split would form from the centre of it upward toward the Apple logo. The plastic on the white iBooks seemed pretty good (probably not so eco-friendly, God forbid we forgo longer lasting computers vs ones that are 0.1% more green), but every (white) plastic unibody MacBook I've seen has cracked quite seriously around the ports and the hinge on the lid. The radius of the curves Apple used around the ports is too small, it should be a much larger curve to spread the stress, as in aircraft windows.

    IMO, ABS is a much tougher material to make computers from, though you can't get the nice shine and as Melgross pointed out, the pastel colours Apple likes. ABS is much less brittle than polycarbonate.
  • Reply 18 of 101
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    That's what I just said.



    Yes, but we can add to what you said that thanks to its increased thickness over the 6, the 6C could use a flush camera.

    :P

  • Reply 19 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elijahg View Post





    Initially perhaps, but it seems to work harden quite rapidly, and then crack easily. Plus once the crack starts, it keeps spreading.

    Apple have always had problems with the polycarbonate casing cracking. The iPhone 3G used to crack around the Dock connector, and a split would form from the centre of it upward toward the Apple logo. The plastic on the white iBooks seemed pretty good (probably not so eco-friendly, God forbid we forgo longer lasting computers vs ones that are 0.1% more green), but every (white) plastic unibody MacBook I've seen has cracked quite seriously around the ports and the hinge on the lid. The radius of the curves Apple used around the ports is too small, it should be a much larger curve to spread the stress, as in aircraft windows.



    Yeah. The pre-unibody MacBooks had the top-case cracking (mine has cracks and chunks missing on the lid and topcase at the magnet areas), whereas the Unibodies had hinge, side, and bottom case issues.

     

    The HP TouchPad is the closest example to what the iPad would have been if it'd been plastic, and those frequently suffered corner and speaker cutout cracking under normal use.

  • Reply 20 of 101

    The A8's probably pushing it, but NFC would also be smart since it'll have TouchID and the necessary parts.

    I could see 16/32 like the 5S is now.

    Yeah I'm with you on the A7: it was wicked fast one year ago and it's still 64-bit so it should last longer than the A6. The A8 is just an incremental refinement of the A7.

    I'm concerned Apple is targeting the "free with 2-year contract" market with the 6c, but Apple may continue selling the lesser 5c 8GB for that and replace the 5s with this 6c. In which case, it'll be the $99 + $199 iPhone. However I'd like to see the 6 (or 6s) available in 3 sizes, rather than Apple equating big with "latest and greatest" and small with "cheap and lesser" like Sammy and the Android makers have done.
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