Apple's 'Liam' video sparks theories of new iPhone 6s-like model without camera bump

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2016
Apple fanatics are always digging, looking for clues about what could be next for the company, and many times seeing things where they don't exist. The latest conspiracy theory: Apple subtly showed off an iPhone 6s-like design without a protruding rear camera at its media event on Monday.




A number of AppleInsider readers have reached out, convinced that a new iPhone model was hiding in plain sight at the company's "Let us loop you in" event, where the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro were announced. The alleged smoking gun is Apple's own promotional video for "Liam," a robotic arm that can disassemble products and sort their parts for recycling.

At the start of the video, the camera pans over a handset with an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s design. To some who watched, the rear iSight camera looks flush with the back of the device, lacking the camera "bump" of Apple's last two generations of handsets.



As further evidence for believers, the iPhone is then filmed from the side, and from this lower angle a camera bump cannot be seen.

From there, "Liam" the robot makes his appearance and begins disassembling the iPhone for recycling.




Some who have studied the video frame by frame are convinced that the iPhone shown is an unannounced model, whether it's an "iPhone 7" or simply a new iPhone 6s with a smaller camera component.

While the "iPhone 7" is rumored to have a flat back with no camera bump, it's a virtual certainty that Apple would not brazenly show off such a device months ahead of its expected debut. In addition, it's expected that the "iPhone 7" will feature a majorly revamped external design, and the product shown in Apple's recycling video is clearly an iPhone 6 or 6s chassis.

This week's speculation isn't the first time that Apple fanatics have conjured up new products where they don't exist, and it almost certainly won't be the last. Most recently, in December, a "60 Minutes" feature filmed at Apple's corporate headquarters convinced some that a larger 15-inch ultra-thin MacBook was spotted in the background of the segment. That, too, was wishful thinking.

Even Apple's event invitations themselves bring about far-fetched theories. Prior to Monday's event, speculation was rampant about what the tagline, "Let us loop you in," might mean.

In the end, it didn't really mean much. The event was held at 1 Infinite Loop -- Apple's corporate headquarters. And at that event, members of the media were brought into the loop, as it were, on Apple's latest products.

And so, whether it was a result of the lighting or the angle of the shot in the video, or if it was some sort of a post-production issue, it's safe to assume Apple didn't slip a tweaked iPhone design into a video that was actually intended to promote environmentally friendly recycling. Because quietly showing off a new product to the masses in such a manner wouldn't be clever --?it'd be careless.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    brakkenjackansi
  • Reply 2 of 51
    jay-tjay-t Posts: 39member
    It's not just the camera bump though but also the antenna design. In the video it looks like the antenna is wrapping around the corner and not sitting flat on back of the iPhone. Kind of like an integrated bumper.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    josujosu Posts: 217member
    To me that robot makes me think that if it can dismantle an iPhone, probably sooner or later there will be a "cousin" that assembles them.
    sagan_student
  • Reply 4 of 51
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    I also have very little experience with Samsung products. I do however share many experiences with you of people questioning Apple's 'apparent' lack of innovation or inclusion of killer features and saying they are getting a Samsung for their next phone. Out of the 7-8 people I know who have made the switch away from apple, 5 switched back after less than 2 weeks, 2 others switched back after the month. The last kept theirs for the length of the 2 year contract only to move onto a blackberry; so they even switched.

    As for what sog35 said about the waterproofing feature, I disagree. I think it is a killer feature and people do care about it, and it is one in which apple does need to compete with. I for one would love to be recording video in the rain while playing with my son in the puddles. Having said that, as he does point out, iPhones have steadily improved in this area and the current phones aren't affected by quick moments in shallow water. The only difference is that apple doesn't advertise that their phones have some water resistance. I for one hope that we'll see even more waterproofing in future iPhones. I'm due for the 7 so here's hoping I hear something good in June!
  • Reply 5 of 51
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    The answer is iOS.

    It is nothing new for people to get distracted by specs and bullet points on paper. Have you ever held an Android device in your hand and used it at all? It is atrocious. No serious person out there chooses Android over iOS. Most people are not very informed, and will make decisions based on trivial, often false, impressions.

    Also, the points you make about what "Samsung has" don't really add up in reality.
    -The iPhone is exceptionally water resistant. Samsung takes it further, but compromises the design of the product itself in favor of it. Ask me I'll say: How about not dropping your $600 phone in the water.
    -Curved display: This is not something to aspire to, its just a gimmick. iPhones now have curved edges, which have an actual practical application married to the software UI controls that involve lots of swiping from the edge of the display.
    -NFC at any store. I don't know what this is supposed to mean. You can use Apple Pay just about everywhere you could use Samsung Pay...the real difference is that one is a secure and private payment system and the other is not.
    edited March 2016 nolamacguyai46redgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 51
    chabigchabig Posts: 641member
    Of note, at both 38 and 50 seconds, it's pretty clear that the phone in the video has a regular 3.5mm headphone jack. So maybe this isn't the rumored iPhone 7.

    It's also not the same as the iPhone 6S or 6S Plus models disassembled by MacFixit. The internal arrangements are very similar but not exactly the same as what MacFixit photographed.
    edited March 2016 patchythepirateai46
  • Reply 7 of 51
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    Samsung S5: Friend bought it because it was free on contract and water-resistant.

    Day 1: Bottom cover fell off. It helps with water-resistance. Brought to a store. Samsung said they won't fix it. Called it a cosmetic issue.

    Conclusion: Samsung is a junk company.
    edited March 2016 brakkennolamacguyargonautredgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 51
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    I also have very little experience with Samsung products. I do however share many experiences with you of people questioning Apple's 'apparent' lack of innovation or inclusion of killer features and saying they are getting a Samsung for their next phone. Out of the 7-8 people I know who have made the switch away from apple, 5 switched back after less than 2 weeks, 2 others switched back after the month. The last kept theirs for the length of the 2 year contract only to move onto a blackberry; so they even switched.

    As for what sog35 said about the waterproofing feature, I disagree. I think it is a killer feature and people do care about it, and it is one in which apple does need to compete with. I for one would love to be recording video in the rain while playing with my son in the puddles. Having said that, as he does point out, iPhones have steadily improved in this area and the current phones aren't affected by quick moments in shallow water. The only difference is that apple doesn't advertise that their phones have some water resistance. I for one hope that we'll see even more waterproofing in future iPhones. I'm due for the 7 so here's hoping I hear something good in June!
    All good reasonings from everyone, and thanks for keeping the discussion civil. I'm just really curious to hear from a person who has personally experienced both platforms and what their take is, one way or another. I suppose like everything thing else, there are pros and cons to each. Sog35 had some good points as well, but it didn't sound like he has first hand experience with Samsung for a genuine comparison. Though I'm just speculating about that. I certainly plan on sticking with my iPhone. As for those who are on the fence, I say go for it. Make the switch, get a new experience and then let us know how it went.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    I've also been drawn into such discussions, and have found them to be united through the superficiality with which each person made their arguments. There is a lot of unbridled hatered aimed at Apple, and for good reason. Just not any reason that results in any competitor actually selling a product that is attractive in and of itself. There are four main conclusions that I came to through my experiences, including several years of research and investigation on the Net:

    1) Samsung back-stabbed and betrayed Apple repeatedly. I care not for anything that idiotic company ever does, ever again.
    2) Google back-stabbed and betrayed Apple repeatedly. I likewise care not for that short-sighted advertising agency.
    3) What is more important - waterproofing that's been proven to be a gimmick (check the websites for actual reviews) - or apps that are secure and functional?
    4) What Is preferable - 3DTouch, updates, new apps, new accessories, integrated design and execution, or 'truly new and exciting', whatever that means?

    This is the thing with any Android phone: there are advantages with each different manufacturer available, but to me, the principles of a company greatly determine my choices. Second to that are the standards of design and also the quality of the customer experience. I had an htc ICS android, and wondered why it was so awful. My research lead me on a path of research and investigation as to why ms, ss, goog and friends and Apple are so different. Apple has broad functional usability and a game plan that is fundamentally independent of competitors. The security is the icing on the cake. And only Apple has both such a game plan and the security!
    calipatchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 51
    macarenamacarena Posts: 365member
    Guys, just get yourself a decent sense of humour.

    you actually believe Apple's video production included a shot from the side, to clearly show the absence of a bump as just a coincidence? When that angle has zero relevance to the topic of the video?

    This is not an accident. This is Apple *intentionally* showing something like this, knowing fully well that it would generate this sort of hysteria on the Internet! This is their way of having a laugh at us :-)

    We are less than a week from Easter - so you could call this an egg!
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 11 of 51
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    Only Apple would make recycling jazzy!  :D
    I can't wait to join the yearly upgrade program!
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 51
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,536member
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    I think you have to balance the S7 with the fact that it was released half way into the current iPhone cycle and 6 months has enabled them to close the performance gap.

    Ultimately the Samsung (and other manufacturer) phones will have some features that iPhone's do not currently have and vice versa. The good ideas will be picked up, refined and released in subsequent iPhones.

    There are plenty of exclusive iPhone features, Touch ID for example is still the best implementation of finger print scanning on the market, no one comes close to it.
    cali
  • Reply 13 of 51
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    sog35 said:
    Problem is waterproofing isn't a zero sum game. Its a trade off.  To get heavy duty water proofing would mean adding bulk to the phones.
    I disagree with this. And although I've seen those labs tests my nephew dropped his iPhone 6s in an 8" puddle and it never worked right after. In real world use when it gets wet it's always from a drop, not a careful placement into a vat in a lab.

    Water-resistance is a useful feature. Deny that isn't sensible. I commend any company that would try to tackle that issue. What I don't like about Samsung is their copying every design and idea as their MO. And their after-sales service is the worst I've seen.

    One day the iPhone will get water-resistance and it will be a good day. The good news is if something does go wrong Apple will support you. That's the promise from Apple and they certainly deliver. No other company offers their support. And I happen to think the S7 looks quite gaudy and cheap. Glossy-shiny gold front? Really? Who's this phone for, some random chav? Ali G? Great design is never flashy.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 14 of 51
    Anyone that's ever repaired an iPhone knows this video was staged, because there's no way that battery popped out with just the force of a single suction cup. The adhesive strips that hold that thing in have a Kung fu death grip even after heating it up. 
    cnocbuibrakken
  • Reply 15 of 51
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    ireland said:
    sog35 said:
    Problem is waterproofing isn't a zero sum game. Its a trade off.  To get heavy duty water proofing would mean adding bulk to the phones.
    I disagree with this. And although I've seen those labs tests my nephew dropped his iPhone 6s in an 8" puddle and it never worked right after. In real world use when it gets wet it's always from a drop, not a careful placement into a vat in a lab.

    Water-resistance is a useful feature. Deny that isn't sensible. I commend any company that would try to tackle that issue. What I don't like about Samsung is their copying every design and idea as their MO. And their after-sales service is the worst I've seen.

    One day the iPhone will get water-resistance and it will be a good day. The good news is if something does go wrong Apple will support you. That's the promise from Apple and they certainly deliver. No other company offers their support. And I happen to think the S7 looks quite gaudy and cheap. Glossy-shiny gold front? Really? Who's this phone for, some random chav? Ali G? Great design is never flashy.
    using up their batteries, dropping them in puddles...your anecdotal nieces & nephews sure know how to treat their gear. 
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 16 of 51
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Anyone that's ever repaired an iPhone knows this video was staged, because there's no way that battery popped out with just the force of a single suction cup. The adhesive strips that hold that thing in have a Kung fu death grip even after heating it up. 
    that doesnt prove it was staged. what if they sprayed it w/ an anti-adhesion agent, or some other weakening solution? they needn't film every step. 

    or, yeah, they just made the whole thing up to make themselves look good. Liam is probably the name of the kid in the back room who has to rip the things apart by hand. right?
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 17 of 51
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,087member
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    I think you've gotten good responses in this thread. iOS, the repair issue, and touchID (and the related security issues) are your strong suits. 

    However, I also think this is a matter of perspective. I don't see any evidence of "falling behind." I see stability and reliability in iPhone, things I highly value. I've never used anything but iPhone (my first was a 3GS) and I've never had any issues with them. Waterprooof is not important to me (I'm careful with my expensive things). When my iPhone 4 failed, Apple replaced it on the spot. My iPhone 5s does everything I expect, and thus is an outstanding value as-is. Show me something I really need in a Samdung product, actual or proposed, and I'd weigh it. In my eyes, Samdung hasn't caught up to the innovation and value I got many years ago from iPhone. The cited list "...waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store..." are valueless to me in light of existing operability, reliability, and security. (BTW, I've seen no evidence in the US of NFC being widely deployed. 100% of the NFC terminals I've seen take Apple Pay)

    YMMV.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    The first scene is obviously CGI because it looks nothing like the next scene where the robot picks it up, where the phone is half sticking out of the base plate and you can see the side buttons.
    aylk
  • Reply 19 of 51
    saarek said:
    I keep getting in discussions about how Apple has fallen behind Samsung. Samsung has waterproofing, curved displays, NFC that can be used in any store etc., etc. I have only ever used an iPhone, so I don't have the perspective others here may have who currently own a new Galaxy S7. Those I am having these discussions with always end up with, "Well, I think I'm ready to try a new Samsung, they seem to have so much more to offer than Apple. Apple is falling behind, only slight iterations from year to year. Nothing truly new and exciting" I'm not even sure how to respond anymore. Not that Apple needs defending, but can someone tell me their thoughts about how they feel about the Samsung Galaxy as opposed to an iPhone? Not looking for an argument here, just some truly good comparison information from a day to day user, since I don't use a Samsung phone. Thanks.
    I think you have to balance the S7 with the fact that it was released half way into the current iPhone cycle and 6 months has enabled them to close the performance gap.

    Ultimately the Samsung (and other manufacturer) phones will have some features that iPhone's do not currently have and vice versa. The good ideas will be picked up, refined and released in subsequent iPhones.

    There are plenty of exclusive iPhone features, Touch ID for example is still the best implementation of finger print scanning on the market, no one comes close to it.
    Here is my personal reason for sticking with iPhone. As I mentioned earlier, Privacy and security is a big deal. What I left out was equally important and goes hand in hand with the first, and that is frequent updates. If there is a software glitch or security issue, you can absolutely count on Apple to send an update to either fix the security hole or improve the os with a timely update. From what I've read, this is not so with other platforms. And I love that you can go to their store and talk to a person who is willing to listen to an issue you may have and do their best to make it right.
    argonaut
  • Reply 20 of 51
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    The first scene is obviously CGI because it looks nothing like the next scene where the robot picks it up, where the phone is half sticking out of the base plate and you can see the side buttons.
    while i have as little actual fact on the matter as you, id say its not obviously CGI, no. i dont see it. and it would be odd that the entire video would be physical except for the first scene.

    you may not be aware, but when it comes to much of their product photography, apple makes it a point of pride to use actual photography rather than CG.

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/8/4311868/the-illusion-of-simplicity-photographer-peter-belanger-on-shooting

    ...i would guess this is real and not CG.
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