New photos may or may not show Apple's so-called iPhone 5S being assembled at Foxconn

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new series of over a dozen photos that showed up on a Chinese technology website last week are claimed to show both the internals an externals of an unknown iPhone model rolling off the assembly lines at Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Foxconn.

Galaxy S III mini


The fourteen photos published by sjbbs.zol.com show trays of iPhone 5-like faceplates making their way through an assembly line, in addition to several shots of the internal componentry of the unknown models. Thus far, one discernible difference between the model shown in the photos and the existing iPhone 5 is the presence of a slightly different motor for facilitating the handset's vibration mode.

While the backside of the device in the photos is completely obscured, the frame and bezel of the device is visible and largely reminiscent to the one employed by the iPhone 5. If the photos are indeed genuine, they could imply that Apple has chosen to address with the iPhone 5S a much-criticized move on its part that saw the iPhone 5 employ a rotational motor, which has proven noisier than the "quieter and less annoying" linear oscillating vibrator found in the iPhone 4S.

On the flip side, there's been at least one effort by the folks over at nowhereelse.fr to debunk the images as inauthentic, publishing an annotated version of one of the photos that suggests the device in the images is simply a well-designed iPhone clone. Kyle Wiens, one of the tear-down experts over at iFixIt, raised similar doubt that the images portray a genuine iPhone devices, telling AppleInsiderthat "the internals don't look like something Apple would build."

A rudimentary analysis of that image by AppleInsider contributors found similar reason for concern but could not definitively rule out the possibility that the pictured devices could be early engineering validation test (EVT) units. At the very least, the photos could show a rare glimpse inside Foxconn's manufacturing facilities during a product run of an iPhone-like device.

The photos also surface amid a chorus of reports that suggest Apple is gearing up to begin preliminary builds of a so-called iPhone 5S as early as next month. Photos of components allegedly bound for this model, in addition to a rumored iPhone 6 also rumored for 2013, turned up a few weeks earlier.

Separately, there's also been increased talk of a lower-cost, lightweight iPhone that would include lower-cost components, a plastic enclosure and be targeted at price-sensitive emerging markets like China and India for around $300. This device would presumably be an addition to the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6, both of which are believed to be enclosed in more costly aluminum bodies.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    Already assembling? If true, we're talking about June launch the latest.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    I highly doubt any major hardware changes coming to 5S just like any other 'S' version with comes with changes under the hood. The question though is can Apple can afford a 'S' version with minor upgrades? Im not sure if the rumors of finger print sensor are happening. Doesnt iPhone need a hardware change (atleast minor) to support it?

    I can see A7 chip, better camera coming up. Cant think of anything else.
  • Reply 3 of 55
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Those are some of the most extensive spy shots yet. I wonder how they get away with it? Someone with access to some sort of clean room looks like.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    ruel24ruel24 Posts: 432member
    Apple needs serious upgrades to iOS, along with some hardware changes like NFC to compete. The iPhone is starting to appear to be stale in the marketplace.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,899member


    I'm also not sure if Apple can afford to do another "S" type upgrade. I can't see them succeeding with this every other year a major update comes out. I don't think NFC is really all that important....until Apple releases it. So far, I don't see a lot of people using NFC, however if Apple does include this in the next iPhone it will start to take off a little better than it has. It seems as if Apple is the driving force for certain things like this. 


     


    I would really like to see them do something very revolutionary that really puts them ahead of the competition...what that is, well I don't know. That is what Apple does best. It comes up with things nobody thought of, or thought they needed until Apple releases it. I'd like to see them do this again. 

  • Reply 6 of 55
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member
    legit. big home button indicating authentec biometric scanner. Sweet.
  • Reply 7 of 55

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post



    Already assembling? If true, we're talking about June launch the latest.


     


    Or these are early test units. The vibe motor is something that has gotten a lot of complaints so trying something new for the next model sounds about right. And if they want to launch mid fall they will need to lockdown around Late July/August so six months of hardware testing fits with these being prototypes.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    SD Card Slot ?! Are you serious ?! Just another crappy chinese clone... Just take a look... ;) http://twitpic.com/c1ucxk
  • Reply 9 of 55
    Looks more like a counterfeit, given the yellow battery and the batteries seen in iPhones teardowns on iFixit.
    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/20410/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
  • Reply 10 of 55

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post



    Apple needs serious upgrades to iOS, along with some hardware changes like NFC to compete. The iPhone is starting to appear to be stale in the marketplace.


     


    Apple doesn't design to compete. They don't view this as a zero sum game. They design to make money by releasing what they view as the best product for their audience. Not what will make every possible group happy and sell cheap. And they are making money hand over fist. 


     


    Folks around here call iOS stale and scream about needing fancy geek tricks like NFC. But the general audience, which is who Apple dominantly designs for, doesn't hold the same views. 

  • Reply 11 of 55
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,899member


    Yeah these are knock off photos...

  • Reply 12 of 55
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by appletouches View Post



    I highly doubt any major hardware changes coming to 5S just like any other 'S' version with comes with changes under the hood. The question though is can Apple can afford a 'S' version with minor upgrades? Im not sure if the rumors of finger print sensor are happening. Doesnt iPhone need a hardware change (atleast minor) to support it?



    I can see A7 chip, better camera coming up. Cant think of anything else.


     


     


    Probably depends on whether some of the other rumors about 1) a cheaper iPhone, and 2) an iPhone Plus are true or not. I personally hope both are true. The cheaper iPhone for emerging markets (e.g. China), and an iPhone Plus to compete with the tons of 5 inch Phones. 

  • Reply 13 of 55
    Sure am hoping for some form of iWallet in the 5s. NFC or otherwise, I don't care HOW they do it, I just want the capability.
  • Reply 14 of 55
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post



    Apple needs serious upgrades to iOS, along with some hardware changes like NFC to compete. The iPhone is starting to appear to be stale in the marketplace.


     


     


    NFC? Where will we get to use it? The reality is Apple is smart not incorporating NFC as there are competing formats and I have to see any place where it can actually be used. Moreover, the phone takes a performance hit.

  • Reply 15 of 55
    Fake. Apple only uses blue logic boards.

  • Reply 16 of 55
    Wow, that picture of the employees sitting down in the clean room seems reckless. It shows nothing revealing about any Apple product but it may provide clues to home-in on the photographer. Why take the risk and publish it?
  • Reply 17 of 55
    Already assembling? If true, we're talking about June launch the latest.
    It sucks, but to compete with the market, I believe they might start shooting phones out every 6-8 months.
  • Reply 18 of 55
    iPhone 5S??? APPLE IS DOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEEEDDD!

    Wall Street and the tech pundits already hate it. Not enough of an upgrade and looks the same as the iPhone 4S which is already five years out of date. If only Steve were alive he'd have built a totally organic smartphone that grows and shrinks to your needs. Samsung is now the greatest smartphone maker on the planet and Apple is ready to fade into obscurity. If Apple only sells 50 million iPhones per quarter Wall Street will be disappointed, as usual. Apple should get out of the smartphone business because the company isn't making enough money to satisfy investors. SELL YOUR APPLE SHARES NOW! Einhorn knew this would happen and now he's crying all the way to the poorhouse.

    /s
  • Reply 19 of 55
    hydr wrote: »
    legit. big home button indicating authentec biometric scanner. Sweet.

    Noticed that too
  • Reply 20 of 55
    charlituna wrote: »
    Apple doesn't design to compete. They don't view this as a zero sum game. They design to make money by releasing what they view as the best product for their audience. Not what will make every possible group happy and sell cheap. And they are making money hand over fist. 

    Folks around here call iOS stale and scream about needing fancy geek tricks like NFC. But the general audience, which is who Apple dominantly designs for, doesn't hold the same views. 

    Of course Apple designs to compete. If they didn't, then they would never update their internals, put a larger screen on the phone, or improve the camera. All those things were perfectly functional on older models in isolation. In the context of the market however, incremental changes are necessary to stay relevant to consumers, for whose dollars Apple competes against other companies.

    And it's not only members on the forums who want an update to iOS. Most reviews of the 5 (and maybe even the 4S) said that iOS is nice but stale.
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