'Budget' iPhone said to be made of plastic, come in a range of colours

Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities analyst who has an excellent track record predicting Apple's future products, has released a report detailing various features on the rumoured "budget" iPhone, which is expected to be announced later this year. Kuo said Apple decided the specs of the cheaper iPhone in 2011, and is "unlikely" to change their plans due to the market shift toward larger screens. Apple released the iPhone 5 in 2012, which included a larger 4-inch display, signifying Apple's willingness to provide for the current market desires. 

Kuo revealed his insights to AppleInsider, including his prediction that Apple will include the iPhone 5's 4-inch display in the cheaper iPhone. The iPhone 5S will retain the same 4-inch screen, but may include a fingerprint reader and NFC. Regarding the material the iPhone is made with, Kuo speculates that Apple will plump for a "super-thin plastic casing mixed with glass fibre" which will be stronger than current plastic casings on phones. Apple's plastic casing will be custom designed, and will come in at around 0.5mm in thickness; current plastic casings are around 0.7-1mm thick. 

The budget iPhone will take after the iPod families insofar as it will come in a broad range of colours. Apple released the iPod Touch in multiple colours last year, which will pave the way for the cheaper iPhone. Apple is also expected to borrow design elements from the iPod ranges, including a flat plastic back. The current iPod Touch is just 6.1mm thick, while the iPhone 5 is 7.6mm. The budget iPhone is expected to sit between the two, due to the thin plastic body. 

Source: AppleInsider Image via Engadget and KGI Securities

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And cannibalize their current iPhone sales!? Cus that's would happen. Android is going to sell no matter what, Apple would only be hurting their bottom line.

I wish people wouldn't forget apples history

They started well, then ended up nearly going bankrupt by trying to compete with cheaper brands (and those god awful mac clones).

Steve Jobs saved the company by turning them into a premium brand, must have company. Unfortunately it looks like they are going back to their old ways.

I can't think of a product post jobs era that I thought 'I MUST have that' (well there is the retina mac book pro but I think that was on the design table when Jobs was alive).

Apple are becoming just another tech company now. People (and im not talking about neowin users, im on about those people who stand in front of the apple store for two days) are slowly starting to look at what the competition are offering.

It won't take long before Google, Microsoft and Samsung start really eating into their market share. They have to forget about doing 'cheap' and pandering to what people want (yes, look at the past ten years) and give them what they need wrapped in silver s*x. Don't change a winning formula.

Apple is now run by the business men

Cheap iPhones? That doesn't sound like the apple we used to know

maxslaterrobins said,
"Marketing gimmick" Want to elaborate?

they're not actually high quality... They just portray themselves like they do. When you see the stuff Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung release... They are built with much higher quality, last longer and more affordable. Hence he's right, it's a "marketing gimmick" that consumers sadly fall for.

Plastics are great for impact protection and other various types of damage that happen to phones. People who complain about plastic being used on devices don't know jack about the plastics being used, and instead, think that weight=durability.
Metal actually has worse impact absorption, higher tendency to scratch, rust, harder for cell signals to get through, and get hotter quicker and take longer to cool down. Issues that all phone buyers should be aware of.

"Budget" should really refer to a phone that only does basic tasks very well--make a call, receive a call, able to take images, period. None of the other falderol needs to be included that needlessly complicate doing just the basic tasks. MS Office is an excellent example of how becoming "feature rich" made doing simple word processing tasks needlessly complicated (and often convoluted).

I think in this market and day and age, Budget means people who can't afford the more expensive materials but want the same functionality within their "budget."

Astra.Xtreme said,
So by "budget" are they referring to the out-of-contract price?

It surely will.... although probably not in the US, a market controlled by the carriers racketeering.

Astra.Xtreme said,
So by "budget" are they referring to the out-of-contract price?

The reason I ask is because you can already get a 4S (or is it still the 4?) for free under contract. Not really sure what a 4S costs out of contract, but you can buy one on Ebay for $300 or less.

If they made one that costed $199 out of contract, that's cool, but I can't see their profit margins being much of anything. Unless they just want to bait people into breaking contract to switch over, but I can't imagine too many people would do that.

It just doesn't sound like it would fit into their product line-up. Offering more colors is a decent idea though.

APPLE WOULD NEVER MAKE A CHEAP PHONE MADE OF PLASTIC...ONLUY SAMSUNG ANDROID PHONES ARE...oh wait...the first 2 iphones and 1st 2 iPod touches were plastic. were they considered budget?

TechieXP said,
APPLE WOULD NEVER MAKE A CHEAP PHONE MADE OF PLASTIC...ONLUY SAMSUNG ANDROID PHONES ARE...oh wait...the first 2 iphones and 1st 2 iPod touches were plastic. were they considered budget?

Are you aware that "plastic", as well as "metal" is just a generic term covering a wide range of different products right?

TechieXP said,
APPLE WOULD NEVER MAKE A CHEAP PHONE MADE OF PLASTIC...ONLUY SAMSUNG ANDROID PHONES ARE...oh wait...the first 2 iphones and 1st 2 iPod touches were plastic. were they considered budget?

Are you referring to knock off iPhones and IPods? The first iPhone's backing was mostly metal. The only plastic part on the exterior was the antenna on the back. The backing on the iPod touches were always the polished metal with a glass front. Hardly, "made of plastic."

Nothing wrong with plastic. 99% of the stuff we buy is made of plastic.
If the phone is going to be low in price, that'll be a good thing.
They already got almost the lowest system specs compared to other high-end phones,
so going lower won't do much good.

I miss Steve.

He wouldn't stand for this ****.
He would have already had an answer back to this guy telling him to either shut up, or clarify that the Apple brand is not about schlepping to the bottom 60%.
Apple is innovative, Apple is a leader, Apple is Luxury.
It seems that the current shareholders no longer hold the vision which brought the company mind blowing stupid success from a single product or two.
Diversifying the product portfolio in this manner will hurt the brand.

I can see the company become a minor player once the status symbol is no longer the reason for iSheep to stay on board.

Apple actually has a rich history of delivering cheaply made products to consumers. The magic has always been presenting crap that has some slightly unique element to it and telling their user base that these elements are what separate Apple products from the unwashed masses.

It was never about being high quality. It was always about "being Apple".

maxslaterrobins said,
He's been right before.

Yup. This isn't your standard-fare analyst musing. The nature of the release and his own reputation suggest there's at least something coming out from Apple with this chassis.

And personally, I hope some of it's true. The fingerprint reader in the home button? I would MORE than welcome that to the market. I love my laptop's fingerprint reader (laptop off? swipe a finger, walk away, come back and it's all booted, logged in, and ready to go--bone), and the home button (and Android/WP equivalents) is a great place for something like it on a smartphone or tablet.

If Apple does this, I'm not sure it makes business sense. Part of Apple's image relies on being seen as the innovators, but what would be innovative about this? It's the ipad mini all over again and although that's selling well, I'm not sure the long term damage to Apple's image will be worth it.

The majority don't care about Apple's image, as long as they can buy a shiny new phone when their contract is up. Apple is now making a cheaper phone, which will reach more people. I don't see how that's bad.

Because the people you're referring to will be just as likely to get an Android or Windows Phone, if they truly "don't care" then they're largely agnostic and will just go for what's shiny. Unless apple plans to compete on price as well, then a lot of those people will stick with Android anyway, but the people who'd go for what they felt was the "best" brand might be put off by the whole thing.

Kushan said,
If Apple does this, I'm not sure it makes business sense. Part of Apple's image relies on being seen as the innovators, but what would be innovative about this? It's the ipad mini all over again and although that's selling well, I'm not sure the long term damage to Apple's image will be worth it.

I don't think you're seeing how Apple would actually approach this. It isn't just plastic. It's a mixture of plastic and glass, so it's "better" than regular plastic. If this is real, believe you me--they will market the PANTS off of that detail, and their new ENHANCED plastic will be a revolutionary marvel of engineering. They'd likely even stamp it with special branding (see: retina) so they don't even have to use the word plastic at all.

maxslaterrobins said,
The majority don't care about Apple's image, as long as they can buy a shiny new phone when their contract is up. Apple is now making a cheaper phone, which will reach more people. I don't see how that's bad.
It isnt...the hypocrosy is that fans claim Apple would enevr stoop tpo such levels bec Android has. And that Apple wants the high end.

The fact is Apple is starting to loose money as compienents get pricier and the stock holder are complaining. If Apple doesnt target the mid or low end they are going ot lose more ground. Hwoever Android may have some cheap handsets, but many of those cheap ones like the Samsung Duos will still blow away an iPhone 4S with features and usage.

An all new range of colors! Including black, midnight black, pitch black, black panther, white, pristine white, vanilla ice cream, baby powder, arctic white, and snow.

Joshie said,
An all new range of colors! Including black, midnight black, pitch black, black panther, white, pristine white, vanilla ice cream, baby powder, arctic white, and snow.
That was just beautiful.
Dont forget yellow, sunshine yellow, golden yellow, and grey, gray, silver, aluminum grey, dicast metal gray, green, leaf green, green blue, blue green, turquise green, spring green...lets just copy Nokia.

Talk about a click-bait. It is nothing but another analyst with his daily prediction. Everyday there is another prediction by an analyst of what the next iDevice will be.

"Budget" iPhone will be made of plastic, will come in a range of colours

Correctly should state:

"Budget" iPhone rumored to be made of plastic, will come in a range of colours

And these are just some of the supposed rumors of the next iDevice done by analysts over the last couple of months. No one knows until it gets closer to launch time.

http://bgr.com/2013/03/11/ipho...-fingerprint-sensor-368559/
http://bgr.com/2013/03/08/ipho...less-charging-rumor-364100/
http://bgr.com/2013/03/06/ipho...ction-summer-launch-361647/
http://bgr.com/2013/03/05/iphone-5s-release-date-kgi-360181/
bgr.com/2013/03/01/iphone-5s-release-date-rumor-4-354260/
http://bgr.com/2013/02/08/appl...e-5s-iphone-6-rumor-322303/

maxslaterrobins said,
Not the same analyst though. Not all analysts are born equal. This one, so far, has been spot on.

Flipping a coin, it landed on heads five times in a row...

All analysts do is look at data and make predictions. This guy just happens to be right more times than he is wrong. The analogy of the coin flip is correct though. Keep flipping a coin and eventually it all evens out. It's a 50/50 crap shoot.

And that is all it is when it comes to the next iDevice right now...a 50/50 crap shoot. No one knows outside of the very inner circle of Apple what the next device is going to be. These rumors are just getting tiresome.

Considering what the iPad mini did for them in terms of sales, I predict these will go flying off the shelf just as easy. If this is all true and is priced right, this could help boost iOS marketshare quite a bit.

dead.cell said,
Considering what the iPad mini did for them in terms of sales, I predict these will go flying off the shelf just as easy. If this is all true and is priced right, this could help boost iOS marketshare quite a bit.

Exactly why Apple is doing it. Middle market smarthphones will be the "next big thing".

If it's the right price this is something I may consider next year, I love my iPod but the price of the iPhone is just crazy. While you can get a phone for half the price of the current iPhone with similar features, to me it is a waste of money that I can't possibly justify. Saying that, my current Android phone is just fine and I can just use tethering if I need iOS with my iPod so I get the best of both worlds

This is a good move by Apple.

from the comments on here, i don't see how anyone could think this is a good move. People always complain that samsung uses plastic, but now it's ok for apple to use plastic?

Cant see Apple doing this, producing a cheaper plastic device. Why not just include lower specs with the same build quality? Seems like it would have a negative effect.

The device will - if released - be mid-range, which doesn't warrant a high (and very expensive) build quality. It'll cost Apple less to produce, which will help their stock price (the main reason it went down was because investors are scared Apple's margins are dropping).

maxslaterrobins said,
The device will - if released - be mid-range, which doesn't warrant a high (and very expensive) build quality. It'll cost Apple less to produce, which will help their stock price (the main reason it went down was because investors are scared Apple's margins are dropping).

I understand, I just cannot see Apple doing that is all.

techbeck said,
Cant see Apple doing this, producing a cheaper plastic device. Why not just include lower specs with the same build quality? Seems like it would have a negative effect.

I'm assuming the build quality would be similar, only the material different. In a way, that'd be mirroring the (plastic) iBook/ (aluminum) Powerbook split that used to exist.

techbeck said,
Cant see Apple doing this, producing a cheaper plastic device. Why not just include lower specs with the same build quality? Seems like it would have a negative effect.

Considering you've expressed more concern for the hardware/software inside than the actual design, I would think this only makes more sense to you for them to keep decent specs while reducing the price to those who may not care about a "premium" design.

Also, plastic isn't necessarily bad, just depends on how they build/design it. It's not like we haven't seen decent looking phones in plastic before, just not from Apple yet.

techbeck said,

I understand, I just cannot see Apple doing that is all.

Profit. The high-end market is, according to many, stagnant. Apple needs to expand.

dead.cell said,

Considering you've expressed more concern for the hardware/software inside than the actual design, I would think this only makes more sense to you for them to keep decent specs while reducing the price to those who may not care about a "premium" design.

Also, plastic isn't necessarily bad, just depends on how they build it.

I dont care about the plastic. Apple is just not known to use it in their mobile devices. Will be cool if they do produce a lower end/cheaper device tho.

techbeck said,

I understand, I just cannot see Apple doing that is all.

Maybe under Jobs they wouldn't but Jobs is buried. The new apple is all about profits and it sincerely makes sense. If you can make a quality product and produce it a lower price point it may still be able to retain its 'premium' but not as premium as its' older brother status.

Apple knows putting color into their phones will help it sell. When macs were not doing very well they started to sell a range of colored imac g3? you had green, blue, pink, etc that did pretty well. Putting color back into the device will help it appeal to people that want something less sterile than aluminum. It also offers differentiation from all the same old iphones that everyone else has; and it offers skus at different price points to appeal to many different customer segments.

Will it hurt the image of Apple? It may, but the colored imac's certainly only helped apple at the time. If the project does not turn out the way they want it to, they can also just cease production after a year and go back to business as usual and proclaim the colored iphone was a hobby project.

maxslaterrobins said,

As opposed to what? Even under Jobs, Apple was not a charity.

Jobs cared for profits but he also worried more about the brand of the company. Having to sacrifice brand image to gain a few more dollars made little sense to him. The new apple has no choice but to move forward regardless of brand image; all these lawsuits they have launched means they don't really care about public sentiment, and the need to appease wall street requires them to put out products that otherwise they wouldn't have considered. Saying a 7/8 inch tablet would never happen then releasing a mini ipad months later shows they are willing to do whatever it takes regardless of what they said before.

Ok, let me clarify here...

I was just commenting on how Apple doesnt use what many call on other phones, cheap crappy plastic. I cannot see them doing this but doesnt mean that they dont need to. I didnt mean to say, or come off, as they wouldnt do well or anything negative.

techbeck said,
I dont care about the plastic. Apple is just not known to use it in their mobile devices.

The whole front of the iPod used to be made of plastic. And the iBooks and Macbooks were made of plastic.

techbeck said,
Ok, let me clarify here...

I was just commenting on how Apple doesnt use what many call on other phones, cheap crappy plastic. I cannot see them doing this but doesnt mean that they dont need to. I didnt mean to say, or come off, as they wouldnt do well or anything negative.

I know, but "pgn" is being negative.

I think the idea is that if you're paying a premium price, you should get a premium quality build. Otherwise, if it's more of a budget price, well... you take what you can get. Bang for the buck, etc. I'm sure people would be grabbing their pitchforks if they just went plastic overall haha.

maxslaterrobins said,

I know, but "pgn" is being negative.

All of my posts are critical, whats new?

maxslaterrobins said,
....

Yeah, like flooding the market with devices that cheapen the brand will improve the stock price.

If true, this is another sign that, without their visionary, Apple has no strategy or clue.

Because each model already runs the minimum specs for the OS. Lower the specs and the device will work as well as a 3GS with the updated OS, that is to say, it won't work very well at all. Apple doesn't through hardware into its phones just for the sake of having a higher number on it. Would be a waste of money.

This is basically apple becoming a regular old tech company. The premium they charge is coming down. How many of the high end devices they would have sold in years past will end up being low end ones.

TechieXP said,
Why not...the forst iPhones were plastic.

But have not been that way for a while....and with all the trash talk against other products build quality, I wouldnt think they would go that route.


Or were you even born than?

Now was that comment really necessary.

deadonthefloor said,

Yeah, like flooding the market with devices that cheapen the brand will improve the stock price.

If true, this is another sign that, without their visionary, Apple has no strategy or clue.


Let us see... If Nokia releases mid-range devices to cover that market segment is a brilliant move, if Apple does..... It is clueless...
Does not Porsche released the Cayman? Did it affect the image of 911? Not at all.

techbeck said,
Cant see Apple doing this, producing a cheaper plastic device. Why not just include lower specs with the same build quality?

These devices already exist, it's the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S; lower specs than the iPhone 5, same build quality, lower price.

pgn said,

Maybe under Jobs they wouldn't but Jobs is buried. The new apple is all about profits .

The old Apple under Jobs was also "all about profit".


Maybe under Jobs they wouldn't but Jobs is buried. The new apple is all about profits and it sincerely makes sense.

The old Apple was all about profits as well. Nothing has changed much after Jobs other than products having more issues and being released when they clearly are/were not ready.


If the project does not turn out the way they want it to, they can also just cease production after a year and go back to business as usual and proclaim the colored iphone was a hobby project.

Hobby project? No, it is called a failure at that point.

maxslaterrobins said,

Profit. The high-end market is, according to many, stagnant. Apple needs to expand.


Apple expands by going into new markets, not by joining the race to the bottom in a saturated one.
With the exception of the iPod, Apple products have never been market share leaders. Many people mistakenly believe that the iPhone had a market share lead, but this was never the case: iPhone has around 20% market share of smartphones worldwide, and about 5% or less in the global mobile phone market (which includes all phone handsets)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#By_Operating_system

a0me said,

Apple expands by going into new markets, not by joining the race to the bottom

And this wouldn't be that. Notice how they're now offering an iPod (that started as a single model at $400) at pretty much every price point from $50 to $400 and an iPad from $300 to $900, yet the cheapest iPhone (if you get it unlocked and contract-free) still costs over $400, and that's for a two-year old model. Might make sense to offer a current model at that price point or even slightly cheaper.

CSharp. said,

And this wouldn't be that. Notice how they're now offering an iPod (that started as a single model at $400) at pretty much every price point from $50 to $400 and an iPad from $300 to $900, yet the cheapest iPhone (if you get it unlocked and contract-free) still costs over $400, and that's for a two-year old model. Might make sense to offer a current model at that price point or even slightly cheaper.

I see what you're saying but in the case of the iPod, each model has its distinct advantages: iPod shuffle=500 songs in a 1 inch device. iPod nano=A fits-anywhere media player. iPod classic=for people with huge song libraries. iPod touch= media player, 4" touch screen and the biggest app library available.
What would be the advantage of a cheaper iPhone, beyond the obvious one of its price tag?

techbeck said,
Cant see Apple doing this, producing a cheaper plastic device. Why not just include lower specs with the same build quality? Seems like it would have a negative effect.

They already do that:

iPhone 5: High End
iPhone 4S: Mid Range
iPhone 4: Entry

Before the iPhone 5 launch it was:

iPhone 4S: High End
iPhone 4: Mid Range
iPhone 3GS: Entry

I would have thought this was plainly obvious to anyone paying attention.