Leaked image shows completed plastic budget iPhone

Not too shabby!

Apple's rumoured plastic iPhone has once again been leaked online, this time making it's rounds from Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, to the main internet.

It is supposedly Apple's answer to the low budget smartphone market, which is dominated by cheap Android, and Windows Phones like the Lumia 520 and 620.

Some sources have stated that this is allegedly a redesigned iPhone 5, manufactured using plastic instead of aluminium. If this is true, it may help explain the rumoured decision to cease manufacturing the iPhone 5 altogether.

It shares some design features with the most recent iPod touch, including the speaker grill and lightning connector parts, but with a polycarbonate design and rounded corners. It's also expected to come in many colours similar to the Nokia Lumia range.

This iPhone could launch in the fall along with the next generation iPhone 5S, which allegedly comes with a bigger battery, 2GB of RAM, dual LED flash and iOS7.

Source: Softpedia

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My prediction on iPhone 5C specs:

Apple A5 - Dual-core 1.5 or 1.7 GHz Cortex-A9
PowerVR SGX54xMPx
8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash - Thinking rear camera only. If it does have a front camera it would be 1.2MP

Price? Off contract it will be $400, and $99 with contract. For $500 you can get he Galaxy S 4 Mini which will be bigger, have better cameras, more storage capability. Or for about $350 you can get a GS3 which is bigger and better and at least has Android 4.2.1 which still does more than the present iPhone.

Apple is going to have a hard time hitting at Android. What this does is open a door for APple to have a more specific model to sell in developing countries.

Looks not too bad but its already confusing for stores who sell mutli-carrier phones. E.G. Big stores that sell Telus, Bell, Rogers, Koodo, Fido, etc. I say this because there is already 9 versions of iPhones to sell for each specific carrier...its nuts. This would just add too it. With that being said it probably would make it cheaper and let Apple gain some ground back. Currently Samsung sells absurdly well due to having phones from cheap to premium.

Title and story is poorly written and implies plastics have inferior properties to metals. Far from the truth. Actually, two plastics combiend can give superior properties to metals, e.g. composites ...

16GB iPod Touch is £199, and 16GB iPhone 5 is £529. So it will be between that.

What would be cool would be if they made this phone 16GB. Then started at 32GB for the higher end, adding 128GB as the new highest end. Keeping the prices the same of course.

Edited by Joswin, Jul 27 2013, 9:48pm :

With the Lumia 521 reaching the $99 pre-paid market, Windows Phone has hit the low-end running.

Apple cannot compete in this space, nor should they.

They are getting annihilated in emerging markets with negative growth, while Android and WP are making significant gains.

If they develop a low cost handset it should be a dual or tri-sim for these markets, leaving those who cannot see beyond their borders with the warm fuzzy feeling of elegance and superiority of a luxury brand.

That port looks like a generic micro USB, Apple would never use such a standard port. They always use their own proprietary ports.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm calling BS on this picture.
Edit: it's also possible it's just the new port used on iPhone 5s, but it still looks more like USB to me.

The 3GS was plastic, yet didn't feel cheap. Cheaper and cheap are two different things. I'd imagine (well hope) this will prob have the internals of the current 5, which will just be replaced by the 5S.

I think the white one looks quite nice actually...

The 3G and 3GS were premium phones at the time and were plastic. I don't think Apple has to worry about ruining their premium image with plastic.

No way apple is making a low end device. They will never enter that type of market after being label themselves as a premium brand for almost 30 years and what makes you think for a second Apple will create such a awful looking device. It will tarnish their BRAND as billion of people already know and recognize it as the most high quality product by Apple. So the rumors of plastic iPhone need to be stop or cease immediately.

Master of Earth said,
No way apple is making a low end device. They will never enter that type of market after being label themselves as a premium brand for almost 30 years and what makes you think for a second Apple will create such a awful looking device. It will tarnish their BRAND as billion of people already know and recognize it as the most high quality product by Apple. So the rumors of plastic iPhone need to be stop or cease immediately.
Well you can stick whatever label on a brand as you want, doesn't make it right or true.

What I can't figure for the love of God is how you think Apple wont make a plastic phone. The first 3 phones were plastic...or poly-carbonate if you prefer which I do bec its not plastic per se.

Apple going back to such isn't impossible. The problem is you fans have gotten so spoiled by fancy cases that you cant see Apple going back.

If the leak is coming from a Chinese site, I am inclined to say fake. Looking at the plastic area between the lightning port and headphone jack, there is more gap there than Apple usually does and they usually don't show the chrome on the jacks either

For people who use their smartphone for sport, heart rate, gps, mp3 player etc., A cheaper model will be a godsend. iPhone is still best for those things IMO.

thats a speaker grill? I looked at it, at my nexus 7, at it, at my nexus 7 and was convinced it was a quick-docking port.

This iphone definitly is cheaping out, or they are just ****ed at what the banks did to make aluminum expensive..

The amount of aluminum in an iphone is an insignificant cost. The cost is the manufacturing using the metal parts. The plastic is both superior in manufacturing efficiency and durability. The only reason to use metal is to make shiny.

better off getting an iphone 5 Chinese clone. It will likely have more future support and be quicker with better camera than this. Plus it would be android not ****ty ios.

iOS is far from ****ty, its just expensive. Android is superior for both the consumer and developer sheerly due to its cost and flexibility. If iOS had no walled garden and was freely available, and android was a walled garden that only ran on a handful of identical $600+ devices, you'd be saying the opposite.

srbeen said,
iOS is far from ****ty, its just expensive. Android is superior for both the consumer and developer sheerly due to its cost and flexibility. If iOS had no walled garden and was freely available, and android was a walled garden that only ran on a handful of identical $600+ devices, you'd be saying the opposite.
...exactly... if iOS was android then there would be no problem

MrAnalysis said,
better off getting an iphone 5 Chinese clone. It will likely have more future support and be quicker with better camera than this. Plus it would be android not ****ty ios.

Yeah go buy one and let us know how "well" it works out for you....

friends got one they actually are not that bad (well for the £40 he paid for it second hand) its fairly stable and quick tbh i was shocked thinking jesus its going to overheat and have the life of a fish out of water. I was wrong.

The thing is Chinese rip offs use cheap parts but the cheap parts these days are not to bad, not like they used to be anyway. Your be shocked i was trust me lol.

They're great. Really. Look at any iPhone 5 clone running MTK6577, MTK6589, MTK6589T.

Note II clones are even better. Like MrAnalysis said, you'll be impressed.

You guy's are talking about price, what is the correct price you think it should have?
What is the right balance between not too expensive and not too cheap?

Well, I really doubt that there will be an Apple phone for $200-$300.....
Even the Nexus 4 which was subsidized by LG and Google was sold for around $400.

V-Tech said,
Well, I really doubt that there will be an Apple phone for $200-$300.....
Even the Nexus 4 which was subsidized by LG and Google was sold for around $400.

Why? This is clearly a budget phone. Just look how cheap looking it is. It's normal for mid-range phones to cost around ~300. The Nexus 4 was a high-end device, you can't compare it to this.

I'm not sure that the N4 falls in the High-End device category but maybe.
My point, just like other people said, is that it's hard for me to see Apple release such a cheap device just because they always said that they are not willing to compromise quality. Meaning the mid-range is not really going to be a mid-range

iPhone 5 is £529 off contract at Apple, so I think a fair price would be £299. Just a bit higher than the 16GB Nexus 4 at £279. that £20 difference would include "Apple Tax".

£299 is around $460. Not very far from the iPhone 5 price today on ebay. When the new iPhone will come out then iPhone 5 will be even lower. So why purchase a low end phone for a price that you can get a better phone?
This is what I always say to people that making a budget phone is kinda problem.

You can't really compare markets like that : Personnally I consider 300-350€ a good price for a "high end budget phone" like the Nexus 4, Moto X, or this iPhone (Nexus 4 16G is 350€ here, and 8G 300€).

You could argue that 350€ is not that far from a $500 iPhone, but that's irrelevant since here the iPhone 5 16G costs 680€ (which would be around $900).

Funnily enough I was watching a Steve Jobbs keynote last night where he said "Apple don't sell Junk"

This kinda looks like it to me. Cheap and nasty

glen8 said,
Funnily enough I was watching a Steve Jobbs keynote last night where he said "Apple don't sell Junk"

This kinda looks like it to me. Cheap and nasty

I love how everybody's idea of a "phone worth buying" is only if it's a ferrari.

MrHumpty said,
I love how everybody's idea of a "phone worth buying" is only if it's a ferrari.

Don't be silly, there's consumers within each price bracket, not just the high end market. In fact, most phones in circulation today are made up predominantly of the 'cheaper' variety.

That said, apple needs to consider if this 'budget' model could impact their brand image. Maybe they have, maybe they haven't. The investors want their pound of flesh afterall.

When I look at it (granted it's only a leaked photo) I think cheap.....which in turn makes me think apple a cheap brand.

glen8 said,
In fact, most phones in circulation today are made up predominantly of the 'cheaper' variety.
That was the exact reason for my comment. So many people think that there isn't money to be made in that area.

You may be right about Apple. However, I don't think their brand is popular because it's expensive and the idea their products are superior build quailty. They have successfully made their brand something that is cool. If you have an Android or especially Windows phone people think you're crazy. If anything *that* is the reason they should build a budget phone. People who want to be part of the "in" crowd will buy them much like fake diamond ear-rings.

The real question, to me, is will these devices offer a comparable UX. Or, will they be under powered and slow and cause apps to either run like crap or app developers to cater to the lowest common denominator as these become popular.

MrHumpty said,
That was the exact reason for my comment. So many people think that there isn't money to be made in that area.

You may be right about Apple. However, I don't think their brand is popular because it's expensive and the idea their products are superior build quailty. They have successfully made their brand something that is cool. If you have an Android or especially Windows phone people think you're crazy. If anything *that* is the reason they should build a budget phone. People who want to be part of the "in" crowd will buy them much like fake diamond ear-rings.

The real question, to me, is will these devices offer a comparable UX. Or, will they be under powered and slow and cause apps to either run like crap or app developers to cater to the lowest common denominator as these become popular.

You would hope the internals would be of the outgoing model in a cheaper plastic case. Perhaps not a retina screen to be keep the costs really low.

How about the same size as the iphone 5, iphone 4s internals, no retina but cheap?.

well guess Apple can do cheap now that Ol' Steve isnt around anymore to make those desicions, this is probably a fluke though, being that its coming from China, and most of Apples products are assembled in Cupertino, CA or Mexico

If they keep the same internals and just change the screen and case they won't get the margin they *need* on the sale of the hardware. Apple makes its money by making a ton of money on the sale of the device. If they try to squeeze margin then they'll have to lowball some stats. You wonder if it will go the WP route there there is a low-end min spec that dev's can target and/or filter out.

Xerino said,
well guess Apple can do cheap now that Ol' Steve isnt around anymore to make those desicions, this is probably a fluke though, being that its coming from China, and most of Apples products are assembled in Cupertino, CA or Mexico

Err, are you kidding me?
Of the 17 facilities for assembly, there is one in the USA, one in Ireland, one in Brazil and the rest are in China...

Source: http://www.apple.com/supplierr...sibility/our-suppliers.html

Xerino said,
I still think its a fluke, and will continue to think so until Apple confirms
Problem is your ability to critically think has been questioned by your belief that Apple assembles their products in the US. Hell the only thing they are *assembling* here is going to be the new power mac's which is a incredible minority of their devices.

glen8 said,
Funnily enough I was watching a Steve Jobbs keynote last night where he said "Apple don't sell Junk"

This kinda looks like it to me. Cheap and nasty

I agree. But TBH, I think this model if it pans out, won't be any worse or better than the first 3 iPhones.

I think it looks ugly due to the elongated body since Apple chose to make the device taller vs wider with the iPhone 5.

So basically I am thinking to make the price low, they will basically take the 4S hardware and bump up the CPU a bit.

The only thing that matters is the price. If Apple are going to get some market share back, they're going to need to make it a very attractive offering - but somehow, given how their pricing only seems to be going upwards these days, I can't see it being the sort of price it NEEDS to be.

Bit of a dangerous area for them too - too expensive and people won't bother with it, too cheap and it sort of breaks the image of being a premium brand that they continually try and maintain.

Totally agree there.

I just wonder if they'll base it off the previous version, but cheaper to keep the premium "flagship" device something that's wanted and will sell.

Neobond said,
Totally agree there.

I just wonder if they'll base it off the previous version, but cheaper to keep the premium "flagship" device something that's wanted and will sell.

Well the rumour mentioned in the article about them killing off the iPhone 5, perhaps to remould into this is interesting - and it makes me wonder if they actually have a proper new design for the iPhone 5 successor rather than just the evolution of the old product that they've been running for the last few years?

Interesting times ahead really across the entire industry really.

Totally, let's hope Apple don't try to compromise too much to get high profit from a cheaper product.

Whichever way they are going to please a certain group and really upset another group.

Android fans aren't going to care, because it is iOS lack of customisation they don't like.

"Bit of a dangerous area for them too - too expensive and people won't bother with it, too cheap and it sort of breaks the image of being a premium brand that they continually try and maintain. "
That's why it most likely won't be called an "iPhone". They will need a separate brand name to differentiate between the premium iPhone and this cheapo Apple product.

Couldn't agree more. Like the iPad mini, released to compete with the cornucopia of 7" Anroid tablets at $200 and lower, yet comes out at like $350. Smart Apple, real smart.

Chicane-UK said,
The only thing that matters is the price. If Apple are going to get some market share back, they're going to need to make it a very attractive offering - but somehow, given how their pricing only seems to be going upwards these days, I can't see it being the sort of price it NEEDS to be.

Bit of a dangerous area for them too - too expensive and people won't bother with it, too cheap and it sort of breaks the image of being a premium brand that they continually try and maintain.

the only product in Apple mobile line that changed in cost was the iPod Touch. IPhone and iPad have remained the same. The only cost chNges are on the ugly macs

felrefordit said,
"Bit of a dangerous area for them too - too expensive and people won't bother with it, too cheap and it sort of breaks the image of being a premium brand that they continually try and maintain. "
That's why it most likely won't be called an "iPhone". They will need a separate brand name to differentiate between the premium iPhone and this cheapo Apple product.

How could it not be called an iPhone? If the picture is accurate, it says iPhone right on the back.

Apple may get market share back, but not the profits they once had. With lots opting for the iPad mini and the 4/4s iPhones which are cheaper.

"How could it not be called an iPhone? If the picture is accurate, it says iPhone right on the back."
For what we know the phone in the picture could be an Android clone with iPhone label on the back. Ie. it means nothing. It's not an official product photo, and there's no proof it's legit by any means.

That said I'm not saying Apple will not name the cheap iPhone also an iPhone. But if they do, it will simply cannibalize the iPhone brand and they will lose market share and profit at an even faster pace than otherwise.

Open Minded said,

How could it not be called an iPhone? If the picture is accurate, it says iPhone right on the back.

The above device in IMO wont be any better or worse that the first 3 iPhone models. It just looks funny because essentially APple is talking the 5 and shoving it into a plastic body.

I assume the "C" if that is what it will be called with simply be an iPhone 5 possibly using the CPU from the 4S with a speed bump to handle iOS7 multi-tasking features. It may have only 1GB of RAM which will make it slow, it likely will only come as a 8GB model, they are going to drop older cheaper cameras in it likely from the 4S model.

All of that is going to suck for so many reasons. For one you can get cheaper costing Android models right now, that will have better stuff. If Apple is going to use hardware that is about 2 years old, then a person who actually understand how to shop wont even consider that iPhone when they can get better option from Samsung.

The Galaxy S4 Mini would be a better option on many fronts. The GS3 being a year old will be a better option.

out of 8GB iOS7 will likely use 6GB of that space and half the new features wont be on this model. No Siri and stuff like that. At least all the Galaxy phones have S-Voice no matter what model you get. And thanks to Google apps, all the Android phones running ICS or better will be on equal footing when it comes to Google services.

yeoo_andy_ni said,
Couldn't agree more. Like the iPad mini, released to compete with the cornucopia of 7" Anroid tablets at $200 and lower, yet comes out at like $350. Smart Apple, real smart.

And... they sold **** loads? Big fail there.

TechieXP said,
The above device in IMO wont be any better or worse that the first 3 iPhone models. It just looks funny because essentially APple is talking the 5 and shoving it into a plastic body.

I agree with you about other low cost phones being better options than the cheap iPhone. I think these phones will sell at first but in the long run hurt Apple's brand image. I bet it's going to cost 99 dollars with a two year contract. I don't need or want a cheap smartphone. If you're going to keep it for two years (contract duration) then why not spend the little extra and get the flagship of whatever brand you're looking at? My Captivate lasted me almost three years before I went to the Galaxy S 4. I highly doubt I'll want a faster phone in less than two years.