Low-cost iPhone's plastic rear shell possibly revealed

Images of a rumoured low-cost iPhone featuring a polycarbonate shell have leaked on the Internet today.

With increased competition from cheaper smartphones such as Google's Nexus 4, which retails for just $299 (£239 in the UK), Apple is said to be cooking up its own budget offering priced around the $300 mark, AppleInsider reports.

A budget iPhone is rumoured to contain a smaller 3.5-inch Retina screen and an A5 processor like the iPad mini. With shares in the company slipping below $400, Apple are likely trying to drive sales through a less premium device focusing on a low price point. A device that is designed for low cost purposes is something of an oddity for a company whose products have always remained famously high-priced.

The report does, however, note some pixelation around the "iPhone" lettering and Apple logo, hinting that the images may not be legitimate.

Despite questions of its legitimacy, the pictured part does correlate with iLounge's description of the device back in January. Descriptions of a budget iPhone have ranged from a curved back to a more square design, with some reports even claiming the device will come in a range of colours like previous iPods. 

Source: AppleInsiderImage via Tactus

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margrave said,
I kind of like the look actually
Why? It basically is a updated style of the original iPhone that ended with the 3GS.

Only this time APple will use a better grade of "plastic" so it doesn't turn colors from the chips burning it up like it happened in the past.
http://www.iphonebuzz.com/whit...nd-discoloration-277748.php

just FYI - out of all the iPhones, I feel the 3GS model was the best looking one and I still prefer its display over the IPS Apple uses now. I like how the pixels make the icons look cooler.

Everyone now is so brainwashed now, over not seeing the pixels or how seeing pixels is now somehow bad. I think otherwise. Pixels adds a bit of uniqueness to the graphic that if its not bad, looks really good.

Perhaps this model is targeted at China and India?

If Apple releases it then I suppose they have some bombastic keynote script and well rehearsed speaker to add to a premium feel?

I think Apple are going to struggle to compete against the Nexus 4 - it must have knocked the market sideways a bit. Given how the Nexus 4 pretty much matches even the most current iPhone for features, and the iPhone costs twice as much, I'll be surprised if Apple can really bring something out of the bag that will come near on performance / features for the same kind of money.

Kudos to Google / LG on this one - the Nexus 4 has really shaken up the ludicriously expensive smartphone market

Desperate times call for desperate measure. All the bad things Apple had said about other devices and how the fans act towards other devices, has now come full circle.

Apple is now in the "if you can't beat them, join them" crowd. LOL

What sad is the iPhone has been 3.5" since the original...after just growing .5", they are going back to shrinking it .5"?

Would it not have been smart to do the following. Since 4" is the common norm, make this new cheap phone be 4" and make the flagship model 4.5" or similar.

The Galaxy Min is 4.3" about the size of the GSII compared to the GS3 which is 4.8". The 2 devices tho they look similar can more easily be told apart vs the 3.5" above and a 4" device we see now.

This I think is a bad move. But if it gets more phones in peoples hands...so be it. But now the iFans can no longer criticize Samsung for plastic phones. At leats you can repair Samsung's phone...u can't with iPhone.

Edited by Hi_XPecTa_Chens, Apr 18 2013, 9:03pm :

TechieXP said,
But now the iFans can no longer criticize Samsung for plastic phones.

Of course you're forgetting Apple still doesn't use cheap plastic for their high-end models. Unlike Samsung.

.Neo said,

Of course you're forgetting Apple still doesn't use cheap plastic for their high-end models. Unlike Samsung.

Friends of mine (they're married) have have their iPhone's screen and/or back replaced 4 times between the two. My 3 year old Captivate... 0 problems. Sometimes plastic is better than glass.

Sad, too, that my original Galaxy S (running 4.2.1) can keep pace with an iPhone 4s in most things except gaming. I don't play games on my phone so it's no big deal for me.

.Neo said,

Of course you're forgetting Apple still doesn't use cheap plastic for their high-end models. Unlike Samsung.

What cheap plastic? The Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S IV all use poly-carbonate for the case. As I said above. The battery door is just thin so it fits in the phone profile without sticking out. Its not cheap.

Obviously you've never worked around plastic, so let me help you. In truth, Poly-Carbonate is not a "plastic" at all. Plastic is a very generic name for the material because of it similarities to plastic. Poly-carbonate is actually a more flexible material and is harder than normal plastic like what is use for water bottles or pop bottles.

Commodity Plastic is what you see in retails stores with water bottles and pop bottles. Then you have engineering plastics which is a usually harder material that tends to be used for building stuff. This is the plastic that is used for car bumpers for example.

Poly-Carbonate is in the middle. Its benefits over metal are high detailed online. Its main benefit is its more "IMPACT RESISTENT, SCRATCH RESISTENT, they can handle HIGHJ TEMPERTURES.

You think Apple uses better stuff? Then you would be lying. Just Google how the iPhone 3GS became discolored from the plastic getting burned by the chips. It would make the cases turn yellow or a brownish color. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO SAMSUNG PHONES. The discoloration is cause by the plastic getting ot hot and almost melting and as it tries to cool it turns color. This is typical of a CHEAPER GRADE OF MATERIAL.

Poly-Carbonate actualy works similar to aluminum at lower cost. What it does is spread the heat across the plastic so that one area isn't melting. When I use high graphc games on my Note, where the CPU is, it gets very hot and you can feel the heat move across the back. Yet it hasn't turned any color and my phone has a quadcore. In the iPhone 3GS, how is it that it burned the casing and discolored it and it was only a 600Mhz CPU?

Here is another fact, I am a cyclist. The bikes I prefer to ride are made of Carbon Fiber. These types of bikes are expensive. They cost above the $2500 mark. The bikes are not actually made of carbon fiber. The tubes are actually made of this same polymer/poly-carbonate material. It is a very strong material. The tubes are glued to special aluminum joints and baked. Once done, the tubes are wrapped in strands of carbon fibers that add rigidity and strength to the tops so they can hold up the weight of the riders. I seen guys as heavy as 250lbs ride these so-called in your terminology "plastic" bikes.

Again as I said an I am not afraid to say it. You fans think iPhone is somehow better because APple decide to use a aluminum casing. There are downside to such. For one metal casings are impossible to repair when they are small like this when damage. They must be replaced. The cost is more expensive versus "plastic" because plastic is create using a mold which is cheaper vs using cutting blocks. Molds have less margin of error which also keep cost down vs metal cases where the cut must be perfect to be used. Any defect in the cut and the case is useless and must be melted and redone, which adds cost and slower production time.

Even expensive boats and yachts use "engineered plastic" for their bodies. I am talking boats that cost as much as a 1/2 million dollars. You think that is cheap?

For a device you will handles over 100+ times per day. That you will drop, or sit on, maybe step on or throw, will stand up to all that abuse where an iPhone simply won't. That extra cost just to make it look good is a waste of money. I rather have a feature rich phone made of "plastic" vs some fancy metal limit POS like an iPhone.

I had 2 iPhones. I wanted one since the 3GS model. The iPhone 4 finally was what I bought and the 4S. After I dropped my 4 from wasit high on a wood floor and it shattered the back panel, I was ****ed after haing paid $700 for it just 2 days earlier. I have and my Note 2 since day one. I have dropped it more than 10 times as I am a bit glumbsy. Yet all that was damage was the paint chipped off the silver rim, which I replaced by buying the piece for $20 on ebay. Removed 10 screws popped it out and replaced it on my own. Looks good as new. Much better than paying Apple...$100 for AppleCare and then if the phone needs to be replaced pay an additional $50 on top.

That is plain uttered stupidity IMO. I never purchase AppleCare and never would because it doesn't protect you. I would come out cheaper just making a claim on my home owners policy and getting a full brand new phone off the shelf vs paying APple for a refurb.

While you sit an criticize a phone because it is made of "plastic" as you call it vs one made of metal, none of you are smart enough to ever consider the full benefits of the design. Full even a plastic iPhone still cost more than Samsung's devices on the high end. Same issue with the Mac. The Mac is a mid-ranged spec'd PC that if it was a Windows PC would cost about $800 retail. Because Apple uses a metal casing that has ot be cut from a block, it drives of the case cost. A replacement if you damage it is above $300 plus labor cost which is $200. You rather pay $500 to fix damage when for most Windows PC, you can go on eBay and but a full case assembly for about $100 or so and you can replace all the stuff yourself?

I would say as a fact, Android phone users and Windows PC buyers are much "smarter" than you crazed iFans who think in your minds that just because Apple products cost more they must be better. They are not better, they simply cost more when they break, because the cost to fix them is high and Apple passes all that cost to you...which why they have $99B+ in the bank collecting dust.

How does a phone with less specs, that is made in China; cost more than a phone that is BIGGER, HAS MORE FEATURES, DOESN'T EASILY BREAK and comes from KOREA which is also an ASIAN country, cost less?

Do the math and call me when you're a bit smarter to take me on.

.Neo said,

Of course you're forgetting Apple still doesn't use cheap plastic for their high-end models. Unlike Samsung.
What? Apple doesn't make a high end model. They make ONE PHONE. TO have a device be considered a high end model, you need to also be selling a low end model to compare it too. Like the iPad...it has a 10" high end model and a 7" low end PLASTIC MODEL.

The iPod, have the HIGH END iPod Touch model and the low end Nano model. The iPhone is a single model made once per year. If Apple makes the above device, they will then have a low end model to compare it too.

The iPhone factually is a mid-range device in a fancy case. High end today would be a quadcore phone, with a 5" screen or better. The iPhone is dualcore making it mid-range, because some OEM's are still making single core phones which would be low-end. So please tell me how the iPhone is a high end device? The retail price is the only thing high end about it in this perspective.

http://www.zdnet.com/proof-tha...ears-gallery_p6-7000013520/

You keep using your outdate iPhone. I've moved on to BIGGER and BETTER things, even if it is made of "plastic" Metal as a fact doesn't make a mid-range phone become a premium model. It needs to be premium inside an out.

GO and look at a luxury car...its PREMIUM in styling outside...and its PREMIUM inside.
If you take a cheap car and make it from premium materials outside, but yet it looks like a lowend Volkswagon Bug inside...would you call it premium? That is exactly what you are doing with your iPhone.

Just because execs use it doesn't make it great. Blackberry stated its claim as a business worthy device and execs used it, which in turn made it popular with the general public. Where is Blackberry now? Apple is destine to fall into that same situation with the next 5 years if they don't grow some brains.

Stop trying to convince me that a company who has been making phones for 6 years is smarter than a company that has been making phones for more than 2 decades and whom is selling 100M devices in a year vs one that too 6 years to sell 300M devices?

A5 processor? Apple must have gotten stuck with a lot of them. A new phone with 2 year old hardware going on 3 years old. While Samsung is releasing new low end and midrnaged devices with new hardware. The New Galaxy Mega is 6.3", is using a new A7 processor.

I rather have a Galaxy S III instead of this. What you fans got to say now. While you all dissing the GS4 saying it just looks like a GS3 with a speed bump...even the GS3 has a better CPU and more ram and a higher resolution vs this. Oh wait...the GS3 isn't a low-end phone.

But look at the advantages. The GS3 is bigger, is cheaper on contact at $99. Bigger screen, higher resolution, user replaceable battery, Has Jelly Bean 4,1,1, Has geart features, had a quadcore model for 199.99.

The best Apple can do is maybe give it a 3.5" IPS Display? Which means the resolution will maybe equal to the iPhone 4S at best. HAHA. Why not just sell the iPhone 4S in this case and sell it cheaper? LOL...oh wait...they did. HAHAHAHAAH!

KARMA KARMA KARMA !!!!

Haha...this is like how APple was selling Core 2 Macbooks when everyone else was selling Sandy Bridge PC's for less money brand new. Same old Apple. And watch the fans stand in line to get one.

Then they have to put a supper stripped down version of iOS 7 on it while Android devices in the low cost range are still getting Jelly Bean and have rich features...

Look at the Duos which has Jelly Bean 4.1.1

Dare I saw it....as the fans say it, but let me try - APPLE WOULD NEVER MAKE A CHEAP CRaPPY PLASTIC PHONE...APPLE DOENS:T NEED TO HAVE A CHEAP PHONE FOR OTHER MARKETS. PLASTIC SAMSUNK CRAP. PLASTIC....

Please remember the first model of iPhone and iPod Touch were plastic. Apple stopped using it because the phones would get discolor from being burnt by the chips. Making them turn yellow or brown.

If this is real, the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy S IV don't look so bad and they look way better than what I see above. And looks it poly-carbonate...just like Samsung. COPY MUCH?!

The doifference here is Samsung makes the battery dorr really thin so it fits in the profile of the phone, yet still be removable. Apple went the Lumia route and carving the case from a solid block of PLASTIC....HEY ALL YOU PLASTIC PHONE HATERS...APPLE IS GOING BACK TO PLASTIC>HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! CARMA IS A YOU KNOW WHAT...SINT IT>>>.HAHAHAHAH

It keeps getting way too obvious and hard for the Appletons to keep up lying to themselves… Copy much Apple?
Jobs' own words: “We have been ‘ShameLESS' about stealing great ideas”, I wonder what he meant about it?
Panorama + Notification Bar + Folders = Android
Reject calls with SMS = Android
iMaps = Google Maps (Opps)
Ping = Facebook, Twitter
iPad = Samsung´s Photoframe
iPad Mini = Dell Streak
iPod = Creative Technology and Walkman
‘iPhone' name = Linksys' iPhone®
Original iPhone = Samsung's S700 Mp3 Player
iPhone 4 & 4S = LG's Prada
iMessage = BlackBerry Messenger
Siri = Xiaoi Bot + Nuance
App Store = Ubuntu Software Center
Bigger Screen = Everybody else
MacBook Air = HP's Sojourn
Macsafe = Asian Crockery
Thunderbolt = Intel
OSX, iOS = Unix
Newton = Psion Series 3, HP 95LX
Apple Logo = Genesis 1:6, 3:6
Aluminum = Cheapest Metal
Plastic = ($$$ Reinforced Polymers)
Security = Buy a new cheaper one...

TechieXP said,
Dare I saw it....as the fans say it, but let me try - APPLE WOULD NEVER MAKE A CHEAP CRaPPY PLASTIC PHONE...APPLE DOENS:T NEED TO HAVE A CHEAP PHONE FOR OTHER MARKETS. PLASTIC SAMSUNK CRAP. PLASTIC....

Please remember the first model of iPhone and iPod Touch were plastic. Apple stopped using it because the phones would get discolor from being burnt by the chips. Making them turn yellow or brown.

Yeah, no.

The 1st gen iPhone was Aluminium with a small black plastic area at the bottom, the 1st gen iPod Touch had a stainless steel back. But why let facts get in the way of a good old anti-Apple rant hey?

I think this is fake, purely because if Apple released this it would do more harm to their brand than good. Apple is all about the highest of quality, the top-of-the-line. Or at least, the perception of that. Putting out a plastic phone, a blatantly cheaper alternative, just isn't very Apple-esque.

It would also be a sheer admittance of becoming a follower (Of Android/Samsung in this case) and not an innovator.

Kushan said,
I think this is fake, purely because if Apple released this it would do more harm to their brand than good. Apple is all about the highest of quality, the top-of-the-line. Or at least, the perception of that. Putting out a plastic phone, a blatantly cheaper alternative, just isn't very Apple-esque.

It would also be a sheer admittance of becoming a follower (Of Android/Samsung in this case) and not an innovator.


I think this is real for the same reason. If this were true, why does the iPad mini exist?

Kushan said,
I think this is fake, purely because if Apple released this it would do more harm to their brand than good. Apple is all about the highest of quality, the top-of-the-line. Or at least, the perception of that. Putting out a plastic phone, a blatantly cheaper alternative, just isn't very Apple-esque.

It would also be a sheer admittance of becoming a follower (Of Android/Samsung in this case) and not an innovator.

Question...How old are you? You do remember the first iPhone and the 3G and 3GS...right? What were they made of......PLASTIC. Apple dropped the plastic because of this: http://www.iphonebuzz.com/wp-c...esurchauffeiphone3gshot.jpg

Apple started using metal casing after this model. The white was delayed...remember because of bleeding light and other issues with the paint they claimed. I think they were trying to fix the antenna issue, because the white ones didn't have that problem...remember?

So if the only wany Apple can make the iPhone cheaper is to go back to plastic...so be it. What is sad though is the GS3 is only a year old, has better hardware vs this phone and is bigger, Samsung could easily compete and keep making the GS3 and this iPhone would fail as people would likely prefer the GS3 since it is bigger, has more recent hardware being only 1 year old vs the A5 being 3. The 1280x720 resolution will still be higher than the Retina display at 3.5 because that is basically what is in the iPhone 4 and that res was 960 x 640. The GS3 would also have better cameras as it has the same sensor as the iPhone 4S.

And the GS3 is avail now for $99 on contract which is where this iPhone would have to be if it is to be considered budget. Which would you want. A stripped down iPhonhe running iOS7 with the same features as an iPhone 4S...or a GS3 which better hardware around with a better camera and at leats Jelly Bean 4.1.2? Oh and The GS3 will like get Android 5.0 along with the Note 2 and GS4. Which will give it more features at a good price.

If Apple does this, their stick is going to nose-dive to less than $200...I guarantee it.

Thanks. I stopped at iPhone 4 and iPad2. Perph makers should go BT 4.0 or mUSB w/adapter and be compatible with all platforms from here on out.

vcfan said,
the people who would buy this are the same people who would be looking at an iphone 4 or 4s.

Agreed. Why buy a plastic cheap iPhone when you can get the last gen for cheaper or the same price.

yup,my point being, wouldn't this reduce margins even further and hurt apple? unless its a $200 device,i think that's what it will do.Kinda like what the ipad mini did to ipad margins,and the result being the stock collapsing.

Rob Waldhauser said,
This is beyond fake lol

People said the same about the leaked iPhone 5, iPhone 4, iPhone 3, iPod nano 3rd generation, Apple Keyboard (aluminum), etc. ;-)

The report does, however, note some pixelation around the "iPhone" lettering and Apple logo, hinting that the images may not be legitimate.

I can't believe it's frontpage news.

Ben Buffone said,
The report does, however, note some pixelation around the "iPhone" letting and Apple logo, hinting that the images may not be legitimate.

The pixelation is just .jpg compression artifacts and can be seen everywhere on the image where there's some edge color contrast.

Also polycarbonate doesn't necessarily mean a lower cost product when it comes to Apple

The nexus 4 isn't some cheap "budget" phone with low-grade materials to cut corners to reduce cost. Its a high quality phone with quality parts that just so happens to be available at a low cost.

I am Reid said,
The nexus 4 isn't some cheap "budget" phone with low-grade materials to cut corners to reduce cost. Its a high quality phone with quality parts that just so happens to be available at a low cost.

Yup, androids have always been cheaper...in most cases.

You're quoting something not in the article. At no point does it say the Nexus 4 is a budget phone, it's says it's a cheaper smartphone, which it is.

How is the iPhone not more premium than the Nexus 4. Take away the operating systems and look at the materials alone.

i got a nexus 4. i would consider to buy an iphone due to its stellar hardware. definately not because of the software. so i wonder, do people really want to buy a plastic iphone? wouldnt i get more phone for the money if i bought a plastic samsung android or a nexus? not sure if apple is helping the brand with that move.

Gabe3 said,
.....

Apple needs this to stay relevant in emerging markets with low cost Nokias and locally grown Android phones gobbling up the markets there.

Hahaha!!! So true! I always see advents like the mass purchases of iPhones by the poor as clear indicators that humans are inherently and sadly capitalists.

Gabe3 said,
poor people don't need this, they already buy regular iphones with welfare/unemployment checks.

Ignorant statement by an ignorant poster.
Low-cost does not mean that it's aimed for poor people.

Gabe3 said,
poor people don't need this, they already buy regular iphones with welfare/unemployment checks.

Welfare is one thing. Unemployment... we pay into. Along with social security. You make it sound like its a bad thing. Ignorant.