High-quality video and photos reveal what Apple’s polycarbonate iPhone will look like

“Over the past several weeks, a number of leaks about Apple’s rumored lower-cost plastic iPhone have surfaced, including design drawings from a case maker and photos of alleged rear shells in a number of bright colors,” Eric Slivka reports for MacRumors.

“Based on these leaks, earlier this week we released our own high-resolution renderings showing what the device might look like in its entirety,” Slivka reports. “Techdy now reports that it has gotten its hands on what it believes to be legitimate front and rear parts for this lower-cost plastic iPhone, offering the first good look at how the device will appear fully assembled.”

Slivka reports, “Physical features on the device appear to be as expected, although the rear shell has only pinholes where the power and volume buttons and SIM card slot should be, suggesting that the leaked shell had not yet had holes for those features punched out during production.”

The Budget iPhone from TakeMovi on Vimeo.

Read more in the full article here.

105 Comments

    1. No, it’s Vimeo, idiot. Uninstall Flash from your computer or use an iPad (since you hate Flash so much) – and this video and every other one from Vimeo will play without it.

            1. FUCK YOU TOO!

              Many of us do not appreciate your SERIAL SANCTIMONIOUS PREACHINGS on MDN. This is not the church of liberal political correctness or a graduate course for Miss Manners. You don’t tell strangers what to say OR how to behave! EVER! Got it? I think not.

              You never comment on the substance of the tech articles. You only hassle and politely bully posters who use colorful language and offer their RAW opinion that you don’t agree with. Well, here in the good old USA we have freedom of speech. You don’t like it, ooohhh, too bad.

              Our personal freedoms do not require CONFORMING to your standards and your certainly not our parents. STFU!

            2. So, if I understand you correctly, you have freedom of speech but I don’t; only those who can’t be polite and respectful get to say what is on their mind and have no RESPONSIBILITY to others or themselves to be accountable for what they say. Do you not see a double standard?

            3. There is no double standard in the Wild West that is the Internet. There is only who has the fastest draw, the most arresting language, the most decisive intimidation tactics, the final and most acidic rejoinder in what ends as an empty victory for an imaginary opponent in a virtual world where achievement points accumulate to a big fat zero.

            4. “Many of us do not appreciate your SERIAL SANCTIMONIOUS PREACHINGS on MDN. This is not the church of liberal political correctness or a graduate course for Miss Manners.”

              This has nothing to do with “liberal”. You think uber-conservative evangelicals are saying “fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck”?

            5. “This has nothing to do with “liberal”.”

              Really? Political correctness IS a liberal invention. Look it up. Threat to free speech and no better example than Paula Deen. Rappers record the same words everyday and make millions off of it. Paula’s lifelong career is destroyed in mere minutes for the same mention years ago. Rappers hide behind the First Amendment, what, because your artists? Paula does not deserve the SAME PROTECTION because she is an artistic chef and her microphone is in a kitchen and not on a stage? What a fucking joke! Nice to see the same standards applied equally to everyone.

              Earth to ACLU — when are you going to defend Paula? Oh, that’s right, she is the wrong color. Double standard grande!

              As to the second part of your comment which has nothing to do with my comment — I have never met a ‘conservative evangelical’ — no reference, no comment.

            6. I know you must realise this 13, but people do not want to be told to mind their manners.

              The Internet is a powerful amplifier for their suppressed rage over a lifetime of hurt. I believe it serves a valuable therapeutic purpose for them. I know it does that for me.

              Foul language and name-calling are natural expressions of extreme feelings. On one level, I admire your quixotic crusade to rein them in, but you must realise at the deeper instinctual level they can never be subjugated.

        1. Sorry, I got carried away. I guess I had a case of “There’s someone wrong on the Internet” rage. It just bugged me because Vimeo does video so well, that they “just work” no matter what device you are on, even without Flash at all – yet he complained about it anyway. I’ll try to be more gentle and informative next time.

    2. Um… I’m laughing my butt off right now. I think this points out how contentious we allow ourselves to be around here. Not that I mind. This place has that reputation and can be fun for that purpose. But reading through this rant war that started as a complaint about Flash is, IMHO a human comedy. Someone please put this into a theatre piece.

      Hannah? Up for the task? 😀

      1. Theatre? If I tried it the crew would make mincemeat of me. Some days, it seems as though every comment is coming from the de Niro character in Taxi Driver (You talkin’ to me?)

        Sometimes I think of this as a playground. You go out there and risk the occasional bruise because by and large, play is fun. Part of the fun is playing tricks on the bully.

        Other times it becomes the Roman Senate. Your big chance at mass excoriation comes as you ascend to the podium. The catcalls are annoying, but you suffer them with what you hope is perceived as grace, even as you inwardly curse democracy for giving voice to fools.

        On the best days, it’s an online course. You learn something about technology and business beyond what has filtered down into an academic syllabus.

        Most days, it’s “Forget it, Jake. It’s the Internet.”

    1. …I’m an Apple troll. I have no clue about their product’s capabilities and I routinely sound like an idiot when I post something in comments.

      1. “It didn’t run on Safari for me either.” This is the second time you pimped Chrome. Fine. If you prefer Google I couldn’t care less. What I do care about is your misinformation post that it does not work on Safari and Chrome is superior. Take a hike, troll.

    2. I’m on an iPhone 4S, 3 out of 5 bars on AT&T 4G network and the video works just fine.

      Actually, since MDN optimized vids away from Flash on iDevices years ago never had a problem.

      Bottom line: I don’t believe you.

    1. No, those specs are for the “Basic Bear”….apparently designed based off this budget iPhone. In other words, they’ve ripped off a phone that doesn’t officially exist yet. Either way, I found the video obnoxious enough to be wholly unbelievable.

    2. Glad you pointed that out, I stopped watching way before the 3min mark.

      How deluded would you have to be to think Apple would ever let a product of theirs run anything by MSFT or Android?

  1. Yeah, I don’t understand why MDN continues to include links to flash stuff, usually not even mentioning it. It’s annoying. I do probably 90% of my web browsing on my iOS devices. In this case, there’ll probably be static photos Monday of these parts anyway. I’ll wait.

      1. We’re Sorry
        This content requires Adobe Flash Player, which is not supported by your device. This content can be viewed on a desktop computer or on mobile devices that support Flash Player.
        Explain this then!

    1. Even Apples’ plastic is better than Samdungs.

      No joke! Not all plastics are the same. Plastic can be made to be quite nice as long as you don’t skimp on its thickness and additives that improve durability.

      1. “Even Apples’ plastic is better than Samdungs.” That’s the most unbelievable statement I’ve seen here in a long time. You have no idea what type or quality of plastic Apple might possibly use yet you are already bragging how it is better than anyone else’s plastic. Ridiculous! Getting those excuses ready ahead of time? When Apple announces its new plastic phone you can claim that you knew it all along and they have superior plastic!

  2. If this exists, it makes sense at this point in time. But not as the so-called “low-cost iPhone.”

    This iPhone would be the ideal replacement for the “FREE with two-year contract” choice in the iPhone line-up. That iPhone is currently the old iPhone 4, and it would be the iPhone 4S in the next line-up, if Apple followed its previous course.

    But keeping the iPhone 4S around is a problem, because it has a 3.5-inch display and the old dock connector. Due to the release of iOS 7, Apple probably wants to consolidate on the 4-inch (or larger) screen for new iOS devices as soon as possible. Even the low-end iPod touch was just replaced with a 4-inch screen model. How would it look if the low-end iPhone choice still had 3.5-inch screen? And the Lightning connector needs to be there.

    So, in the next iPhone line-up, the new iPhone “5S” (or whatever it’s called) is at $199 (and up), the current iPhone 5 (16GB model) is at $99, and this new “lower” cost model is at $0. It could simply be the current iPhone 5 at 8GB in a plastic shell, maybe with an A5 instead of an A6 (if that’s something that can be swapped without a lot of re-engineering).

    Like the current iPhone 4 when purchased with no contract, it will probably cost at least $450. And that is NOT a “low-cost” iPhone.

    1. All good points. I wonder if the polycarbonate will be 3G or LTE. I’d guess the latter, which would also be an advantage over the 4 and 4S.

      There will be a segue to the 5 being the intermediate cost phone and the 4 and 4S phased out for this “higher margin” phone.

      1. Good point about the LTE versus 3G. Another good reason for Apple to alter it’s current practice of keeping the last TWO generations of iPhone in the lineup as the “lower” cost but still subsidized choices.

        Perhaps another way to think of it is as the current iPod touch with phone parts. Then, it would be an A5 device, and if the newest iPhone has an “A7” (or a more advanced version of the A6), that would provide good product differentiation between the three choices, A7-A6-A5 (like the current A6-A5-A4).

        And I think there may be another phone in the works that is the ACTUAL “cheap” (low-cost) Apple phone (that ACTUALLY costs less than $200 retail with no contract), that Apple will use to expand its mobile phone market to customer who previously did not consider getting an iPhone. The iPhone described in this article (if it exists), if it has a 4-inch screen and runs iOS 7, is clearly the replacement for the “FREE with two-year contract choice” and the continuation of the existing (subsidized) practice.

        1. The cheap iPhone will be here in September. It will be just that, the new entry-level iPhone. I’m guessing they will phase out the 4 and 4S as quickly as possible. The iPhone 5 S will probably be introduced at the same time. It will be the upscale iPhone. Then they will have two iPhones available for the consumer. Hopefully by spring they will introduce the larger iPhone (its coming). It will be the top-of-the-line iPhone. So by this time next year you should have the soon to be introduced cheaper iPhone, 5S and the larger iPhone available at your local Apple retail store. Then Apple can own a larger part of the smart phone market. See more revenue. Which results in more profit. Because remember, Apple keeps their margins as high as possible. Unlike Samsung. They will have three iPhones at three price points. Something for everyone. And no, they won’t scrape the bottom of the barrel for the $49 phone market. But they do want to get all the sales that they can. So as long as they can deliver a great product and make money on it, they will do just that. And I don’t care if the new phones are made of wood, I’m only interested in how well it works. It’s why I own iPhones. Mac Pros. Mac Minis. IPads. iPods. iMacs. MacBook Pros. AppleTV. And on and on and on. Do I care how they look? mmmmmm yeah, sure. But only for a second or two. I didn’t buy them to admire them or brag about the company that manufactured them as though it’s my company. I bought them because they work nearly perfectly every time. And I use them to make a living. So I have to make a good choice. Apple makes the best. Always has. Well, they stumble once in a while. But not often. They’ll have me as a lifetime user unless they really shoot themselves in the foot. I’m locked in. No fanboy, just a real person. An admirer and someone who appreciates a company that strives for perfection. If they screw up I’ll say so. But that isn’t very often. After all, they did get rid of Browett rather quickly. So I don’t care if it’s made out of plastic. What the hell is wrong with plastic anyway? Someone out there too good to have an iPhone with a plastic body? That’s silly. If they can capture a bigger section of the market by using plastic that’s great. I also don’t care if Samsung or a competitor has some exotic material (liquid metal) in the manufacturing of their phones. I don’t want one. It’s what’s inside that matters.

          1. Wow… Is the Return key not working on your keyboard? 🙂

            I agree this new iPhone (if it exists) is the “new entry-level iPhone” (as you described it yourself). And I think that’s a great move, because the current iPhone 4S would make for a bad “FREE with two-year contract” model in the next lineup. There is absolutely nothing wrong with colored plastic, if on the inside, it is the equivalent of an 8GB iPhone 5 or iPod touch with phone parts. And it will make as much profit per unit as the latest iPhone model, due to the subsidy. Awesome…

            But it’s not a “cheap” iPhone. Not by a long shot. Any iPhone that has a 4-inch Retina display and is powerful enough to run iOS 7 smoothly will cost at least $400 retail. The equivalent iPod touch (with camera on both sides) costs $300 retail, without any of the parts needed to make it a phone. The current old A4-based iPhone 4 retails for $450 with no contract, and the iPhone 4S retails for $550. $400+ for a phone is by definition, NOT “cheap.”

            A “cheap” iPhone, if it’s going to make a significant difference in Apple’s participation in the mobile phone market, needs to retail for less than $200. THAT would be a TRUE “cheap iPhone,” but it won’t actually be an iPhone. It will be a highly desirable Apple phone that is intentionally NOT an iPhone (in the eyes of the consumer), using Apple’s highly-developed skill of product differentiation, just as an iPod nano is highly desirable, but it’s intentionally and obviously NOT an iPod touch.

            $199 would still be a tough sell for the budget-minded, but with such an Apple phone, the wireless carrier could sell it subsidized as “FREE with two-year contract” and offer it bundled with a $25 (maybe even $19.99) per month plan. The lowest current “official” iPhone plan costs at least $70 per month.

            And THAT is the “cheap iPhone.” It may be called “iPhone something,” but it won’t be a REAL iPhone.

            1. It isn’t a world-class rant unless the return key is forgotten in the rush to inject long-absent sanity into the discussion before it is too late, or before the writer forgets the substance of what he intended to say before forgetting

            2. Yes, yes it will be an iPhone. A cheap iPhone. You seem to have some sort of a mental block about that. It’s irrational and illogical. That means it doesn’t make sense.

    2. Yeah, yeah it exists alright. And it is the low-cost iPhone. The cheap iPhone. It’s just semantics. Don’t worry about what they call it. You don’t own Apple. You aren’t making the phones. They have a fair idea of what they are doing. And yes, of course they will phase out the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4 S when appropriate. That’s blatantly obvious. To everyone. The cheap iPhone will be here soon. Probably September.

  3. MDN, what is your intention to post this article?. Everyone knows this is not Apple’s ad obviously. Don’t tell us Samsung paid you to bash Apple again, ok. :).

  4. While I’ve not bothered watching it, the video shows as a Vimeo version on my iPad. As far as being plastic is concerned, I vividly remember when the iPhone 4 was about to be introduced, the number of iP3G/3Gs users bitching about how it wouldn’t be as nice to hold as their nice curvy plastic phones.
    Now that it looks possible that Apple might produce a low-cost plastic, curvy iPhone, people are bitching about it.
    Oh the ironing…

  5. Video works well on my iPhone and iPad. If they sell these things for $329 with no contract, they will indeed sell many millions of these phones. That price combined with installment plans for developing economies will be huge for Apple. I, for one, am glad they are bringing the Apple ecosystem to more people.

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