Purported low-cost iPhone image appears with FCC certification on polycarbonate case

“A new image has emerged claiming to show Apple’s low-cost plastic iPhone in the wild, bearing the required legal notices from the FCC and other agencies,” Kevin Bostic reports for AppleInsider.

“The new image appeared on Chinese site Weibo (via iPhone5skopen) on Friday, and it shows a back view of the supposed “iPhone Lite” in the hand of the photographer,” Bostic reports. “The object seen in the image bears what look like notices and markings from the FCC and assorted other certifications. ”

Bostic reports, “Previous views of the supposed Apple device have shown the casing only with the word iPhone, but not with any certification markings.”

Apple's low-cost iPhone? (image via: iPhone5skopen)
Apple’s low-cost iPhone? (image via: iPhone5skopen)

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Not so fast. Silver foil imprint often looks black depending on what is being reflected. That logo could easily be silver. I am ready to accept that photo as REAL. Not only that, I’d be happy with that plastic shell phone.

      1. You can see color in the reflections on the white of the phone. That’s not silver foil. I’d also question Apple choosing silver foil as an option. And you don’t account for the incorrect logo.
        I don’t doubt there is a low cost phone coming, but I do doubt the validity of that photo.

  1. When are people going to recognize that going low cost is a losers game.

    Look at Amazon’s latest financials, Dell’s drop from relevance, the outright disappear of eMachines and Gateway, the struggles of Motorola, Sony, HTC and others.

    Apple builds the best products and is selling lots of them (more than expected during the June quarter) even though they are premium priced.

    People do not buy on price alone, and the ones that do are just waiting for an even lower price. You don’t want these “customers”. They are the path to insolvency.

    1. I agree that the need to have every single customer, regardless of how much revenue they generate, is not something Apple should pursue.

      The first three companies you mention were built on trying to serve mostly the low end, so they may not be entirely relevant.

      Motorola, Sony, HTC, etc are reliant on someone else’s OS and probably lack most of the revenue streams from users that Apple has (apps, iTunes, iAd, and a share of the monthly bill).

      I think the last point would be the impetus for Apple to do a low cost iPhone. Apple wants to keep amassing users in India, China, etc because they still will spend some money on apps and music, etc, but also so that some fraction will graduate to the regular iPhone.

      The biggest concern is whether using a low cost iPhone to chase that will significantly cannibalize regular iPhone sales.

    2. As Currentinterest mentioned below, “low-cost” doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap”. Even premium or “aspirational” brands like Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes have lower-cost, entry-level products, and are now introducing even less-expensive models. They know their high-end buyers are getting older. If they can hook younger customers on the product and experience earlier, they’ll more likely be customers later when they do have more disposable income.

      Apple is doing the same thing. Get more people hooked on the experience of owning an Apple product, they’ll likely continue to be Apple customers.

      I see no problem with having a less expensive (but not cheap) iPhone.

    3. greggthurman:

      I’ve been saying what you’re saying all along. Apple is at a crossroads. They want to have iOS dominant. To do that, they need to hit those poor countries like India and China where there’s a massive amount of people.

      But they’ve so far tanked in India and other poor countries because the phone is too expensive and Apple’s brand may not be as relevant in those places.

      What’s happened? Apple is currently selling a boatload of older iPhone models. Their profits are down a whopping 28% YOY! That’s $2 billion less profit on the same revenues just 1 year ago! The scary thing here is that it can all come tumbling down very quickly… and why is the iPhone so important to Apple? Because it makes up a massive chunk of their income.

      What I think they need to do is stick with making the best iPhone they know how and do it as cheap as they can, like they have been doing. Having said all of this, I am kinda for a cheaper iPhone as long as they dump their older models. This makes some sense because it’ll run the latest software and push people to buy even more because it’s something “new”. But the margins should still be there.

      I guess we can look at it like the iBook: a cheaper version of the PowerBook.

    1. Yes. It will be the “lower cost” iPhone option. Basically, the replacement for the spot the iPhone 4 currently occupies in the lineup.

      Apple does not do “cheap.”

        1. Yes little chicky, by your definition of “cheap,” the “cheap iPhone” already exists… The iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS before that.

          Apple does not do “cheap.”

  2. How prominent on the back of a white iPhone 5 is the FCC stuff? On my black iPhone 5 it’s really hard to even see that it’s there. I sort of doubt that Apple would let the weight of that text vie for attention the way that photo shows it.

    1. Right you are. I’ve never had an Apple product with the bureaucratic gobbledegook that readable. You usually need a strong light and a magnifying glass to even see it. Unless Apples’ strategy with it is to scream “Hey! Look here! I’m the cheap one!” Somehow I doubt it.

  3. Real picture of a fake iPhone knockoff. Note the mini-usb port. It’s obviously taken at a retail shop in China. Note the sales receipt, counter and other products.

  4. I think apple would be smart for introducing a “lower cost” iPhone. As some of you mentioned, the “lower cost” iPhone IS the iPhone 4. Take this into account, the iPhone 4, as cheaply priced as it now is, costs the same to make. Therefore, Apple is giving them away. I say scrap it, build a more up to date phone with current features (i.e. 4″ screen / hardware) change the housing a bit (materials used) and begin a new revolution!!! Remember, most of you said the iPad mini would never exist either. Open your minds and close your mouths…..

  5. In my opinion, Apple could easily make an affordable iPhone from an alloy – Why the hell can’t they make a cheap iPhone out of the same material as the iPod touch, which retails relatively cheaply? The design of the purported iPhone looks nice, but I really hope that it is some misinformation put out by Apple to throw off the competition. I expect the real cheap iPhone is the exact same design, but is made of an aluminium unibody coming in various colours.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.