Apple’s low-cost ‘iPhone ‘5C’ may feature 8-megapixel camera

“Apple’s upcoming low-cost iPhone, perhaps called the iPhone ‘5C,’ may come equipped with the same 8-megapixel sapphire crystal-covered camera found in the iPhone 5, reports Chinese site IT168,” Juli Clover reports for MacRumors.

“The site has shared an image of what is claimed to be the iPhone 5C camera module, which appears similar to the existing iPhone 5 camera module,” Clover reports. “While the low-cost iPhone will potentially incorporate the 8-megapixel camera of the iPhone 5, Apple’s iPhone 5S is expected to get an upgraded 12-megapixel camera that will offer improved low light photography.”

Clover reports, “Though the 5C is labeled as the low-cost iPhone, it appears that it will share other characteristics with Apple’s existing iPhone 5 and upcoming iPhone 5S, offering some of the same components in a cheaper polycarbonate shell.”

More info and photo in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

17 Comments

  1. Androids definition of cheap: crappy quality, crappy components, crappy specs, basically junk

    Apples definition of cheap: high quality manufacturing, components from the previous year’s high end model, great specs at an affordable price

    1. I would assume that the plastic shell also cuts down on the cost of labor, not just on the cost of materials. (Not to mention take care of the many production errors the iPhone 5 suffered from.) But I agree, I don’t see how the iPhone 5C will be significantly cheaper than the existing iPhone 5 or forthcoming iPhone 5S.

      It stands to reason that, although many of the features and specs of the iPhone 5 will be carried over to the iPhone 5C, other components will likely be from iPhone 4S or other lower-cost alternatives. That’s the only way to really keep the price low enough for this to even be worth Apple’s time.

      1. A unibody plastic shell for the rear (if the leaked images are real) might mean fewer parts to assemble. And that might mean less time spent on assembly per unit. Which might mean more units produced per hour. Which would mean less money spent on labor per unit?

          1. If I remember well, it has been established that, out of about $190 that is the price of the iPhone components, some $8 was the cost of labour. Even if it is halved, it still only reduces the final price of the device by $4.

            There must be some cheaper components in there that make it less expensive (and faster) to make. In order for Apple to sustain the gross profit margin rates they enjoyed with current and past models, the parts/components/labour cost will have to go below $140, otherwise the retail price cannot go below $400.

        1. Assembly labor cost estimates i’ve seen are between $12 and $30 per phone. Not a significant saving. However, if the new version can be assembled with robots, cost could be reduced to between $2 and $5. Need to get saving in display and case materials costs Believe the display is the most expensive component.

          1. Designing an iPhone specifically for automated assembly could reduce costs and also make it possible to manufacture them in larger quantities and in multiple locations.

            While the labour costs are not an immense part of the cost of an iPhone, the requirement for cheap labour means that there are few places where those iPhones can be assembled. Reduce the requirement for a large workforce and you increase the possibilities of operating multiple assembly locations around the world.

            My hunch is that Apple is planning to build iPhones in unprecedented numbers and not to be reliant on just one company or country to assemble them.

    2. I would say Apple is more going for pereception of lower cost and will have a lower GPM. Still a quality phone that may lack some new “features” from the premium iphone.

  2. Gotta worry that 8 MP must be getting awfully close to the diffraction limit of a small lens. I do hope they focus on sensor quality and dynamic range after this–it’s really much more important than pixel count.

  3. If the iPhone 5S gets upgraded to a low light camera, I will be in line to replace mine. This has been my only disappointment with my iOS devices. Apple should have fixed this long ago. I assume that it only took a TV ad about someone else’s smart phone’s low light pictures to get that added to the features.

    Tim, Apple leads so don’t start following on the simple stuff. Be first and be best!

  4. The “C” stands for China. Lol For all the naysayers, this is long overdo. Instead of selling last-year’s, still-expensive to produce, made to be the high-end iPhone for $0 with a two year contract, they can give bargin shoppers a phone that was designed to be a bargin from the befinning, and they will probably get a better margin. And it will make all you idiots who think you’re a high roller just becuase you have the latest phone that much more delusionally blissful. Win-win.

  5. If the (still vaporware) “iPhone 5c” does come to pass odds are some of the components will be less expensive, quite possibly employing parts used by previous models – including the camera; little or no R&D, fast ramp-up without the expense.

    With respect to pricing, Apple’s already shown a willingness to sacrifice margins (ostensibly for higher volume and/or to address competition) with the iPad Mini. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see both lower retails and lower margins if the iPhone 5c materializes.

  6. I believe the internals of the 5C will be nearly identical to that of the current iPhone 5. A year of mass production will bring down the cost of component parts, plus the lack of metal, the chamfered edge, and external antenna should also reduce the price. There will likely be other savings in process and packaging. If they could sell an iPhone 5 for $99 when the 5S is launched, they will definitely be able to sell the 16GB 5C for $99 ($429 no contract) and the 8GB 5C of $0 ($349 no contract).

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