Analysts say, don’t be fooled, Apple is indeed coming out with a cheaper iPhone this year. Apple says, don’t trust the rumors, think different. Yet according to one recent leak, both parties are right (and wrong), at the same time.
Reliable sources are telling iLounge that Apple is coming out with a redesigned iPhone this year that shaves off some of the production costs by employing cheaper materials. Quite in line with all the latest rumors.
The site, focused mostly on dishing out information about Apple’s iOS devices, shows images of what it believes is the design of the “budget iPhone 5” coming out this year.
The sources say “it will be made substantially from plastic” and that it won’t just be a Retina-equipped refresh of the iPhone 3G or 3GS with a Lightning connector on top.
It also won’t just look just like an iPhone 5 made of plastic either. Rather, the budget iPhone 5 will be a hybrid between three existing Apple devices – iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, and the iPod classic – the sources say.
The handset is half a millimeter taller and wider, and thicker by one millimeter. It looks pretty much identical to the iPhone 5 when viewed from the front, but dramatically different from the back and sides.
It looks more like the fifth-generation iPod touch and sports a 4-inch display. The buttons, ports, cameras and speaker placement is the same, albeit with a few cosmetic changes (as shown in the photos on the left).
The front glass sticks out a little like with the iPhone 5. The sources say it’s still Gorilla Glass. Apple is cutting costs with the plastic enclosure and, most likely, with the electronics inside which remain to be revealed.
The volume buttons are no longer circular but elongated.
The phone’s curves start and end at flat surfaces. It will not have a swollen (tapered) back like the iPhone 3G/3GS.
The SIM card tray is centered (just like on the iPhone 5) and all of the buttons and ports are sitting comfortably on flat surfaces (not curved edges like on Apple’s iPads).
“The bottom is a hybrid of the iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5G,” reports iLounge.
The phone will boast a headphone port, a Lightning port, a bottom microphone, and one speaker, “roughly the same positions as the iPhone 5’s, but with far fewer holes, similar to the new iPod touch’s bottom design,” the sources say.
Two screw holes are also visible alongside the Lightning port, and the speaker grill is made up of four round holes.
This is pretty much everything the source had to share. It certainly looks plausible, but again, don’t be fooled by the rumors. Even if Apple does end up launching this “budget” phone, it will only be cheap by the company’s own standards.