As yet more “budget iPhone” rear shells leak, are we being fooled in to believing in a mythical product?

iphone-plastic-shells-colorsAbove is an image of yet more brightly colored plastic shells claiming to be the rear cover of the rumored ‘budget iPhone’, ‘iPhone Lite’ or whatever you want to call it. Like many other leaks it shows little new. It’s the same colors. But with very poor photography. I can’t tell if the top right corner image is white (with terrible white balance on camera) or gray. Regardless, that’s unimportant at this stage.

What is important is one key consideration: All this could just be nonsense.

Despite the huge number of leaks we’ve seen, even ones with supposedly fully-assembled bodies, there’s still a good chance that none of these parts come direct from Apple’s supply chain. The one thing that’s really bothered me this entire time is that none of the rear shells seem to have any physical buttons on them. No volume or power/lock buttons, and no mute switch. Simply, holes where they should be.

There’s been plenty of time since the original mockups and rumors of the low-cost iPhone emerged. More than enough for some crafty DIYers and attention seekers to create their own models of the plastic rear shell.

Granted, some of them are very good quality leaks. But for someone with the right skill-set, it’s definitely doable. For instance, the “fully assembled” image could simply be one of the mocked-up rear shells stuck on to the display unit and front panel from an iPhone 5 or iPod touch (below).

Screen-Shot-2013-07-06-at-15.40.32Now, I’m not saying Apple will never release a lower-cost plastic iPhone. Apple could, and I don’t believe there’s nothing at all to these rumors. There’s no smoke without fire. So many rumors have surfaced from a variety of sources across the globe with information on the budget model that it’s very difficult to dismiss. It’s not like the Apple TV set with crazy “iRing” controller that came from only one analyst’s night terrors. There is definitely something to these rumors. But what if it’s simply evidence of Apple testing the idea?

Think of it this way: None of the plastic shells seen so far have been finished. They all show holes where buttons should be. So, Apple could be prototyping it for an idea of how it’s going to look and feel. That said, Apple doesn’t prototype in the same was as other companies. It spends considerable amounts of money building fully-functioning models (like the iPhone 4 that showed up in a bar in 2010).

What I really mean to say is: don’t let’s get our hopes up that this wallet-friendly iPhone is coming this year. It might not. And until Apple unveils it on stage, we won’t know for certain either way.

Image via: @SonnyDickson



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  • DrewPage

    I totally agree Cam.  I’ve been very uneasy about these rumors.  It would be very un-Apple like to release a phone like this.  It might be very cool, yes, I remain skeptical.  Within the bowels of Apple’s R&D labs, I am sure there are many examples of products they are thinking about, including a low cost iPhone.  However, how would they make money on one?  Are emerging markets clamoring for an iPhone they can afford?  Surely U.S. and European users aren’t looking for such a creation.

  • KarlaAgno

    it’s true there’s a budget iphone coming out. my friend who works for an online shop in the uae confirmed it. they already pre-ordered them.

  • TiP_Cam

    @DrewPage Valid questions. Both of them. There’s certainly a gap in the emerging markets. But, I can’t think of a single Apple product that’s been released with a specific market in mind, especially one outside the States (Europe).

  • TiP_Cam

    @KarlaAgno I may need a little more to go on than “my friend who works for an online shop”. Feel free to email me any evidence to cam[at]todaysiphone[dot]com. Certainly interesting though, if it’s true.

  • KEVOzWorld

    After seeing a million leaks of the skinny and long iPhone 5, not believing it, and then seeing that all of the leaks were 100% true, I don’t know what to think anymore.