Nowhereelse.fr shares [Google translation] a pair of photos of what may be the rear shell of Apple’s rumored lower-cost plastic iPhone. While the site acknowledges that the part could simply be a Chinese clone of an iPhone 5 rear shell, certain features such as a round rear microphone hole and rounded rear edges are consistent with previous claims for the lower-cost iPhone, including leaked design drawings from a case maker.
Apple has been said to be planning to release the lower-cost iPhone later this year in an array of colors, with one report claiming that Apple would be using essentially the same colors as found in the company’s line of iPhone 4/4S bumpers, although that report indicated that green appeared to have been excluded from the set. This green rear shell is indeed fairly close in color to the green iPhone bumper.
Update 10:03 PM: Nowhereelse.fr has spotted two more photos showing the same part also in yellow and red.
Last month, J.P. Morgan analysts made their case for why Apple will position its rumored lower-cost iPhone as a “mid-end” device priced in the range of $350-$400 without subsidies, addressing a relatively sparse segment of the market while still maintaining the ability to offer a quality user experience.
Macotakara now points to a pair of reports from the China Times including claims from Pegatron chairman T.H. Tung supporting that notion. Pegatron has been said to be the primary assembler for the lower-cost iPhone, with Foxconn focused on the iPhone 5S.
Rendering of lower-cost iPhone in colors from iPhone 4 bumpers (Source: Macotakara)
According to the first report [Google translation] from the China Times, Tung addressed the iPhone at a meeting of the company’s shareholders, expressing his displeasure with reports referring to the lower-cost iPhone as “cheap” and noting that the “price is still high”. Tung apparently believes that attaching the “cheap” description to the lower-cost iPhone gives the impression of a low-value feature phone rather than the full-featured smartphone it will actually be.
A second report [Google translation] quotes Tung as saying that Pegatron’s factories remain busy with nonstop production. The company has been reported to be undertaking a significant expansion of its workforce for the second half of this year, presumably to support production of the lower-cost iPhone. China Times indicates that Pegatron is ramping up for shipments of 13-15 million units of the device during the third quarter.
Apple’s lower-cost iPhone is expected to launch around the same time as the iPhone 5S, with September being the most commonly cited timeframe. The lower-cost iPhone is said to be very similar to the iPhone 5/5S but with a slightly thicker plastic shell that will be available in a number of colors.
Following yesterday’s photos of a case said to be based on the expected design for Apple’s lower-cost iPhone, AppleInsider now shares design drawings from a case maker showing expectations for the exact dimensions and profiles of the both the lower-cost iPhone and the iPhone 5S.
Unsurprisingly, the dimensions of the iPhone 5S are nearly identical to those of the iPhone 5, with case makers also apparently expecting the same layout and size of the physical features.