Possible Photos of Plastic Rear Shell from Apple’s Lower-Cost iPhone [Updated]

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.

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iOS 7 Beta 3 Reportedly Coming on Monday, July 8

BGR reports that Apple is planning to release the third beta version of iOS 7 to its carrier ios_7_icon-250x249partners on Monday, July 8, with seeding to registered developers expected on the same day.

BGR has been informed by trusted sources that iOS 7 beta 3 is currently scheduled to be made available to carriers for testing on July 8th. These are the same sources who accurately foretold the release timing of Apple’s last iOS 7 beta, and just like iOS 7 beta 2, it is likely that the new software will be released to developers on the same day it reaches carriers.

A July 8 release for the third beta would come two weeks after the release of the second beta, which occurred on Monday of this week. That release came two weeks after Apple rolled out the initial beta version of iOS 7 at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

In iOS 6 beta testing last year, Apple used a similar two-week interval between the first and second releases, but then moved to three-week intervals for the third and fourth beta versions.

If a July 8 release for beta 3 is accurate, Apple may be moving to a more rapid seeding schedule to keep developers updated on the numerous changes included in iOS 7. The upcoming operating system represents the most significant visual change to iOS since its debut in 2007, and Apple is said to still be refining many of the design elements as it

Google Working on Game Console to Compete with Future Apple Gaming Threat

According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google has an Android-based video game console and smart watch in the works in order to compete with products the company expects Apple to produce in the future.

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Reeder for iPhone goes free for now, gets Google Reader alternatives soon

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Silvio Rizzi made the iPad and Mac versions of Reeder free to use in the wake of Google’s plans to shut down Google Reader, but he left the iPhone app at its usual $3 price — and its fate in the air. Existing users can now rest easy, as Rizzi has pledged ongoing support for the smaller screen. The current edition of Reeder for iPhone is now free to use, and an already-submitted 3.2 update will bring support for alternative news services like Feedbin, Feedly, Feed Wrangler and Fever. Anyone using the iPad and Mac editions will have to be patient, however. Both apps will eventually get the additional news sources, but Rizzi is taking down the existing releases on July 1st to minimize confusion while he works on updates.

Foxconn Announces iPhone-Compatible Smart Wristband

Foxconn has announced a new smart wristband that can measure vital signs like respiration and heartbeat, and also check phone calls and Facebook posts, according to a report from the Want China Times.

Terry Gou, the head of Hon Hai Precision Industry — the name of Foxconn’s parent company — said the company’s research groups are looking to add fingerprint identification to the product as well. The device can make suggestions to the wearer on ways to improve their health if vital signs are out of the optimal range.

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Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou said his company’s wireless communications and medical research groups also plan to add new features such as fingerprint identification to the gadget in the future, to help record personal health data.

“With such a device, you can keep your phone in your pocket and simply check all kinds of messages on your watch,” Gou told shareholders.

Wearable computers are a quickly developing market, with devices like the Nike FuelBand — which Tim Cook wears — and the Fitbit Flex wristband making inroads with consumers, while prototype devices like Google Glass have captured the attention of tech-savvy types.

Apple is actively developing wearable devices, including a smart watch with a curved glass screen. It’s been reported that Apple has a team of 100 working on its smart watch project, and that the device’s development has moved beyond the experimental phase.

Apple’s New TV Effort May Kick Off This Fall with Focus on Third-Party Apps

TechCrunch‘s MG Siegler reports that Apple indeed appears to be moving closer to making a major push into television, perhaps leveraging the existing iOS-based Apple TV to pursue gaming as a focus point for the initiative.

Xbox founding engineer Nat Brown had noted earlier this week that he believes Apple could destroy the traditional console gaming business by opening up the Apple TV platform to third-party apps, and Valve founder Gabe Newell had expressed similar sentiments several weeks earlier.

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Apple Thunderbolt Display Supplies Again Running Low at Third-Party Resellers

Inventories of the Apple Thunderbolt Display are dwindling at some third-party resellers, according to a report from MacTrast. The site spoke to a number of retailers including MicroCenter, Fry’s, CDW, Best Buy, MacConnection, and others.

Several stores said they had limited stock, while a number more said they were backordered or otherwise completely out of stock. One retailer, Adorama, went further, saying the Thunderbolt Display was “no longer available”.

MacTrast called their customer support line and were told that “the manufacturer is no longer allowing us to order new inventory for this item, and it has been removed from our system”.

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Shortages of products at third-party resellers can occasionally be an indicator of a future refresh or discontinuation, but for a low-volume product like the Apple Thunderbolt Display, we can get mixed messages.

For example, this past January, AppleInsider reported similar shortages of the Thunderbolt Display at third-party resellers, but 6 months later, there is no replacement for it.

Regardless, redesigned Thunderbolt displays are expected at some point, perhaps alongside the new Mac Pro which is expected later this year. Potential features for a revamp include Retina capabilities, support for Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, and the MagSafe 2 connector that was introduced last year. The display may also be redesigned with the thinner profile and new display assembly process that Apple introduced with the new iMac late last year.