While we can’t say for sure that rumors of a MacBook-style glowing logo in the iPhone 6 are false, the evidence for this idea is rather … ah … thin.

We first saw photos of what appears to be an ultra-thin rear casing more than a month ago, with some sites then claiming this would facilitate a light-up logo. A new claimed leaked photo is doing the rounds today apparently showing a cut-out logo aperture with a plastic backing thin enough to allow light to shine though.

Those images fuelled speculation that the logo would light up when new mails, SMS messages or updates arrived, allowing owners to put their handset on its front and still be made aware of people contacting them. Today our snaps, which we worked with leaks-world lynchpin Sonny Dickson to source, could offer conclusive proof that this is indeed the case.

Possible? Sure. Conclusive proof? Um, no. Exhibit A, the logo cutout on the iPad:


The reason the logo is cut out in this way is that while people love metal casings, radio signals don’t. Apple positions the wifi antennas behind the plastic logo to allow the radio signals to pass easily through.

On the iPhone 5s, Apple allows GSM, LTE, Bluetooth and wifi signals to pass through the casing by topping-and-tailing the metal rear casing with glass sections:


With the iPhone 6 visuals we’ve seen, there are breaks in the metal casing which are likely to be for radio signals, but they are much thinner than the end-caps on the 5s.


Positioning some of the antennas behind a plastic logo would be one way to make that work.

We’re not saying a glowing logo on the iPhone 6 is impossible, just that we certainly haven’t seen anything close to proof.

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14 Responses to “Light-up logo rumors for iPhone 6 likely have a more mundane explanation”

  1. Same rumor as every year :D


  2. A while back, I emailed Apple and told them it was rather stupid to light up 727,400 LEDs for a simple notification, when one LED would’ve worked. While using the flash was their response, it seems a bit overkill, especially when I’m on the bus or train and I get a notification, people think I’m taking a picture of them.


    • rgbfoundry says:

      And when a lot of car alarms use their horn as activation/deactivation feedback, I think someone’s honking at me. That’s annoying, too. That’s probably a common problem when long-time single purpose devices become multi-purpose.


  3. rgbfoundry says:

    Yea, I could see it lighting up as a nifty indicator for something like NFC activity. It’s probably nothing.


  4. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Aside from being a clever gimmick, I wonder how many people would care that the back of the phone has a glowing logo.


  5. Its amazing how so many “sources” of information have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about, and pass off misinformation as fact. Thank you Ben.

    Its very simple, the top and bottom edges of the phone act as the cellular antenna. However Wifi/Bluetooth/GPS radios are still inside the metal casing, and will be positioned behind the Apple logo for penetration. The “antenna gaps” are not gaps for radio penetration, they are for the engineering of the integrated cellular antenna (and also aesthetics, to dress up a functional engineering design). They are not even close to wide enough for a good wifi signal to pass through.


  6. It’s hilarious to me that people think the Apple logo lighting up for aesthetic and/or notification purposes, would be a good idea. It would be an absolutely horrifically terrible idea. Apple would never do that, ever. The reason it lights up on a MacBook is because it actually looks good against the aluminum which isn’t colored, and because it is simply lit from the display being on. Apple would never have lit that if it took additional energy to do so. It would also look awful against the space gray and gold colors of an iPhone.

    There would also be no way to do the same with an iPhone, you’d have to put an LED in there, and it would have to use additional energy. Also, the overwhelming majority of people, use cases, and granted a lot of them have a cutout so you can see the Apple logo, virtually none of them would be thin enough for you to see it light up at any kind of angle. It again doesn’t make sense because it can both vibrate or make a sound to notify you… Why in the hell would anyone need it to annoyingly light up as well? There’s a reason the LED notification is in accessibility (hint: it’s for the deaf/hearing impaired).

    End of the day it’s just one of the worst ideas ever.


    • It always cracks me up how in every one of these Apple blogs there is always one EMOTIONAL asshole that thinks he knows better than the engineers that get paid MILLIONS of dollars to design the same device WE ALL fawn over EVERY YEAR. Dude, if Apple wants to put a light up logo in the back… its not impossible. If you don’t want it… don’t buy it.


  7. Could have a NFC chip behind it? That way people will know where to touch, just an idea.


  8. And a glowing Apple logo on an iPhone would also serve as a beacon for any thief within several 100 yards that a person had a valuable phone.