Plastic iPhone Stories September 3, 2013

5c1

Update: A bunch more cases have been added below.

Evleaks, a source with an excellent reputation for reliability, has tweeted two photos of aftermarket iPhone 5C cases, together with a very specific shipping date: 8am on 20th September.

It’s widely expected that Apple will announce the 5C (along with the iPhone 5S) on 10th September, and that it will go on sale on the 20th. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have blocked employee vacations around this date.

The photos as posted were rather small – we’ve enlarged them to give a better look …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories August 16, 2013

Photo: news.cn

Photo of Beijing Apple Store: news.cn

Apple appears to be preparing for increased focus on the Chinese market, with more than 200 (mostly) senior job openings appearing on LinkedIn, reports the WSJ. Some of these were added in the past three weeks, many within the last few days. Digitimes reported yesterday on Apple also seeking senior engineers in Taiwan.

With the developed market close to saturation point, the BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are key to Apple’s future expansion. Worldwide, smartphones represent only just over half of the total cellphone market, generating massive potential for future growth.

Apple’s challenge in China is as much a political one as it is marketing-based …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories August 13, 2013

Image: tested.com

Image: tested.com

One of the big question marks around the iPhone 5C – the rumored name for the mid-market plastic iPhone – is how Apple will prevent the lower-cost phone cannibalizing sales of the iPhone 5 and 5S.

One possibility is to limit sales of the 5C to emerging markets. Apple could make it available in India and China, where price is a much bigger barrier to iPhone acquisition, and withhold it from North America and Europe. That would make a great deal of sense, but is extremely unlikely and an approach Apple has ever taken before.

Analyst Gene Munster has another theory, though one just as unlikely: that the 5C will omit a key feature of present-generation iPhones: Siri.

Additionally, we believe that Apple may exclude some software features, such as Siri, which we note was not an option on the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 upon launch …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories August 12, 2013

Photo: vr-zone.net

Photo: vr-zone.net

Apple supplier Pegatron is forecasting up to a 50 percent growth in its Q3 revenues despite its PC business continuing to decline, with the bulk of this growth likely to come from the iPhone, reports ReutersPegatron made the announcement after failing to hit analyst expectations in Q2.

“We expect revenue in the non-computing segment to grow by 40 to 50 percent in Q3 due to new consumer products. Q4 will also be higher,” said company CEO and President Jason Cheng in an investor conference.

Pegatron has been pretty much confirmed as making the iPhone 5C – the plastic iPhone – with some Digitimes-based rumors suggesting it may also be a secondary supplier for the 5S, whose production is being led by Foxconn. Both handsets are expected to be announced by Apple on 10th September …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories August 6, 2013

china

New figures from analysts Canalys show that the iPhone fell from 5th to 7th place in its Chinese market share in the last quarter, being overtaken by local companies Huawei and Xiaomi. Apple now has 4.8 percent of the smartphone market in China …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories July 29, 2013

low-cost-iphone-concept-03

The report on working conditions at Chinese iPhone manufacturer Pegatron appears to confirm that the low-cost iPhone does indeed exist, is plastic and is not yet in mass production.

The introduction to the report (PDF), which provides a background to Pegatron, contains this statement:

Its assembled products include iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and low-priced plastic iPhones

A day-in-the-life report on page 27 of the report states:

Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories July 26, 2013

Photo: ibtimes.com

Photo: ibtimes.com

The latest numbers from IDCABI and Strategy Analytics (the latter not yet online) paint an interesting picture of where the smartphone business currently stands, and where the iPhone sits within it.

The overall picture for smartphones is, of course, strong. IDC reports:

In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 237.9 million units in 2Q13 compared to the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12. This represents 52.3% year-over-year-growth, the highest annual growth rate in five quarters. Second quarter shipments were up 10.0% when compared to the 216.3 million units shipped in 1Q13.

While ABI pegged the year-on-year growth at a significantly lower 44 percent, it’s clear that much of the traditional featurephone market is switching to smartphones.

The high-end also remains strong, with both the iPhone and Samsung S4 outpacing the smartphone market as a whole, though both sets of figures show iPhone growth at a long-time low …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories July 24, 2013

Michael Kukielka, otherwise known as the DetroitBorg, posted the excellent video above showcasing one of the plastic iPhone shells that has been leaking all over the web like crazy. Besides the focus on the thinner ‘iPhone’ font on the back, we’re not seeing too much in the way of new stuff here, but it is nice to see the comparison, especially with the iPod touch and the plastic iPhone 3GS (which was alluded to many months ago).

Check out our gallery of 10 different color options for the plastic iPhone here.

I have a feeling that these things, especially at a reduced price, are going to be very popular with the mid-tier set. Thanks Niels!

(Update: A similar video from TechExamined below) expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories July 12, 2013

plastic

Choosing a phone is pretty simple if you’re the kind of person who wants the latest & greatest handset and has the budget to pay for it. Even if you’re not sure what platform you want, you’re essentially choosing between a handful of flagship products and are currently likely to walk away with an iPhone 5Samsung S4 or HTC One.

There isn’t too much head-scratching at the bottom end of the market either: buyers there don’t care about the handset, and take whatever freebie their carrier pushes at them.

But the mid-market is where life gets complicated. You care enough about your handset to want something decent, both in specs and design, but you don’t want to take out a mortgage to buy it. It’s this market that is going to get incredibly colorful this fall …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories July 11, 2013

Plastic iPhone Stories July 10, 2013

More leaked photos & concept of purported plastic iPhone shells in colors hit the web

There has been no end to the low-cost, plastic iPhone rumors in recent months, and in return, no shortage of mock ups and renders showing what the device could potentially look like. We’ve seen a few images that allegedly show the backplate of the yet to be released low-cost iPhone, and we even had our own mock ups of the device in a selection of colors. The latest take on the device comes to us from Martin Hajek (via Gizmodo), who we know from many other projects in the past including another low cost iPhone concept. The design doesn’t stray too far from what we’ve seen and heard in the past, but the color choices seem to be influenced by Apple’s recently announced iOS 7 update. Head below for more images:

In addition to these new concept photos, some new high-resolution photos of the back shells for the purported cheaper iPhone have leaked. We can’t vouch for their authenticity, but they do seem to be higher-res photos of the previously posted shells (via @sonnydickson):

Plastic iPhone Stories July 6, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 8.28.30 AMClick for higher quality images

We’ve been looking at plastic renderings of the highly anticipated plastic “budget” iPhone for almost 6 months now. Analysts, leakers, and reports from all over have pinpointed a plastic shell in a variety of colors. We even commissioned a ten-color rendering way back in April (above). Now Techdy shows us what it would look like if one of those shells was put on a screen and given a high quality video/image treatment.

As can be seen from the images above, all the rumors about the low-cost plastic iPhone seem to be true. The budget iPhone will be made substantially from plastic (we can feel it’s actually polycarbonate material). It will have a 4” screen, like the iPhone 5, and interestingly, the budget iPhone actually has a shape that’s similar to Apple’s original iPod. When we hold the budget iPhone in our hands, the plastic chassis does not feel cheap at all. Unlike the plastic build quality of the Samsung Galaxy phones, the plastic material used on the budget iPhone feels more sturdy.

And guess what, we were able to fit the display assembly into the new budget iPhone’s rear shell. The display assembly just seemed to fit perfectly inside of the rear shell.

Another video courtesy of @MTPFlyers:

And a third video from @DetroitBORG:

Thanks Cyril! More high quality images below:

expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories July 3, 2013

iPhone-Plastique-Couleurs-Photo

French site Nowhereelse has posted what it claims are more leaked photos from China of casings for the long-rumored plastic iPhone.

We’re not entirely convinced these are the real deal and not just clones made based off of plastic iPhone rumors stretching back months. While the colors are  broadly consistent with those of the iPod touch/nano, and we’d expect to see differences between metal and plastic, those colors look rather garish even allowing for the poor lighting. Comparison after the break …  expand full story

Plastic iPhone Stories June 24, 2013

Credit: Ferry Passchier

Credit: Ferry Passchier

We’ve seen a pretty consistent pattern when a new iPhone is released: the previous model gets significantly cheaper, and the model before that tends to be widely available on free-with-contract deals. We’ve already seen the process beginning in anticipation of the 5S, with AT&T cutting the on-contract price of the iPhone 5 to $99 and 4S to $49, with Walmart going a little further with a $39 deal for the 4S.

But with the prospect of the long-awaited low-cost (or lower-cost!) iPhone being released at the same time as the 5S, might we expect to see the plastic iPhone being offered as the freebie in the iPhone 4S’s place … ?  expand full story

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