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Pictures claim to represent a lower-priced iPhone offering with polycarbonate case

The last time Apple dabbled with a polycarbonate case for its iPhone family was back in the 3G/3GS days. Back then; the cases were notorious for developing cracks, especially around the dock connector and headphone jack. Since that time, Apple has experimented with other casing materials such as steel/glass and even aluminum.
 
These days, evidence is mounting that Apple is looking to revisit the use of a polycarbonate case, this time in a "budget" iPhone model. New images from Techdy claim to show a fully assembled model, complete with its 4” Retina display.

 
As for the quality of the aforementioned case, Techdy claims:
 
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.
 

You can view video footage of the claimed budge iPhone here.

Source: Techdy



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Apple already has a budget iPhone...
By tayb on 7/8/2013 10:29:21 AM , Rating: 4
Apple already has a budget iPhone, the iPhone 4. It's free for most carriers and if they would just be ever so slightly less greedy it would be a reasonable price off-contract. When the iPhone 5s/6 is released the 4 and 4S should both be considered budget phones and priced accordingly.




RE: Apple already has a budget iPhone...
By aliasfox on 7/8/2013 12:04:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm pretty sure Apple wants to get rid of all 30-pin devices this year, which would entail discontinuing the iPhone 4 models.

I wouldn't be surprised if the plastic model is actually two different phones:

- Free on contract, with A5 chip, only available in black or white. Probably come in at $299 unlocked

- $99 on contract, internally the same as iPhone 5, but easier/cheaper to build, probably $399-499 unlocked

Apple had trouble building the iPhone 5 when it first came out, so they may still decide to reserve the metal body for the top of the line phone.

Of course, getting rid of the 30-pin connector also entails discontinuing the iPad 2 in favor of the iPad mini models - maybe the current model reduced to $249, and new retina model at $329.


RE: Apple already has a budget iPhone...
By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 12:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
"I'm pretty sure Apple wants to get rid of all 30-pin devices this year"

That and the old 960x640 displays as well. We will probably see the 4s fall off with the 4 when the 5s is released.

http://www.slashgear.com/apples-budget-iphone-is-a...


RE: Apple already has a budget iPhone...
By aliasfox on 7/8/2013 1:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
Right, I guess I wasn't clear when I meant the iPhone 4 chassis, including the 4s.

I wonder if Apple would consider an iPad nano niche-product. iPad mini (with or without iPad-retina) at a 5-6" size, with phone functionality. My guess is no (and I wouldn't buy it if they did), but it would be amusing nonetheless. I think you (retrospooty) might appreciate it at least...


RE: Apple already has a budget iPhone...
By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 1:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
"iPad mini (with or without iPad-retina) at a 5-6" size"

No, but I like the iPad mini as is (size wise). If it were retina it would be perfect. I may get the iPad mini2 assuming it has higher res and that change doesn't raise the price. $329 for the iPad mini2 is too high, but with a retina screen it would be worth it. Its the perfect size to me. MY 7 inch NExus 7 is a bit too small, and the 9-10 inchers are too big. 7.9 to 8 is about perfect.


By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 1:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
$329 for the iPad mini (Not 2) is too high.

Damn no edit!


By Samus on 7/8/2013 5:12:05 PM , Rating: 1
I can't even tell you how many of the new "thunderbolt" connectors I've seen broken...what a terrible design.


RE: Apple already has a budget iPhone...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/8/2013 9:16:43 PM , Rating: 2
Did you even think before you typed this?

Hey guys, did you hear? Ferrari has a "budget" model now! Yeah, the 2003 Ferrari 360 Spider!


By Xplorer4x4 on 7/9/2013 1:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
You can't buy a 2003 Ferrari 360 Spider brand new at a discount price straight from the dealer floor.

I can go to a cell store right now and pick up a brand new 4 or 4S straight from the dealer floor, and I don't mean one that has simply set on the floor for years.

Not that I would want to..just sayin..


Bear phone?
By jimbo2779 on 7/8/2013 9:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one here that seems to miss the large section of the video showing it to be a "bear phone" that is using a Qualcomm SoC and is running Android?

I don't see any mention of that section in the vimeo link or this article. Is that some joke or is everyone reporting on this just missing the last section of the video that is more than an insignificant portion of the video.




RE: Bear phone?
By jimbo2779 on 7/8/2013 9:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
"that seems to miss" = "seems to see". Plus I see someone has already posted about this.


RE: Bear phone?
By karimtemple on 7/9/2013 9:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
There's a "Bear Pro" HTC One knock-off for $250 too. I really hope super-cheap Snapdragon phones keep showing up. I'd buy a $250 5.3 - 5.5" Snapdragon 600 phone in about 0.04 seconds.


RE: Bear phone?
By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 10:07:25 AM , Rating: 2
From the article:

quote:
Based on the design of Apple’s budget iPhone, we have made a budget Android smartphone called the Basic Bear.


RE: Bear phone?
By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 10:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Jimbo - should have elaborated. The video shows 2 phones:

1. The first bit shows the proposed Budget iPhone (only seeing back cover and display - no motherboard shown for that). They are not showing the whole phone or a clone. They are representing that as apple's prototype case.

2. Their bear phone which is a look-alike of the proposed budget iPhone case - it has different markings. They don't hide that their bear phone is an android phone.


RE: Bear phone?
By drycrust3 on 7/8/2013 12:12:40 PM , Rating: 3
Quote from the Vimeo website with the video:
quote:
One more thing: The Basic Bear. It's a low-cost iPhone-based handset featuring a 4-inch display with 1136 x 640 resolution, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p HD video recording, 2300mAh battery, Qi wireless charging support, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Just $199

To me, "iPhone-based" means it uses iPhone hardware. I'm not sure if that is what the writer meant, but if it is it then the question becomes: is it licenced by Apple? As strange as it sounds, maybe this is Apple sticking its toe in the Android waters (complete with carrier branding). Nah! Can't be. Hmmm. I hope Tony doesn't find out.


RE: Bear phone?
By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 1:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, they say 'iPhone-based', yet go on to list a whole load of non-iPhone-Based hardware details.

Give them a break bro -- I suspect that the writer of that does not use English as a first language ;D


RE: Bear phone?
By drycrust3 on 7/8/2013 11:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're right: Apple easily make a ton of dosh with their current exclusive hardware and OS arrangement, testing the Android waters is only going to make people laugh at them.
About the only think that is really interesting about this phone is it seems to have the Apple connector and not the mini-USB connector that Android phones usually use.


This is a lookalike not the real thing?
By Soleron on 7/8/2013 9:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
Why does the link say it comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean?




By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 9:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
The leak is from a cheap knockoff maker. They say they have the budget iPhone and have made a similar model running Android... So, the leak itself is deviously motivated.

Clearly by the supply chain movement Apple is working on a cheaper model, but this could just be a clever fake.


By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 10:05:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Based on the design of Apple’s budget iPhone, we have made a budget Android smartphone called the Basic Bear.


Their knockoff is NOT the budget iPhone (It is called the "Basic Bear") -- just based on leaked design info, that's all. There is no dishonesty going on here.


I'd buy that phone!
By stm1185 on 7/8/2013 2:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't I get a 4.3 inch 720p Snapdragon 600 SOC 8mp OIS Camera with Stock Android for $199 no contract no commitment?

That should be the next Nexus 4. If Bear can put out close to that for $199, why can't Google?




RE: I'd buy that phone!
By Guspaz on 7/8/2013 2:21:06 PM , Rating: 2
The N4 at $299 isn't that far off. There's more to component costs than raw specs, though.


RE: I'd buy that phone!
By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 2:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Why can't I get a 4.3 inch 720p Snapdragon 600 SOC 8mp OIS Camera with Stock Android for $199 no contract no commitment?"

That is a little bit low for reality. It's like why cant I get a new BMW 3 series for $15,000.

"That should be the next Nexus 4. If Bear can put out close to that for $199, why can't Google?"

Have you ever even heard of Bear? I have not, but they are clearly in the cheap clone market. Wanna bet the phone is uber-cheaply made and has ROM issues as well as high failure rates? Very likely non-existant tech support as well. You arent going to see this sold on any legit carrier either.


This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By superflex on 7/8/13, Rating: -1
By xti on 7/8/2013 9:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
ouch...my ego.


By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 9:36:29 AM , Rating: 3
"This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy"

Are there actually any Sammy fanboys?

As an S3 owner, I would say it wouldnt be hard at all to improve upon the "cheap" feel of Samsung phones - they are definitely made of cheap greasy hard plastic. Great for scratch resistance, but they just feel... cheap. That alone is why I dont want an S4.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By Flunk on 7/8/2013 9:48:07 AM , Rating: 3
The only mindless rhetoric I see here is your post.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By superflex on 7/8/13, Rating: 0
By ClownPuncher on 7/8/2013 12:57:33 PM , Rating: 4
What hurts more is you idiots fighting about who has a cooler phone.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 9:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
I feel my sanity slipping away as I look at this...

Looks like Apple is finally looking to get with the program and offer their products at different models (beyond memory size) and price points.

About time. This whole "Our current phone is the iPhone 5. If you want a different feature set, too bad!" attitude was one of my biggest gripes with them.

Note: I have never had an issue with Samsung's plastic covers. I actually prefer it over aluminum coverings. Much cheaper to replace if it gets damaged and I always have a protective cover on it anyway.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By Tony Swash on 7/8/2013 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Looks like Apple is finally looking to get with the program and offer their products at different models (beyond memory size) and price points.


Remember the iPod? Eventually Apple filled the whole product spectrum, but not at first and actually not that quickly, the iPod Mini took three years to arrive, the iPod Nano took four, and the iPod shuffle took eight years, by then Apple had saturated the full size more expensive end of the market. The top end of the smart phone market is not yet saturated, although growth at that end looks like it is slowing.

If there is indeed a branching of the iPhone product line coming then I am sure the 'low cost' version will be a lot more expensive than some people expect, just like with the iPad mini the first response will be 'it's too expensive'.

I am more interested in how the iDevice ecosystem, including a new Apple TV, will integrate with any new wearable device Apple is launching, and how the ecosystem will include and use the fingerprint technology Apple bought last year.

I thought Apple's recent hiring of former fashion powerhouse Yves Saint Laurent CEO, Paul Deneve, as a vice president for special projects reporting directly to Tim Cook was a very interesting development.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By BRB29 on 7/8/2013 12:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember the iPod? Eventually Apple filled the whole product spectrum


how could you say this when apple sells the most expensive media players. $229 for an ipod nano is not filling a gap.
The cheapest being small shuffle at $50 that has no screen and little memory. There's a ton of mp3 players with no screen and have more memory for much less. Hell, with the shuffle's price range, there's a bunch of mp3 players with screens and the same or more memory.

Apple's new move into the lower markets is mainly Tim Cook trying to mass dump products instead of keeping up with what made them successful. I wouldn't be surprised if they start selling $700 laptops soon.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 1:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
To give Tony his due, I really didn't qualify that Apple's product families had to actually be affordable by mere mortals. We all know Apple's products are obscenely overpriced for what you get.

Apple did put out a range of players from the expensive iPod nano toy all the way to the hideously overpriced touch (in essence an iPhone without the phone). So yes, they did actually take a product line and offer up a few levels of it (all expensive).

Not sure why they waited so long to do that with the iPhone. I would think that their marketing boffins would have clued in that they would get a lot deeper market penetration if they simply offered them up with a few different levels of features. After all, not everybody can afford, or wants, the top of the line. Sometimes they need a little less at a price that is scaled accordingly.


By cyberguyz on 7/8/2013 1:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
-- correction -- reference to 'nano' = reference to 'shuffle'

** I'm not an Apple fan so I'm not always up on the product names.


By BRB29 on 7/8/2013 2:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
Bro, ipod nano and ipod shuffle are different products. They have clear differences in interface and the media it is able to play.

Saying they are the same products that fill different price gap is like saying ipod touch and iphones are the same products.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By Tony Swash on 7/8/2013 4:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple did put out a range of players from the expensive iPod nano toy all the way to the hideously overpriced touch (in essence an iPhone without the phone). So yes, they did actually take a product line and offer up a few levels of it (all expensive).

Not sure why they waited so long to do that with the iPhone. I would think that their marketing boffins would have clued in that they would get a lot deeper market penetration if they simply offered them up with a few different levels of features. After all, not everybody can afford, or wants, the top of the line. Sometimes they need a little less at a price that is scaled accordingly.


All the comments about the product limits or excess price of the iPod range are moot as it crushed the competition and made vast profits. It was therefore an utterly successful product range perfectly priced.

Apple is not chasing market share in relation to any product sector it operates in, never has and never will. If as a byproduct of producing a good quality product that delivers the sort of end user experience Apple wants to achieve Apple secures a larger market share then I am sure they are very happy about it, it's just not one of their core strategic aims. Achieving a high market share is not necessary for Apple to succeed as a business. A cursory glance at the companies history would show that. For example in the PC market where Apple has been a small market share operator for decades Apple currently makes more profit than all the other PC OEMs added together.

Apple entered a series of new markets in the last decade or so, music players, tablets, phones, and their aim every time was to disrupt existing markets by offering a new sort of product that by combining hardware, software and Apple's service and content stack in a new sort of product configuration would deliver a new sort of end user experience that was very attractive to customers. Given their sales and business results they seem to have succeeded in delivering a series of successful disruptions.

As far as growing and diversifying the iPhone range of products much depends on supply chain and technology constraints. Apple only makes things that in it's words 'deserve to exist', that is things made to Apple's standards and that means things that can be made to a certain standard in bulk and be delivered at a profit. For much of the steepest parts of the iPhone and iPad growth trajectory it appeared that Apple was constrained by supply side limits, even though it has one of the world's best supply chain management systems. An additional constraint is the complex supply side issues raised by its need to disentangle themselves from Samsung, a process now well underway. So maybe now is the time for a limited iPhone diversification.

The next Apple disruption will almost certainly come from some sort of wearable device. The last 25 minutes of Horace Dediu's most recent podcast is worth a listen as he discusses what the iWatch could mean.

http://www.asymco.com/2013/07/02/the-critical-path...


By retrospooty on 7/8/2013 4:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
"crushed the competition and made vast profits"

"their aim every time was to disrupt existing markets by offering a new sort of product"

"Given their sales and business results they seem to have succeeded in delivering a series of successful disruptions."

"Apple only makes things that in it's words 'deserve to exist', that is things made to Apple's standards "

"For much of the steepest parts of the iPhone and iPad growth trajectory it appeared that Apple was constrained by supply side limits, even though it has one of the world's best supply chain management systems. "

"The next Apple disruption will almost certainly come from some sort of wearable device. "

ROFL... Seriously Tony, do you actually read the stuff you write? You sound like a marketing exec touting the virtues of your company... I used to think you were just a pathetic basement-bound rabid fanboy, but now I really do have to wonder if you are being paid for this. To think you spend your own time to post such "rah rah" pro company crap is almost funnier.

What light through yonder window breaks... It is Apple, her golden hair waving in the wind and her supple skin glistening with anticipation.


By Nortel on 7/8/2013 10:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
-Polyethylene Terephthalate
-High-Density Polyethylene
-Polyvinyl Chloride
-Low-Density Polyethylene
-Polypropylene
-Polystyrene
-Polylactide
-Polycarbonate
-etc...

are all plastic's, not to mention if you mix in a percentage of rubber or texturize the material.


RE: This will drive the Sammy Fanboys crazy
By Nutzo on 7/8/2013 11:40:47 AM , Rating: 1
I'd rather have a durable phone with cheap feeling plastic that can survive multiple drops, than a so called "quality" feeling phone of hard plastic that cracks, or aluminum that warps/bends.


By BRB29 on 7/8/2013 2:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
Metal phones are more durable. You keep seeing broken iphones because they decide to put glass in the front and back of it for looks. The glass also extend past the metal band on the side. Clearly, form was over function in that design.


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