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Lower-Cost iPhone's Plastic Rear Shell Reportedly Surfaces

Earlier this week, case manufacturer Tactus was one of several sources to share photos of cases reportedly designed for the fifth-generation iPad, once again showing that the device is expected to be smaller than the existing iPad and take design cues from the iPad mini.

Today, the company shares a photo of what is said to be the rear shell of Apple's rumored lower-cost iPhone. In line with previous rumors, the part appears to be manufactured from plastic.

The part is also consistent with iLounge's January description of the device, carrying a design somewhat similar to the iPod classic with a flat back and curved edges, as well as a shift to elongated volume buttons along the left side.

The report also shares a number of other claimed details about the device, including word of an A5 chip, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and five color options of black, white, blue, red, and yellow. The device is also claimed to carry a 3.5-inch Retina display rather than the 4-inch display seen in the iPhone 5, although that detail conflicts with reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's claims of a 4-inch display for the lower-cost iPhone.

Finally, Tactus claims that the lower-cost iPhone will launch on October 15 and be priced at $300, although we place little faith in those details given that any source for part leaks likely coming through Apple's supply chain or accessory manufacturers would not be aware of Apple's specific launch plans. The report also claims that the rear shell is 0.4-0.6 mm thick, which is obviously not an accurate measurement and is likely a misreporting of previous claims that it would be 0.4-0.6 mm thicker than the iPhone 5.

We also can not verify whether this is indeed a legitimate rear shell for Apple's lower-cost iPhone. It could simply be manufactured based on circulating rumors, but even if fake it could be an accurate representation if it is based on design specs leaking through case makers. Case makers have a number of times created accurate physical mockups of Apple's upcoming devices, although they have on occasion been incorrect.

Top Rated Comments

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83 months ago
Looks very mid 2000s macbook. I like it a lot.
Rating: 41 Votes
83 months ago


Actually just looks like some sort of protective sticker on the corners. They all look like they might have one.
Rating: 34 Votes
83 months ago

Literally anyone could of (sic) made that... literally anybody.

I beg to disagree, literally, I'm begging you. Actually I am terrible at making cases. So you are wrong, sir.
Rating: 25 Votes
83 months ago


Looks like clear plastic wrapping still stuck on it to me.
Rating: 24 Votes
83 months ago
Rating: 22 Votes
83 months ago
The beginning of the end.
Rating: 21 Votes
83 months ago
So is this going to be $300 and unlocked, like Google's Nexus phones? That would be awesome!
Rating: 18 Votes
83 months ago
Congratulations to those who think that plastic is crap. Apple has certainly done its job in marketing their devices well if you believe that. And believe that only metal and glass are viable materials (now).

Rating: 18 Votes
83 months ago

No wonder Apple's stock went to a 3 year low. They are going backwards.

Going after new markets is going forward. Not backward.
Rating: 14 Votes
83 months ago
I love the way it looks, and at $300 I would totally get it unlocked with no contract.

Plastic has the advantage of being strong and transparent to radio waves, so the whole back and sides can be made of once piece, as opposed to the current design of the iPhone 5 (different pieces for edge (more than one piece), top, bottom and middle). While glass is transparent of course, it's very fragile and can't really be as nicely curved as this, so plastic still has some great uses here.

Even if this particular image is fake, I'd imagine the cheaper iPhone would look similar to this. If you're going to use plastic, might as well take advantage of it and make it seamless.
Rating: 12 Votes

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