The Closest Look At The Budget iPhone We’ve Seen Yet

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If you believe the rumors, Apple has been working on a cheaper, ‘budget’ iPhone for quite some time. Reports have started picking up momentum in recent months, as Apple is expected to announce the new device by early as this fall.

Just a few days ago we saw some of the first leaked images of the rear casing in a variety of bright colors. Now a collection of photos give us the closest look at the budget iPhone we’ve seen yet.

Techdy has gotten a hold of the unannounced iPhone’s exterior shell and display assembly from sources in the supply chain overseas. A gallery of photos and even an accompanying video takes a look at the device from multiple angles.

The Closest Look At The Budget iPhone We’ve Seen Yet

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.

This leaks matches up with parts we’ve already seen, and multiple reports have said that the device will feature a 4-inch display and plastic casing. What you see in these pictures is obviously an unfinished product, but it’s a good indication of where Apple is going. The front of the device looks pretty identical to the iPhone 5, but Apple will likely market the rear shell in multiple colors to help differentiate from the flagship iPhone lineup.

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Apple has reportedly been talking to carriers and “weighing retail prices of $99 to $149 for a device that would debut in late 2013, at the earliest,” according to a recent Bloomberg report.

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The 'budget' iPhone sitting on top of the iPhone 5.

The ‘budget’ iPhone sitting on top of the iPhone 5.

Just for kicks and giggles, Techdy has made an Android device based off of the plastic iPhone dimensions and materials. It’s called the “Basic Bear” and it features a 4-inch display, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 2 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, and a 2300 mAh battery. The Basic Bear runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, comes in five colors, and costs $199.

Apple must be thrilled about this.

Apple must be thrilled about this.

More photos of the budget iPhone are available at the source link below.

  • bdkennedy

    Over the next several years, China is about to understand why they have lost manufacturing jobs and their economy is going to hell.

  • CharilaosMulder

    I dont want this to be real. Please help me or something. Apple aims to only make the best products on the planet, and this cheap thing will totally ruin the most important app on the iPhone: the App Store. People will pay less for apps on average, and devs will stop prioritising iOS for innovation, earlier releases and better quality apps compared to that other crap OS.

  • Market_Mayhem

    Blame the hedge funds and Wall Street for all this “must have cheap Apple products” BS. Apple set out to build high-end smartphones and Wall Street only wants to play the “who has the highest market share” game. In the end, Wall Street cuts down Apple’s share price to less than half of Google’s share price thanks to Google creating a free Android OS. The free Android OS allowed every jackass copycat company on the planet to create and sell smartphones whether they were qualified to do so or not. All it did was create a huge glut of hardware all over the planet where most of it is going to end up as landfill. Those jackass hedge fund managers on Wall Street think that only companies that make and sell low-priced junk are worthy of decent shareholder valuation. I hope Apple screws those guys over, too. Those hedge fund jerks are only disrespecting consumers with their short-sighted attitudes. The hedge funds think they own the planet and that consumers aren’t entitled to decently-built products. High market share is not everything in the world.

    Android was a dirty scheme on Google’s part meant to undercut all the legitimate cellphone companies. I can’t wait for Apple to cut Google down to size one day or another even if it takes a couple of years.

  • Tdeur

    To me looks like the guys on Techdy wants to sell his ANDROID creation using some leaked pictures and taking advantage of the publicity for this photos. Maybe there’s a budget iphone been produced somewhere, we just have to wait untill mr.Tim anounces the new baby in the apple’s family.

  • Bulldogger123

    Over the next several years, China is about to understand why they have lost manufacturing jobs and their economy is going to hell.

    Deservedly so!

  • Zod Buster

    what a load of CRAP.. there will never be a budget iPhone… how could the iSheep show up at their local Starbucks and pay $7 for a cup of coffee.. and then bring out a cheapie iPhone…
    never happen

  • TechBell

    Looks like a Nokia Windows phone.

  • stefn

    Apple might do a budget but recyclable phone. The carriers and the other big three, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, would love to create a wall-e world of landfills with cheap and free phones. And tablets. We would be well on our way today if Apple had not invented a phone that was worth recycling. True. Every iPhone is worth recycling. Check out Gazelle prices for even broken iPhones. Or … we can stay stuck in the good old days and get cheap junkified phones. Samsung’s best of breed Galaxy is not worth a recycling penny. Let’s not even think about the cheap Everest heap of Chinese Android phones. Cheap is cheap for us; our grandkids will be paying the Android-Samsung garbage tax for us.

  • GarionDK

    I don’t understand why so many people seem outraged at the idea of Apple making a cheaper plastic iPhone in addition to its flagship aluminum iPhones? Have we all forgotten about these phones?

    http://www.technobuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/iphone-3gs.jpeg

    There had plastic bodies, were very popular and sold like cupcakes. At full price!

  • Steven Quan

    I don’t understand why so many people seem outraged at the idea of Apple making a cheaper plastic iPhone in addition to its flagship aluminum iPhones? Have we all forgotten about these phones?

    If the price quotes here at Cult are accurate, ($99-$149) with contract, then these “budget” phones will be selling for roughly $550 to $600 off contract which is hardly budget. Considering they killed one of the speakers, are using plastic for the case, and have probably cut corners in other places, I would not be surprised if Apple was making the same or greater profit off this “budget” iPhone than their flagship iPhone.

    I think people will look at the price of this thing and either get the previous gen (iPhone 5) or the 4S which will be the same price or cheaper. It looks to me the selling point of this gen of iPhones is the colors.

  • Steven Quan

    Looks like a Nokia Windows phone.

    I completely disagree. I don’t see how the budget iPhone (nor the Basic Bear iPhone mock up pic above) resembles a Nokia Lumia in any way shape or form. First off, there’s no live tiles. Even if you are merely looking at the plastic cover, the Lumia phones have sharp corners and edges and sort of matte finish on some models. Apple’s design has rounded corners and is not matte but shiny plastic. Not to mention Lumia’s are heavy with a sense of indestructibility whereas iPhones are designed to be light and sophisticated, but a bit fragile.

    Put a picture of any Lumia phone and put it side by side with the pictures above, there’s no resemblance whatsoever.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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