Which of these iPhone 6 designs will Apple unveil September 9?

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At this point, thanks to myriad leaked parts, we have a pretty good idea what the iPhone 6 will look like. One question some of us still have, though, is what the antenna panes of the rear shells we’ve been seeing so far will actually look like.

On the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, the cellular antenna peeks out of two glass antenna panes, installed specially for just that purpose in the aluminum rear shell. The rear shell leaks we’ve seen so far suggest that the iPhone 6 will keep the antenna panes, but they may not actually be made of glass. Other leaks have suggested the opposite, indicating that the iPhone 6 might look more like the iPhone 5 and 5s in the back than previously thought.

Hedging his bets, iPhone conceptualist Martin Hajek has created renders comparing both possibilities. Check them out after the jump. For my money, the glass antenna panes look infinitely better. What do you think Apple will go with?

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  • Toma Radu-Petrescu

    Where is the freaking dual-LED flash?

    • TJ

      round LED flash, dual temperatures.

      • Toma Radu-Petrescu

        My bad. Didn’t see the full-size image. I still hope that this isn’t the final design.

      • Dìñêsh Nåîðú

        ya obviously this n’t the final design cool

      • Jeffrey

        It actually IS the final design, the right one…

  • nick

    The antenna-stripes-only-version looks unrefined and I think it was only for testing. The dual LED-flash will certainly be replaced by a quad-LED-flash.

    • Dan Gold

      Why do they have to have those lines at all? Why not have it look like the back of the iPod?

      • tHoj101

        They’re there so you can make phones calls. It is an iPhone after all.

      • Quang

        remember the iphone 4 antenna issue?!? That’s why

  • cleesmith

    Why does it matter? You’re just gonna put a cover on it anyway.

    • At

      I wouldn’t be, nor a screen protector. I don’t like either of these designs though, if this is the final product I may have to wait and see what the nexus 6 brings.

    • UZ

      It matters a lot. If Apple has reached the point where you have to cover their design with a case for it to look good, they are slipping. Perfected design is one of the cornerstones of what makes Apple Apple.

      • JRX

        Agreed, and I too do not use cases with my iPhone, and wouldn’t with this one either. I don’t drop my phone and my 5S still looks nearly like new.
        That being said, I think the render with the glass inlays looks fantastic. The one without the inlays, just the plastic bands, looks bad.

    • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

      I have always been firmly anti-case since my first iPhone. Boggles my mind that people spend top dollar for super slim iPhones, only to stuff them into some enormous and ugly case (aka otterboxes, etc). Also if you’re really that worried, thats what apple care is for :)

      • Dougie

        I don’t think that I buy it primarily for super slim, although that is a draw, and the slimmer and lighter the device is, it helps to reduce the size and overall weight when you place your investment in a protective case. My reason for buying an iPhone isn’t necessarily to show it off but because of its features, ease of use, reliability etc… My reason for buying a case is to reduce nicks, scratches and breakage. Once in a while, when I have reason to take it out of it’s case, I do admire the design, but a scratched up, bent up, broken device is just something I would hate looking at.

      • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

        Showing it off is not the issue, but rather fitting comfortably in my jeans pocket. As for nicks and breakage, I usually end of getting at least 1 new iPhone via applecare during a two year cycle, so that takes care of the wear.

      • JRX

        It really is possible to not scratch and dent it up. I’ve had a 5S since day one, without a case, and it has zero scratches anywhere, never been dropped, and is nearly mint. It’s not that hard to keep expensive things nice, I’m always amazed how poorly people care for such expensive things.

  • NoThanks194433

    They all look the same.

  • Adrayven

    Looks unfinished with the lines only. Maybe Tim Cook has finally let his instinct to save and cut costs take control and finally won and this is the first one where Jonny was told to cut corners and did.. lol.. get it .. ‘cut corners”.. haha..

    Ok.. I suck at jokes..

    Basically, if they leave it w/o filling in, it will always remind me of someone having taken a thin amount of white piping or black electrical tape and wrapped it around in a half assed manner to hold something in.. it just looks bad and unfinished…

    • Dan Gold

      Why do they have to have those lines at all? Why not have it look like the back of the iPod

      • Fred Cintra

        Because the iPod only need wi-fi antenna and iPhone need wi-fi and cellular

    • robershow

      How do you actually know that the ugly one is actually cheaper…. it might actually be more expensive!

  • tHoj101

    Either Apple streamlined the original iPhone, or steamrolled the iPhone 5S. I’m going with the latter.

  • Andrew

    Blech.

  • TeeJay1100

    It doesn’t matter both are ugly phones!!

    • Fred Cintra

      It’s funny how I see people saying every year that the design of the next iPhone sucks. iPhone 4: “those three lines is not apple like!” iPhone 5: that little glasses on the back are terrible, always the same thing every new design

      • Quang

        yeah…as I remember that when the leak iPhone 5 surfaced on the web.

      • UZ

        When good design gradually slips, it does’t seem so bad. Until, one day, people ask: How the hell did we end up here? I never dislike the iPhone 4’s antenna breaks, it was asymmetrical to the point where you could call it art. I didn’t dislike the glass windows on the 5, but I didn’t like that the camera center no longer created a radius with the phone’s rounded corner. However, I totally dislike the antenna bands (without infill) and the oddly positioned protruding camera in the rumored leaks. How the hell is it good design when the insides stick out?

  • K-J

    Who. F. Cares.

    • tHoj101

      People who want an iPhone, maybe?

      • K-J

        No. They don’t care if it’s going to be an outline or filled in. This article is a hoax and is making fun of people who care.

  • http://mwiz123.wix.com/main mwiz123

    PLOT TWIST: Both

  • Dan Engelsman

    I want an iPhone in ONE solid color.

  • Matthew Abdelnour

    non of this .. apple will surprise us in next September .. i can feel that

    • seth walker

      what makes you say this?

  • seth walker

    I hope the one on the right. I would like a solid color, but I doubt it. If we remember right there was a “leak” that said the upper bars are place holders and we can see something else as glass or whatever the material might be. I hope its something different than what we’ve seen. This has all been based off of A leak that was supposed to be right….I really hope its not because I want Apple to shock the world

  • Alex Blaha

    Hopefully none of these.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Whether SOME people say the iPhone design sucks because of some contrasting bands, in the end the iPhone 6 will break all sorts of sales records. After the iPhone 6 becomes a balls-out major hit, there are companies that will be adding those “pinstripes” so their smartphones look more like iPhones. If the iPhone 6 were a sports car those stripes would be considered adding character to the vehicle. I think most consumers will like those details. Attractive looks are purely in the eyes of the beholder.

    • UZ

      Here’s the problem. Everyone will buy a new iPhone, but many (not some, see forums everywhere) won’t like it as much, from a design viewpoint. They will buy it because firstly they are already locked into the Apple ecosystem, and secondly because they don’t have another iPhone design to choose from that sports all the latest tech. To be honest, if they offer the 5c with all the specs and screen size at the SAME price as the rumoured 6 design, I’d buy that over someting with antenna bands and protruding camera. I really don’t mind the plastic, as much as I dislike a cluttered metal design focusing on being so anorexic that the camera bones stick out.

    • lucascott

      Those SOME people will be woo’d by some other factor and put a case on it to cover up the ugly lines. issue over

  • Michael Edwards

    If there is any common sense/sense of aesthetics they will have the glass panels.

  • Charismatron

    First world questions. Just pour some ice water on both of ‘em and give something to charity, how does that sound?

    #whatdoesitallmean?

    • UZ

      Actually not. I live in a third world country, where an iPhone costs more than a monthly installment on a house. Amazingly, people will still buy iPhones here, BUT they need to be as perfect in every way as can possibly be. If you have to decide between a month’s food or buying an iPhone over any other phone (that’s almost what the price difference with our terrible exchange rate adds up to), then a small slip in design, hardware or software, may mean an entire nation swinging to cheaper Android alternatives.

  • Joe

    Definitely the left one with rear shell case.. Solved

  • Edmundas Jankauskas

    The glass panel looks definitely better than the one with bands…

  • http://www.devicegeekblog.com Device Geek Blog

    I really hope the final design has the glass antenna panes. I mean, I love the design of the iPhone, but the white lines look out of place.

    As a side note, did anyone else notice the camera, microphone and LED flash are more spaced out on the phone with the glass panes? I think the final design will use the glass panes, but these will be closer together.

  • SgtFire

    Is there any reason this antennae lines can’t be the same color as the back of the phone?

  • Coatsey

    Nothing wrong with Samsung but these design are Samsung-like not Apple-like. If it looks like this I feel this is a step backwards. I’ve recently had iPhone 5s, Note 3 and now a Windows 8.1 Nokia 925, the latter better than Android but still behind iOS. That said I getting comfortable with WP 8.1 is really very good. So to have me switch me and my family, 4 devices, back to Apple the phone needs to look better than this.

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    I’m really not a fan of transitioning to the rounded bevel from the sleek angular edge of the 5. Hoping neither.

  • makeittalk

    Can’t believe either of these. If true, this would have to be one of the ugliest phones out there. Should be a huge boost for the case manufacturers.

  • lucascott

    i personally think that the oval like band is ugly. I’d rather see the full panel or just the single line.

  • Jean Carlo

    I like the ones with the bands, I don’t want my new phone to look exactly the same as my almost 2 years old iPhone 5

  • ericbrady

    No visible plastic anywhere please!

  • jjredfish

    I didn’t like the lines as much at first, but now I like them better than the panels.

  • chelsea vader

    I really hope this isn’t the final design because both look ugly. If I had to choose though it would be thine that looks like a flatter 5 series phone. Those antenna lines look ugly and a bad imitation of the HTC One

  • Randothecomando

    I hope non of these designs are the final product. They are all ugly.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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