Grey hull of the iPhone 6 shows off striking new antenna design

iPhone-6-Battery-Door-04

When you start to see assembled iPhone 6 devices basically powered on, you know it’s getting late in the rumor mill cycle. Basically every part imaginable for Apple’s forthcoming smartphone has leaked ahead of its September 9th unveiling.

Now hi-quality shots of what looks like a near finished iPhone 6 hull have surfaced. They show the defined antenna lines on the back as seen in previous parts, but this time they’ve been colored to look more at home on the phone.

French site Nowhereelse.fr found the pics on Chinese site Weibo, where many Apple part leaks have originated over the years. The rounded edges, embedded Apple logo, and True Tone LED flash holes all line up with previous leaks.

iPhone-6-Battery-Door-01

To accommodate the larger design of the 4.7-inch display, it’s clear that Apple is changing up at least the aesthetic look of its antenna design. Earlier leaks of rear shells showed cruder lines across the back of the device, though now it looks they will be painted to match the appropriate color.

As always, this could be an earlier prototype and not exactly what Apple is going with, but this late in the game, it’s probable that is is a near-finished shell.

  • Chris Clancy

    I really hate those lines. I hope these leaks are wrong, but I’m not that confident. The horizontal line is fine, but the one that follows the curve around the top and bottom bugs me for some reason.

    • kencopen

      I agree. It’s depressingly ugly and cheap looking, especially compared with the beauty that is the iPhone 5s. I’m hoping we see something a bit different at launch.

      • TheBasicMind

        I agree it aesthetically it looks a little imbalanced. I suspect it will look better as a solid 3D product than it photographs. The reason for this is the psychology of perception. Rendered an a flat page the human eye gets drawn to the disruptive effect of the two tone line. In 3D the disruptive two tone plastic inset will be more clearly seen as secondary to it’s consistent 3Dimensional surface shape. You can be sure the design will have been prioritised to look great when on the Apple shop table.

        Second point to consider is this will make a truly excellent antenna design, with, it would appear, an antenna top and bottom, so highly protected from the problem of the reception being degraded by the users hand. It has metal insets where those insets are wholly isolated from the rest of the handset where as many of those inset areas as possible are untouched by the hand, will make for the best integrated antenna design.

        The third point is this design combines this great antenna design with a design that utilises the very best of the materials used in the best possible places. My guess is the plastic will be injection moulded in situ on the metal frame, which will mean the metal and plastic will be perfectly matched/bonded. So small amounts of plastic are employed where the deflective, shock absorbing properties of plastic are best employed: the corners of the device. Metal is used where the scratch resistant structural rigidity of metal is most appropriate: the flat surfaces. The perfect match/bonding of the materials together with the curved edges, will mean this is an incredibly durable design. This may well be the most durable iPhone produced to date.

        The exciting thing for me here is it looks like Ive has learned and this is an iteration addressing all the shortcomings of previous designs. If my first point is proven correct (that it looks far better “in the flesh” than it photographs) this looks set, to me, to be a vintage iPhone design.

  • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

    Everyone chill. We’ll know in just a few short days what the actual iPhone 6 will look like (presuming it’s actually released on the 9th). I don’t mind these lines. they’d even look nice in a charcoal gray or black on the space gray phone. On the white phone, the lines should be… white. On the gold model, a gold or even copper color would look neat. I’m glad the glass is going away. There’ll be fewer damaged phones.

    • PMB01

      Announced and demoed on the 9th, released on the 19th.

      What glass? It’s only going to have the glass on the front, just like the 5, 5C and 5S. There hasn’t been glass on the back since the 4S (aside from the sapphire glass covering the camera lens).

      • Jason

        Umm have u seen the back of the 5 and 5s lol, 2 sheets of glass..

      • PMB01

        I have a 5S. It’s not glass on the back; it’s coated plastic.

      • Benjamin Owuye Jagun

        Wrong it’s aluminium

      • PMB01

        He’s talking about the breaks in aluminum on the back for the cell signal. I’m not stupid.

      • Tallest Skil

        You seem to be; you can’t figure out what he’s actually talking about.

      • Benjamin Owuye Jagun

        You mean the four antenna breaks on each side.

      • Benjamin Owuye Jagun

        I also have a 5S.

      • Menithings

        Of course it’s glass. Btw one of the rear glass panels on the back of my iPhone 5 did shatter. Do your research.

      • http://www.eazycomputers.com/ PhoneTechJay

        They are Glass! Check eBay or Google them they shatter and break exactly as glass does.

      • Tallest Skil

        Yeah, that’s totally wrong.

      • Menithings

        The two panels on the back of the 5 and 5S are glass. It’s fact. Do your research.

      • http://www.designstrategies.com Len Williams

        As has been pointed out by others, the iPhone 5 and 5S have 2 glass panels on the back at the top and bottom of the phone, with a much larger aluminum panel between them. Take your cover off and take a look. These are not plastic, but real glass and they can shatter if the phone falls the right way. An all-aluminum back on the phone would block radio frequency signals from reaching the phone.

    • Jason White

      At this point we can assume leaks are how the final product is gonna look like.sadly antenna bands are white rubber material on all versions,silver,grey or gold and is going to look very out of place and ugly,add to that the popped out camera lens and we have a design disaster .perfect design has always been a key element of Apple devices,this one lacks a good design unfortunatelly.

      • mahadragon

        Steve Jobs would never have allowed that lens to stick out. This is all Ive’s design at this point. iP5S was the last design under Job’s reign. The antenna bands look ugly and out of place which is another idea Jobs would not have tolerated. Unfortunately Ive’s motto has always been: “It’s not how it looks, it’s how it wurks”.

        iP6 will look very similar to the current iPod Touch which has the same aluminum shell backing. Apple well knows the design and cost benefits from having a unibody aluminum shell. They’ve been utilizing it in their MacBook and iMac computers for years.

      • PMB01

        That’s not going to be all-aluminum if it’s the final design. An all-aluminum back would block cell reception, which is why the 5/5S have the breaks on the top and bottom of the rear case (and why the cellular iPads have that plastic window at the top of the back). Those lines will be some kind of plastic or rubber.

      • Tallest Skil

        >>>Steve Jobs would never

        Shut up.

      • 1manWarMachine

        Who really cares? 95% of people will cover it with a case anyway.

      • Tallest Skil

        Enjoy your FUD.

  • S J

    I wonder if LG and HTC will sue Apple for copying their phones?………The front looks so much like the LG G2 that I thought it was an LG article and the rear is an almost exact copy of the HTC M8, including the casing segments …….So, not only are Apple copying the competition on screen size now, they are also copying their designs….it seems copying is the new innovation at Apple these days.

    • acslater017

      Can’t tell if trolling…the front is basically a bigger version of the iPhone face that’s been around since 2007, plus a TouchID.

      The back of the HTC One looks nothing like this. The camera is large and centered, the entire surface is curved. Not to mention the One borrows heavily from Apple’s design language, with its antenna breaks, chamfered edges, and micro-perforated speaker grilles.

      • Benjamin Owuye Jagun

        As an Apple user myself the HTC One M8 is a rather nice phone

      • Benjamin Owuye Jagun

        I gotta admit.

      • kencopen

        I would be happy if Apple basically copied the HTC One. This is nowhere near as nice

      • acslater017

        The HTC One is probably the nicest built Android phone, but IMO it falls short on the details. It’s a bit large and bulky, the curved back is hard to grip, the IR blaster clutters the top, and the buttons feel cheap. Visually, the asymmetric speaker grilles and Beats logo also bug me but that’s nitpicking.

        Obviously, I can only speculate about the iPhone 6. But by all appearances, it looks a head above the HTC One. It should be easier to grip and use in one hand, as well as put in the pocket. It’s visually cleaner, even considering the curvy antenna breaks. And you KNOW the buttons are gonna be clicky! The speaker probably won’t measure up to the front-facing speakers on the One though. Let’s see when the final product ships.

      • mahadragon

        Thank you, I wanted to say the same thing myself. HTC has been ‘borrowing’ Apple iPhone design cues for the past couple years. I never thought that guy was trolling, just typical Android fan boy, having little knowledge of who exactly is copying who.

    • Iphone-fan

      Have to agree that it would not exactly be an iPhone anymore if it starts looking exactly like other mobiles devices. On the other hand, if the iPhone functionalities become significantly better by the new (or not?) design, then who cares what it looks like?
      What we want is a significant improvement on the tech/functionalities…. There hasn’t been any significant improvement for a while!

    • 1manWarMachine

      Please tell me your joking. That’s the goofiest thing I’ve ever read.

  • Eduard

    To me, this looks like a cheaper version of the flagship iPhone Apple may launch. I’ve always admired the machined holes and finishes of 5 and 5S for the mic and speaker. This photo shows a much more ordinary holes that exactly match the ones of the 5C.

    I recall Jony Ive saying that an iPhone feels more like a piece of jewellery than an piece of electronics and I that was very accurate. To me, an iPhone like the one we can “picture” out of these leaks will definitely will not feel like a jewellery.

    I would not be surprised of we have not seen anything from the new flagship iPhone! Certainly, I hope we hadn’t!

  • http://t3kd.com Matthew

    I like it, I don’t know what everyone else is on about.

  • Bill Mcintyre

    Ugly. Wish i could just peel off those lines to reveal a cleaner design.

    • PMB01

      And then you’d have no cell reception!

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    Everybody keeps buggin out about the antenna lines, but frankly I couldn’t care less about them. Its trading out the sleek angular bevel for the rounded edges that looks ugly to me.

  • Sneezerdoc

    I have had the iphone 3G, 4 and 5 – if the new iphone looks this bad or isn’t waterproof… I am done. I have had some many issues with my iPhones… They never last. Battery stinks. Speakers die. Complete crap.

  • stickyicky97

    Seriously, how does every other mobile phone find a way to hide the antennas, but Apple has to have these ugly lines…….I hope this isn’t true!

    • DAV_USN

      Every other mobile phone has an aluminum back? The aluminum back is the reason for the lines, otherwise there would be glass at the top and bottom like the current versions….except the 5c.

  • Zayed

    All the pics and videos coming from china will be fake
    The iphone 6 will be made in the USA
    So we will probably see a new design

    • Tallest Skil

      This IS a new design. No, it’s not made in the US.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior 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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