Purported less expensive iPhone parts assembled for video, knocked off for Android

When you hear "cheap iPhone" or "budget iPhone" think "less expensive iPhone", akin to how the Mac Mini is less expensive than the Mac Pro, and the iPad mini is less expensive than the full-sized iPad (or the iPod nano was less expensive than the classic iPod). That's what this video, and the accompanying photos, purportedly show off as well. Techdy:

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.

Rumors of a less expensive iPhone have been around for a while now, and make sense for a number of reasons. Apple can address saturation levels in the high end market while also preventing discounted devices from previous years drawing customers away from new devices, and also create something more affordable for emerging markets. Win. Win. Win.

Check out the video and the photos, imagine them in iOS 7 colors, and let me know what you think of the approach, the design, and its chances in the market?

(Bonus: You can buy an Android knock-off for the low, low price of yeahbutwhy? now!)

Source: Techdy via

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Purported less expensive iPhone parts assembled for video, knocked off for Android


It looks like a regular iPhone in a plastic case made by apple. Is that a good thing? Not sure.

One major differentiation ('miniaturisation' if you will from a feature set point of view) will be that these phones will be VOIP only.

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I could think trying to make a budget iPhone is obserd why not make a water resistant phone like Sony and Samsung now have? How about they make the iPhone have something the others do not. I got my iPhone 5 for 99$ just have to have a contract for 2 years. If that isn't budget idk what is. I think it would make me start to turn from apple if this is true and this is the nxt phone or even the phone along w the 5s. There's many many better things apple could be putting there time into.

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Not everyone lives in a country with subsidies. In some markets the iPhone 5 costs $1000. Making one that costs $500, $400 even is a huge difference there.

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I sense a change in the force that when/if Apple starts making plastic phones, plastic will all of a sudden not feel cheap or flimsy. Just like the "apple doesn't care about marketshare" arguments seem to be evaporating. It's amazing what plastic can do. I hope Apple doesn't make a low end iPhone. It would be like when Porsche decided on the 914

The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS were both plastic and both felt pretty damn good. However, they had problems with cracks.

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Regarding the lack of buttons... If you look closely in the video, there is a panning shot of the inside and you can se the cut ins for the buttons outlined on the inside, laid similarly to the iPod touch, plus the mute switch. Those perforations on the outside line up with the lower button and the switch.

This is an odd move by Apple. (Oh, and that video was over the top). Apple's pricing structure for the iPhone is a bit absurd. I'm fine with them starting out at $649. High-end Android phones start at that price too. But $100 to double the storage capacity is ridiculous.

I believe they are entitled to sell their products at as high a price as people are willing to purchase them. But if they want to tap into markets where $1000 is too much, why don't they bring their pricing structure in line with the actual cost of the upgrade.

Also, why don't they saturate those markets with their 4 and 4S models that have been reduced by $100 or so by now. They still gain market share.

Actually there was a study shown that the flash memories apple use do cost somewhere around $100 for every doubled capacity.

On the other hand you have the nexus 7, with cheap and low quality memory that fails after one year of use.

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There is a study done that will tell you anything you want to believe if you look hard enough. Adding 16gb costs the same $100 that adding 64gb costs? Does that mean the 64 to 128 upgrade uses lower quality memory?

I've had multiple android phones for 2-3 years each and have never had, nor heard of, memory "failing" after any amount of use.


Websites like this paint a very different picture. This website states there is a $50.40 difference in NAND Flash memory between the 16GB and 64 GB models of the iPad even though there is a $200 difference. I'm sure it can't be too far off for an iPhone.

Like I said before, they have the right to set their pricing structure. If people will pay, then it is great for Apple. I just think they could reduce their price some instead of making a "lower tier" product.

I have said here many times that Apple could take the existing iPod Touch and convert it to a phone. It has the same screen as the iPhone 5 and runs the same version of iOS. All they need to add is 3G connectivity and GPS, then they would have a fully fledged Apple product, unless your opinion of the iPod Touch differs, that would still be half the price of an iPhone 5.

victorvictor92 you covered the lack of buttons on the side but what about the lack of holes in the bottom next to charging port? Only have holes for either mic or speaker vs. the the ip5 that has holes on both sides of the charging port.

It would be interesting if Apple deployed a lower cost plastic iPhone in North America and the EU, as long as they aren't using iPhone 4 and 4S internals but at least make it with the iPhone 5 screen and parts. Hopefully, it also wouldn't be storage limited to 8 or 16GB only. As for the previous versions, I've seen more iPhone 4 and 4S out in the wild than iPhone 5, and that's likely due to price more than anything else. As long as previous models of iPhone are available for consumers to buy, some won't opt for the latest iPhone, as the previous model is considered to be "good enough".

Of course Apple is going to make it the cheaper iPhone outside of the iPod touch line. They would be able to market it as a cheaper iPhone rather than an iPod with voice capabilities and that in turns allows them to charge more the iPhone label on the back on the back of the phone. I honestly hope it doesn't come to the major US carriers, I can see it for the cheaper alternatives, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, etc.

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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.

I think you're assigning your own values to apple a bit too much. I highly doubt recyclability is anywhere near the forefront of their minds when planning a cheap plastic phone. If they manage it, I'm sure they'll take the PR boost, but I don't think they are planning around it unlike EVIL (insert apple competitor name here) who all apparently have an isatiable desire to destroy the planet.

You are deeply about Apple; it does a ton of work on its recycling program. See the site. More to the point, it builds phones so that you can get paid for recycling them, even broken. It walks its talk. Apple alone does this. All the rest, indeed, spew on about how cheap their phones are. Cheap for us; expensive for our grandkids.