Dubious budget iPhone plastic shell leaks

By , Apr 18, 2013

Budget iPhone plastic schell (Tactus 001)

Apple’s rumored less-pricey iPhone is thought to minimize manufacturing costs by abandoning the pricey two-tone aluminum body, replacing it with a less expensive polycarbonate shell akin to the white G3 iMac – or similar to the plastic body of the iPhone 3G/3GS, if you will. Now, rumor-mills, but also big media such as WSJ and Bloomberg, have repeated this particular data point numerous times, but we have never seen any physical evidence supporting the plastic body theory.

That changed Wednesday as case manufacturer Tactus, which recently leaked purported iPad 5 shell, posted an image that allegedly represents the back shell of the budget iPhone. We couldn’t confirm its authenticity at press time so take this one with a pinch of salt, even more so knowing accessory makers often pull such stunts to get free press…

That Tactus published the image in its own blog post (via MacRumors) under the headline ‘Exclusive new budget iPhone leak’ gives us more reasons to believe the company is taking us all for a ride.

Aggressive watermarking isn’t helping with the credibility either.

But why stop there?

Tactus also wants us to believe it somehow knows that the device will launch on October 15, priced at $300. As if that weren’t enough, the post claims the part is just 0.4-0.6 mm thick. You’d think Tactus would be able to precisely measure the thickness of the part they apparently had gotten hold of.

The best bit:

I’ve also heard on the grapevine that the alleged budget iPhone will have an A5 processor like the iPad Mini with a 32nm diecast. It’s also rumoured it will have a 3.5 inch retina screen, much like the 4S, but not as big as the iPhone 5 – a few more pennies saved with that compromise!

And this is the purported iPad 5 mould Tactus published last week. I originally passed on that story because I felt that Tactus was hungry for free publicity.

Tactus iPad 5 cases
The iPad 5 case (left) next to the iPad 4 case (right). The image indicates the next iPad will adopt a smaller and thinner design.

I personally am having lots of issues with the quality – or the lack of it – of the plastic part depicted on Tactus’s photograph.

If the budget iPhone is going to be more affordable and feature a plastic body, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to feel cheap, no?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/OmerOsman123 Omer Osman

    looks like an iPhone3gs and iPhone 4s Hybrid…

  • batongxue

    Looks like it is happening.

  • Boss

    Looks cheap and nasty I would never been seen in public with a budget iPhone but it’s perfect for all them students and people from India and China

    • http://twitter.com/amanvojha ★ Amaℵ™ ★☯

      People in india do buy costly phones you dumb ass

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Cooper/100000164561256 Matthew Cooper

        Hahaha

      • Boss

        Yeah like 10% Wow! that’s gonna make Apple some major profit NOT

      • JoblessGuy2

        You realize that India has a population of over 1.21 billion (as of last year), right? One percent of that can give them more cash than they are getting from all of the rest of the world right now.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        I think you need to do the Math my friend… 1% of 1.2billion may not be as much as you think.

      • Klikkit

        Fair enough he exaggerated, but he made @disqus_NRcP4Aaq1J:disqus look even more of an idiot, and tbh.. 12Million iPhones is still a lot

      • felixtaf

        You know how many people includes that 10%, Boss??? Millions!!!

  • Klikkit

    @disqus_NRcP4Aaq1J:disqus you are exactly the type of idiot android fanboys prey on.. why would you choose one phone over another for looks? It looks good anyway, the 3G/3GS was a better looking/more comfortable phone than the 4/4S/5

    • Boss

      I like nice stuff I wear Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, I like the best of the best don’t want no cheap crap from Adidas same goes with my phone

      • Klikkit

        Oh so you’re on of those people who know nothing about what they buy, they just buy the most common/well-known brands as long as they are expensive, but avoid the actual quality, expensive brands, I understand now, my apologies.

      • felixtaf

        U can still own an iPhone 5s/6 or S4 or HTC one. U dnt have to own cheap stuffs… People are there who prefer cheap stuffs over expensive overpriced items…

      • Boss

        I own a Vertu, iPhone 5 & BlackBerry Porsche

      • felixtaf

        Cool. As i said not evry1 can afford an iPhone 5 or a Vertu. So these cheap phones are for them.

      • Klikkit

        I think we’ve cleared up the fact that this guy is just an envious troll

  • Matthew Agostino

    Looks like some cheap knock off made in china, doubt that’s an actual apple product.

    • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

      Not that I disagree, but I remember hoards of people saying the same thing when the iPhone 5 shell was leaked.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Then look what happened at the apple farm on the night before launch, hundreds of sheeps were all lined up ready to be milked.

      • Klikkit

        you milk sheep? strange, must be a Droid fanboy

  • wheebang

    Looks to me Apple is now trying to gain some ground on the budget Android market. I wish them luck, but nobody in their right mind would actually feel ‘proud’ to own a budget iPhone.

    • Klikkit

      What is it with you people caring what people think of it? or being proud of it? it’s a phone, not a child.. it does more than we ever NEEDED a phone to do (phone people)

      • u.r.a.dumbfuck

        Apple products are known to be elite, in both quality and performance. With these cheap android knock off phones, there is neither. If I were after a crappy $300 plastic phone, I would chose an Android which would have far more features, and better specs, as I sure wouldn’t be after something quality (look or feel) at that time.

        Unbelievable that you, the same people who think so highly about Apple products quality and performance are actually Ok with these substandard, antiquated (design, processor, and screen) devices. Phones today are more than just phones, they are status pieces, and home computer replacements. People spend more time on their phones than anything else these days.

        Cheap belong with Android. Quality belong with Apple. Apple playing both sides of the fence will only make their products look cheap in the eyes of the consumers.

      • http://twitter.com/HighTechPotato John Wayne

        the androids for 300$ are sh’t

      • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

        Apart from charging itself while on the go… That would be nice. :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

      The device will sell, make no mistake, people who want a smart phone, a phone that’s easy to use, doesn’t cost the world, and don’t really know to much about the differences will have a choice other than android..

      • Klikkit

        It will sell extremely well because of the Apple badge, the only reason people are hating on it here is because they are elitist people who think the iPhone is a status symbol of ‘the rich’ when in fact nearly every person living on benefits owns an Apple product.

        Agree with you on the charging haha, would be a lovely perk, Charging – via iCloud.

  • http://twitter.com/ihxclos Carlitos 

    I’m not believing anything Tactus says. Those are just iPad cases.

  • hp13

    i have seen the most iphone users in India. they hate cheap androids. its just a style thing there. and yes most can afford it :D

  • http://twitter.com/N_2the_ATE Nate Thach

    If this is true, I can’t wait for people to start complaining that their iPhone is turning “Yellowish”

    • Klikkit

      never owned a 3G/3GS I take it.. they were fine

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        I did, and I can guarantee the 3Gs has been and still is a very solid piece of hardware; in fact, I handed it over to a member of my family after switching to an iPhone 5.

      • Klikkit

        I prefer the feel of it to my iP5, most comfortable, perfectly shaped phone I’ve ever owned

      • DeBugger

        Apple products are good but their phones suck.

      • Klikkit

        Care to elaborate or just following the Droid crowd?

      • DeBugger

        Just voicing my experience. I have owned iPhones since the 3S, and have been blind in my devotion since, and have owned every model since, up to the i5. My friend just got a note 2 which was the first android phone I have looked at… I was in disbelief at how georgious the screen and OS was… I played with it for a few weeks before deciding to get one myself. I have to tell you the blind hatred I had for android and samsung were uncalled for.. I still have my i5 but it is a joke compared, and now have people and co-workers gawking over my shoulders in wonder when I use the note 2, which is something I used to get with my iDevices once upon a time. Apple is a powerful brand but their phones are no longer king.

      • Klikkit

        Your co-workers ‘gawk’ over your shoulders to laugh at you talking into a tablet.

        First handset was a 3G, had the 3GS, got a Desire S, then a Desire HD which I traded out for an S2 before moving to an iPhone 4, went iP4>GS3>iP5.

        Apple’s phones are superior and always will be until Google reinvent their play store/gain more apps.

        The hardware debate is pointless, I don’t think anyone on this earth can use an iPhone 5/GS3 to the point that their specs can’t keep up, 2GB RAM and an Octo-Core CPU is impossible to notice next to an iPhone 5 unless you go to Star Trek conventions and spend your time comparing benchmarks.

        So if the hardware debate is pointless, what else can an Android do that a JailBroken iPhone can’t? maybe Android has improved tenfold in the last 7 months since I replaced mine :s

      • DeBugger

        No, not laugh and in fact more than a handful got one of their own. Maybe not a note 2, but a galaxy S3 or equiv.

        The google app store is quite decent, and comparable to apples offerings today, in both site features, navigation, and apps.

        As for ‘specs do not matter’, well, they do.. at least in the eyes of one’s peers. Remember, phones are more than phones today, they are a status figure. Bigger is better, regardless what some may think. The hardware may be under utilized today, but I assure you, this can and will change in the near future.

      • Klikkit

        Exactly.. ‘Status’ figures and being better than others… hence the Star Trek conventions.. no average consumer gives half a toss what the specs are or what benches better than another.. hell, half of the consumers don’t even know what cores or RAM are/is.

        My point – Specs do not matter.

        They don’t matter today, they wont matter tomorrow, please attempt to think of something that phones will be capable of in the next 5 years that will require 8 cores and 2GB RAM.

        PS: Also not sure why you’re playing the ‘status’ card, if someone wants to appear high status, they buy an iPhone.. that’s the only thing I dislike about Apple, which is no fault of Apple.. it’s the consumer’s fault.. they buy it as a status symbol.

        Who buys a 5″+ phone to show off? A Virgin speaking cling-on?

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        Truth is, like I said elsewhere- I or anyone else shouldn’t care less about what other consumers think about a specific product. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of what suits you better and what you like most. I know a lot of people who unfortunately had to choose an Android device -specifically Samsung- due to the fact they cannot afford paying for an Apple device -an iPhone, to be more precise.
        Also, I need a device to fit inside my pocket; and no, I don’t carry big bags or deep pockets, so I don’t like the idea of hanging around with a fat ass device like an S3, S4, or Note. Personally, those products were not carefully designed to be carried around comfortably. I’ve heard this many times and it is something designers should really pay attention to. But then again, it’s truly up to anyone’s preference.
        “Bigger is better” is not an objective statement; it’s truly up to what your needs and preferences are.

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        “Bigger is better”? Sorry, that is just… wrong.

      • DeBugger

        It is a true fact in both sense of the phrase. (Proven by both medical journals, and phone owners alike)

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        I thought you said you never owned a 3Gs…

      • Klikkit

        Where did I say that? Perhaps improve your reading skills

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        Three days ago you said: “I prefer the feel of it to my iP5, most comfortable, perfectly shaped phone I’ve ever owned”- were you not referring to the iPhone 3GS based on your previous comments? “Perhaps improve your reading skills?”- chill out, son, no need to be so grumpy. I was just wondering. :) You guys look so unhappy and react to anything these days. Go spread your hate someplace else.

      • Klikkit

        Where did I say I’ve never owned a 3GS? you still haven’t answered the question.

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        Read your own post three days ago. You’ve just confirmed my statement above though. Thanks. :)
        Actually, I think this is a confusion raised by the grammar from your original post as you first said “never owned a 3G/3Gs” so it can be read as YOU never owned one… until reading further where you said the 3G was your first Apple phone. Tacit subject… I had to read through your posts. Anywho…

      • Klikkit

        ‘Never owned a 3G/3GS I take it’

        I think any English speaking commenter will clearly understand I was talking to the person (who I replied to in that very comment) I even gave my own opinion of the phone in the very same sentence.

      • Diego Gastón Milano

        Yup, it makes sense now after clarifying and re-reading.
        I prefer the iPhone 5 though, although I did feel the difference in the squared shape versus the rounded one of the 3Gs- a minor thing though as I prefer the sleekness and thinness of the i5.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649839720 Raul Henriquez

    Looks beautiful and why wouldn’t people buy this if its going to cost $99 bucks

  • http://twitter.com/xKami786 Kamrul

    Atleast they wont need to put a case on it since its not expensive.

  • JoblessGuy2

    I can bet anything that this is never going to happen.

    One of the weird things about the iPhone 5 announcement was that there was NO (not even next to no, but literally no) backlash from developers over the change in aspect ratio. That sorta thing is really pissing off, and messes with your UI a lot. Maintaining two separate ratios at the same time for a similar size display is really tough, since the extra half inch should not be used to do anything other adding to the content windows. It’s almost as if the extra space is, UI-wise, useless.

    But, no backlash. Not a word.

    Only one sane reason exists, if you ask me; 3.5 is out. For good. I don’t see ANYONE benefiting from it existing. If the cheap iPhone exists, it HAS TO have a 4 inch screen.

  • Jaye

    The reason I will skip is because this phone won’t be world wide / unlockable. I’ll stick with my iphone 5.

  • Raj

    I will buy one for my dad! I stay my premium iPhone models…

  • Kyle Adams

    this whole “budget” iphone already exists in the form of the 4. why bother will of this?

  • http://twitter.com/Cabelodefogo5 Yuri Medeiros

    Did anyone notice they moved the mute switch underneath the volume buttons?

  • http://twitter.com/Bigodon Marcos Frazão

    Depends what will pack in this budget phone
    I loved the plastic white case, so nostalgic to my currently 3gs

    But what about camera? Ram? They can pack the 8mpx camera from iphone 5 in it? Including the best light sensor

  • http://www.facebook.com/hardy.hariandyputra Hardy Hariandy Putra

    Now Samsung will laugh back at Apple …..

  • http://twitter.com/agropoliusa agropoliusa

    Please hang up!