Plastic iPhone shell compared to 3GS, iPod touch in new hi-res video

By , Jul 24, 2013

white iphone plastic

Most of the reports we’ve seen over the past 6 months have suggested that Apple is going to be releasing a new, low-cost iPhone alongside its iPhone 5S this fall. And the theory has been corroborated by a mound of evidence, including a barrage of plastic iPhone shells.

Adding to the evidence today is Michael Kukielka, also known as the DetroitBorg, who has posted a high quality video of what appears to be a white plastic iPhone shell. Kukielka gives us a clear view of the case and compares it to the iPod touch and other iPhone models…

Here’s his video (via 9to5Mac):

There’s a few things worth noting in the video. First, the plastic shell clearly matches up with the other ones we’ve seen over the past few weeks, in various of colors. And two, notice how Kukielka describes the phone as a cross between the iPhone 3GS and the iPod touch.

This matches up with a report from a January report by iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz—well before shells started turning up:

“Apple’s budget housing looks closest to the iPod classic in shape, though not in materials. Unlike the plastic iPhone 3G/3GS, which featured soft curves on all sides, the budget iPhone’s curves start and end at flat surfaces, so each side and the back are flat. This seems like a trivial change, until you realize that it allows Apple to use flat rather than curve-matched parts: the right side has a flat, centered SIM card tray just like the iPhone 5’s, while all of the buttons and ports are on flat rather than curved surfaces. A flat-backed iPhone won’t rock on a flat surface when it vibrates, either.”

And that’s the thing with this so-called budget iPhone. The rumors and reports have been very consistent for a very long time, all pointing to a handset made up of plastic and metal, resembling the iPhone 5, with more rounded edges and a price tag somewhere around $300.

Pundits expect that such a device, even with mid-tier pricing, would help Apple dramatically increase its marketshare in emerging markets like India, Russia and China. It would also likely do well here in the US, where carriers seem to be slowly doing away with device subsidies.

Yesterday, Apple announced on its quarterly earnings call that it sold 31.2 million iPhones during its June quarter.

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  • sivkai

    The case still looks way to cheap for an Apple product. Even the 3GS shell looks more premium than this one.

    • Sean Cua

      I think it’d look a lot more premium if it was polycarbonate rather than glossy plastic.

      • iThinkergoiMac

        Polycarbonate IS a glossy plastic. What do you think the difference would be?

      • Sean Cua

        Sorry bout that. Thanks for the clarification.

      • iThinkergoiMac

        No problem. I am curious as to what you thought would look better, though! Edit: I see you edited your original post. I think a matte finish would look nice, but Apple does love their glossy plastic!

      • sivkai

        Agreed. The glossy look it currently has makes it look like a Fisher Price toy…

    • Yunsar

      It looks bad in photos but I think the glossy look may be good

  • Boss

    They should just make the iTouch with cellular and make it the budget iPhone

    • mehrab

      Then they”d have to make it fat and it”ll have production problems for sure. And that always destroy the purpose of the ipod touch line

    • Yunsar

      Yeah they should, but they won’t put a phone app, you’ll need a third party app for calling

  • Misti curia

    I would rather a plastic shell on an iPod touch and the latest prossecor than a fancy shell but last years SoC.

  • iJumeira

    I think apple is going to release plastic iphone with same hardware specs to iphone 5 or even iphone 5s but the back cover gonna be plastic and that which will make it budget iphone, but they will stick with their current premium iphone design which going to be the same handset quality we expect from apple. So to make it clear:

    Premium iphone:
    Alemnium design with latest hardware.

    Budget iphone:
    Plastic desing with latest hardware.

    • iThinkergoiMac

      I honestly doubt that. It would destroy the sales of the high-margin, high-end metal iPhone, which Apple wouldn’t want to do. I’m positive that the budget iPhone will have less performance and a lesser camera than the metal iPhone of the same year.

      What would be the point in releasing a device that’s far cheaper than, and yet almost identical to, the device that’s making you the most money? Especially since, presumably, the so-called budget iPhone has tighter margins and thus less profit per sale.

  • @dongiuj

    Me like!

  • Nicholas Osborne

    Looks UGLY!!! I think I’ll stick with my black-slate, anodized aluminum, shiny iPhone 5!!!

    • Grolubao

      At least this one would not scuff like mine does…

  • Carlos Cedeno

    I’m guessing this would probably would be the same iPhone 4s hardware with a better camera and the iPhone 5 shell (plastic). This would also allow it to have ios 7 since the 4s can support it with minimal problems/bugs. Got to love how apple thinks lets sell them the same old phone but with a new shell.

    • Gorgonphone

      4S specs in this = fail

      • Jose Rivera

        How would it be a fail, if the iPad 2/mini, and 5th Gen touch all have the same A5 chip, and 512MB of ram? Only difference is that the 4s has an 8mpx camera…

  • Carlos

    I wonder how carriers will sell this. Free with a 2 year contract?

    • Kenny Woodard

      What the heck are you talking about? They’d have to pay me to use it.

      • Carlos

        Trust me, I’m not buying this phone either. If you ask me, plastic really makes a phone look cheap. Just look at Samsung.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Wonder how fanboys would spin this one off…

    • Gorgonphone

      its great fro the some folks who thought the iPad mini non retina is great

  • Yael Loza

    I think this design of the “iPhone low-cost” is that Apple will introduce in this fall.

  • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

    It looks very possible, specially if Apple wants to compete in the low-end market with Crapdroid. I think that it will sport the specs not from the previous generation, but something between iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 (maybe 5 proccessor, 4S camera, and a low storage capacity). maybe the surprise will be in the price.

    • Gorgonphone

      if the specs of this phone are any lower than the iphone5 it will be a POS

      • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

        If the specs are equal or in any way better than the iPhone 5, it would be pointless, Apple always sell current generation phones along with past generation. Also, it’s suposed to be a budget iPhone, and since the iPhone 5S should have slightly enhanced specs over the iPhone 5, a budget iPhone with i5 specs wouldn’t be significantly cheaper than the 5S price tag.

    • Elxlr

      yea Spec wise, it has to be better than iphone 4, because lots of apps after update, won’t or may not work with iphone 4. I’m still using 3gs and mini. I may buy the second hand iphone 5 or lets see!

  • Neil Sardesai

    So…what happened to doubling down on secrecy?

  • Gorgonphone

    this phone looks too simple and boring they should have kept the upper and lower band design from the 5 in some way..

  • Baaji

    This iPhone Mini might attract only Apple Dream Boys. Since
    the budget market in India already being hogged ruled by Mobile Phone Start-ups
    who give the mind blowing specs of S3/S4 or HOX at 300 bucks this won’t
    match up most with this unattractive shell made by Apple. Look into Micromax
    Canvas HD/ Intel Xolo’s or some other new stuff in Indian Market, they appear
    better than these Apples. No one will be paying up just for the logo alone.

    Moreover Apple might lose its value in growing market which previously
    distinct itself from Luxury!

    • Gorgonphone

      lol apples brand power is such that they can sell anything they want and still kill the competition they have done it many many times

      • Baaji

        LOL! The game is over a long back i can say! I own iPhone’s of last three generations. Since 4s there is no magical leap in iOS after Steve’s death! iPhone’s are no longer found interesting toys for me!
        Look into Driod’s they have developed into big tools from multiwindow to WiDi’s. I am seriously considering myself to moving towards a Droid!

      • Elxlr

        Haven’t moved yet? Lol (Sarcastically*)

    • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

      Just like everybody predicted that an iPad mini would’nt sell and it goes strong as always.

      • Baaji

        We’re comparing a 300 over 300! Obviously Apple is building a Plastic crap here for the same 300 with less user experience!

      • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

        “with less user experience” meaning…

      • JH

        Obviously it might be underpowered like 3GS/4 you won’t play Infinity Blade with it or get a rich aluminum tone which comes with 700 i5! You can’t expect the same performance on this little phone!

  • Yunsar

    A few months ago someone made a 3D concept of a budget iPhone in red. It had the same plastic and very similar design to the iTouch. But the colour was better. Maybe apple makes product red?

  • Dady King

    Finally Samsung forced apple to do this.. Bz apple also have to look market strategy .. So just to be in market apples launching plastic phone.. So that company can float little further..
    I personally didn’t like plastic iphone .. Bz when I carry my iphone 5 .. I feel like m carring something in my hand and people also notice that m using iPhone 5.. But just imagine if we are holding plastic iphone after using glass & metal one ..
    Ask ur self.. Will u be proud enough like iPhone 4 n 5..

  • Dante Arellano

    Da it’s simple apple doesn’t have some one to continue making the iPhone 5 so the plan B is another iPhone 5 but now in plastic so what will be the marker for this obviously I won’t update mi i5 aluminum for the shite of plastic apple once again I hope you know what you doing.

  • Beck Hoefling

    If u want a budget phone get an older edition. You will have a much better experience

  • Sanjay K

    If this thing gets a 4-inch retina display, it’ll be a superhit. Most people use cases so, plastic body wouldn’t hurt. A little lower spec’d hardware wouldnt affect the general usability of the device considering the extremely optimized iOS. Just hope it releases at a good price point!