Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to release not just one, but two new iPhone models this year: the sixth-generation iPhone called the iPhone 5S -- the true, high-end successor to the iPhone 5 -- and a completely new "low-cost" iPhone model aimed at emerging markets, to be called either iPhone 6, iPhone Light or simply “iPhone.” Considering Apple’s penchant for simplicity and its current naming system for the full-sized iPad, we believe “iPhone” will be the real name of the iPhone 6.
For months, we’ve seen alleged leaks, photos and specs of the budget iPhone, but the past few weeks have seen a great surge in iPhone 6 rumors, powered by convincing photos -- and now, even video -- of what Apple has in store for its new iPhone that’s not only inexpensive to make, but also cheaper to sell. Apple will reportedly focus on driving the iPhone 6 into emerging markets such as India and China, but especially China, which is Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S. Apple may strike a deal with China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL), the largest telecommunications carrier in the world with 703 million subscribers, support the iPhone 6 on its expansive TD-LTE network.
After French site NowhereElse posted several photos that looked like rear shells of Apple’s candy-colored iPhone 6 late last week, M.I.C. Gadget blog’s editor-in-chief Chris Chang posted video and photos of the iPhone 6 on the Techdy blog, which he said came directly from suppliers in Taiwan. The photos and video of the iPhone 6 are not yet confirmed – Apple refuses to address details about any of its future products before their intended release dates -- but the images align perfectly with previous iPhone 6 rumors, which leads us to believe this is, in fact, legitimate. Take a look at the photos and video below to formulate your own opinion.
“As can be seen from the images above, all the rumors about the low-cost plastic iPhone seem to be true,” Chang wrote on Techdy. “The budget iPhone will be made substantially from plastic (we can feel it’s actually polycarbonate material). It will have a 4” screen, like the iPhone 5, and interestingly, the budget iPhone actually has a shape that’s similar to Apple’s original iPod. 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.”
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Chang said he was able to fit the display assembly of the iPhone 6 into the phone’s rear shell, which “seemed to fit perfectly.” Furthermore, all of the specs on the inside and outside of the iPhone 6 photos, including the second microphone and the four speaker holes, all appear legitimate.
Comparing the images to the photos posted by NowhereElse, the two microphones, rounded edges on the back and the interior of the iPhone 6 are all consistent. NowwhereElse posted the rear shells of four colors, including red, yellow, green and blue; Chang says Apple will also sell the iPhone 6 in white, which is the color featured in Techdy’s leaked photos and video.
Back in January, iLounge editor-in-chief Jeremy Horwitz said the iPhone 6 is a "cross between the iPhone 5, the fifth-generation iPod touch and -- wait for it -- the iPod classic." With its 4-inch screen like the iPhone 5, a tapered bottom like the latest iPod touch and a rectangular shape like the iPod classic, the low-cost iPhone 6 is said to be substantially made from plastic but feature a hybrid chassis made of both plastic and metal. The right side of the iPhone 6 features a flat, centered SIM card tray like the iPhone 5, with the locations of the camera, microphone and rear flash located similarly to where they were on the latest-generation iPod touch.
We expect Apple to unveil the iPhone 6 simultaneously with the iPhone 5S in September to coincide with the release date of iOS 7, but we believe Apple will release the two new iPhone models on two separate dates to avoid heavy lines at Apple's physical retail stores. Specifically, we believe Apple will release the iPhone 5S on Sept. 20, just two days after the release of iOS 7, and release the iPhone 6 a week after the iPhone 5S on Friday, Sept. 27.
What do you think of the iPhone 6? Does this new budget model fit into Apple’s product lineup? Would you consider purchasing an iPhone 6 over Apple’s main iPhone line, even if that means sacrificing some key user features to save some money? Let us know what you think of the iPhone 6 in the comments section below.