Rumors of a low-cost, plastic iPhone have been swirling for months now, claiming that Apple could be prepping a more affordable version of its iOS smartphone that could arrive sometime in 2013. Now a site named Techdy claims to have gotten hold of the front and rear panels of the budget iPhone and has posted up an extensive photo gallery and a video that show off the assembled body.
After spending some hands-on time with the parts, the site says that the body of the low-cost iPhone is "substantially" plastic but that it "does not feel cheap at all." The entire rear shell and sides of the device are colored white, but unlike Apple's iPhone 4, 4S and 5, the front panel of this budget iPhone is black. Techdy claims that this will be the case with all of the colors of the low-cost iPhone, which is said to include blue, green, pink, green, white and yellow.
The design of these low-cost iPhone parts lines up with a leak from earlier this year that described the device as looking like a combination of the iPhone and iPod. The front, sides and rear of the handset are all flat like the iPhone 5, but there are curved edges connected the sides and rear, which differs from the iPhone 5's hard edges. This budget iPhone also sports a speaker, Lightning port and headphone jack on its bottom and a camera on its rear, all in the same spots as the iPhone 5. Finally, the shell appears to have small holes where the volume buttons, SIM slot and lock button should be, suggesting that the shell hadn't yet had those button holes punched out when it was made.
While still very much unofficial and unconfirmed at this point, this low-cost iPhone does appear to match up with the rumors that we've been hearing all year. The device looks fairly similar to the iPhone 5, including its 4-inch display, but its plastic enclosure could help to make it easier on the wallets of price-conscious consumers than the aluminum-clad iPhone 5.
Interestingly, Techdy is giving the public the chance to try out this plastic iPhone body for itself by selling an Android-powered device that looks just like it. Dubbed the "Basic Bear," the unit features a 4-inch 1136x640 touchscreen, just like the iPhone 5. Also included is a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 8-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras, 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, 2,300mAh battery and a vanilla version of Android 4.2.1. Techdy is now taking reservations for the the $199 phone, which it says will ship on September 1.