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Dubious Images Suggest Apple Recycles iPhone 3GS Design for This Year’s Cheaper iPhone Model



Apple, which is rumored to be launching two different iPhone models this year, may introduce a cheap iPhone model for emerging markets alongside a new flagship smartphone that’s being dubbed the iPhone 5S. Images of what is being reported as the cheaper iOS smartphone model were posted to China’s Sina Weibo microblogging site showing a design that’s akin to Apple’s iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS; the pictures show a polycarbonate black smartphone body with a curved back.


Additionally, if these images are accurate, the design here is for a newer smartphone as one leaked picture shows the phone plugged with a new Lightning cable, rather than the older 30-pin Dock Connector cable that’s present on both the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Apple had used the old Dock Connector standard for iPhone models through the iPhone 4S; the iPhone 5 is the first model to debut the new Lightning port.

Additionally, it’s unclear if the device will show dual finishes. While the back of the device is shown with a highly glossy black paint job, the sides of the device appears to be a more matte finish. Another possibility for this second finish would be that Apple had used a black bumper around the sides.

Moreover, what’s curious from the image is that there appears to be some bubble highlights on the back of the phone. From the image, these marks, which are a lighter gray in color, don’t appear to be light reflections, which have a yellowish gold tint to them. Rather, they appear to be bubbling.


A few factors could cause this bubbling. One would be that what we’re seeing is not the actual body casing for the cheaper iPhone model and this may mean Apple had disguised the device in a case that has air gaps.

Another potential would be that while the case that’s ensconced around the actual iPhone inside is curved, the iPhone design isn’t curved. Apple could use a flatter design like that on the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, or iPhone 5, and disguised that flat rear design with a curved case. This, too, would leave an air gap to show the bubbling effect.

The images were published on Apple Insider.

The phone also contradicts an earlier rumor suggesting that Apple may reserve the color black for the high-end iPhone 5S while offering color options for low-end iPhone models.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Larry

    06/04/2013 at 6:59 am

    Gee the very last bottom picture looks impressive, but I thought no more home button on next iPhone ?? If they go back to the 3GS design forget !!!!

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