Taking time from video games, iPhone repairs, and shopping, an Australian teenager posted photographs of what he and the iOSphere are celebrating as the "iPhone 5C" housing, in glorious plastic. Apparently, the "C" stands for "cheap."
Also this week, a stock analyst says the new plastic iPhone will outsell the new non-plastic iPhone and that will be bad news for Apple; and two websites posted Big News about the iPhone 6 and its 64-bit processor … based on photos and speculation that first circulated in the iOSphere in 2012.
You read it here second.
With growth slowing in the high-end smartphone market, many industry watchers have suggested that Apple’s much rumored entry-level iPhone is a necessity if the company hopes to prevent a complete market share collapse.
— Zach Epstein, BGR, darkly warning of Apple’s Impending Doom if it refuses to take the advice of smartphone enthusiasts, amateur New Media pundits, and stock analysts who are paid based on industry knowledge and connections rather than “accurate earnings forecasts and profitable stock recommendations.
iPhone “5C” plastic back housing revealed, according to Australian teenager
Photos purporting to be of a plastic-bodied new iPhone, dubbed by some the iPhone 5C (for “cheap?”), have appeared on a pair of websites, one of them belonging to a blogger named Sonny Dickson.
Dickson posted nearly 60 photos of a phone’s back housing, apparently made of white plastic, with the Apple logo and the word “iPhone” clearly visible. The photos show a smooth, glossy, seamless plastic housing that also forms the sides of the phone, with openings for a speaker, earphones, dock, and various buttons.
The complete gallery is on Dickson’s website, without any commentary, or any explanation of where the photos came from.
Dickson appears to be a teenager living in southeast Australia, according to this recent story at Stuff.co.nz. He claims to have contacts and friends with various Chinese companies in Apple’s supply chain. They provide him with photos and actual prototypes. He makes a living by selling the prototypes and repairing iPhones.
Dickson’s website isn’t exactly a hotbed of news: so far in 2013, sonnydickson.com has nine posts, and one of them is a bleg to send him more prototypes.
The website USwitch claims to have sourced the “snaps” with Dickson, but their photos are fewer and different from the ones on his website.
One shows the plastic body and apparently the digitizer nestled in its protective foam case. Next to it is the brown cardboard box that enclosed it. On the label are the words: “5G LCD/digitizer white original,” and USwitch suggests this is the name of plastic iPhone or a reference to LTE-Advanced radio, which will boost current “4G” network speeds.
iPhone P (“plastic”) or M or C…whadevah! ... will outsell iPhone 5S
The plastic iPhone will be good news and bad news for Apple, according to a stock analyst whose speculation, a.k.a. “research,” is widely circulating through the iOSphere.
The analyst is Steve Milunovich, of UBS, and he says that what he calls “iPhone M” will have explosive sales (“good news”) but hammer Apple’s profits and earnings-per-share, according to Zach Epstein’s summarizing post at BGR, which found Milunovich’s research note first reported at Tiernan Ray’s blog at Barrons.
“In the iPhone M’s first full year on the market, Milunovich believes end-user sales will reach 92 million units to account for more than half — 53% — of Apple’s total iPhone unit sales in fiscal 2014, thus outselling the new flagship iPhone 5S,” Epstein dutifully records.
No waffling here. Not “over 90” or “roughly 90” or “possibly close to 100” million. Ninety-two million, precisely; which will comprise 53% precisely of all iPhones sold. Milunovich isn’t guessing here. He has a “model.”
“In our model, the iPhone M is dilutive not only to gross margin but to gross profit dollars,” he says. “The impact of the M depends on assumptions. We estimate the 4/4S, which the M would replace, currently have a gross margin of 55% because of the low cost of older components. We also assume the gross margin of the M will be near 32%.” More precision: His “model” shows iPhone gross profit declines by 4% or $1.6 billion, and a drop of $1.16 in Apple’s fiscal 2014 earnings per share.
Epstein seems to think the plastic phone is inevitable though he’s a bit coy. “With growth slowing in the high-end smartphone market, many industry watchers have suggested that Apple’s much rumored entry-level iPhone is a necessity if the company hopes to prevent a complete market share collapse.”
A Complete Market Share Collapse. Thank heavens for plastic.
“Is This Sexy Beast The iPhone 6? [LEAKED PICS]”
Our Most Egregious Use of a Rumor This Week Award goes to what appears to be a low-ranked website in India, called Tekrieg, which created a post with the ever-so-clickable headline “Is This Sexy Beast The iPhone 6? [LEAKED PICS].”
“Well what is this sexy beast pictured below?” asks ‘Grace’ provocatively. “Before you say it is none other than the iPhone 5, let me tell you that you may be looking at the first pictures of the upcoming iPhone 6.”
Actually, we’re looking at uncorroborated pictures first published eight months ago by MacRumors. We know this because Grace links to that story. When we click on the link and pay attention, this is what we see: “First Claimed Images of iPhone 5S Rear Shell Surface” Wednesday December 5, 2012 5:50 am PST by Eric Slivka
Even MacRumors’ Slivka didn’t seem too confident about it back then: “[I]t is certainly possible that this part is an old iPhone 5 prototype design that was discarded in favor of the design that was ultimately used,” he pointed out. “Alternatively, the part could also be a fake or a knockoff … .”
So who knows? Maybe that sexy beast really is the Next iPhone.
“iPhone 6 May Take Gaming To 64Bit Glory”
There is actually a tie for our Most Egregious Use of a Rumor This Week Award.
The other winner is Alex Bagi, whose post at Auto-omobile carried the oh-so-clickable headline “iPhone 6 May Take Gaming To 64Bit Glory.”
“Apple has worked hard to develop new processors each year to keep up with their competition,” Alex explains helpfully. “So the question is will they reveal a 64 bit A7 chip for the iPhone 6? The folks over at iPhone5NewsBlog report that Apple may launch the A7 processor with 64 bit in the iPhone 6.”
And, like Grace, Alex helpfully provides a link to that website’s “report.” When we click on the link, and we’re paying attention, here’s what we see: “iPhone 5S Could Feature 64-Bit A7 Processor In 2013” Posted by Michael Nace on Sunday Nov. 18, 2012
So actually, the new “report” of the 64-bit A7 processor for iPhone 5S turns out to be 9-month-old rehash of vague speculation about Apple’s processor plan.
Apple’s mobile chip design work draws on the instruction set and intellectual property of ARM Ltd. Wikipedia actually has a good overview of the evolution of Apple’s A series system-on-chip, and its connection to the evolving underlying ARM processor technology.
With the iPhone 5, Apple made an important change. As one of the few ARM customers with an architectural license (Qualcomm is another), Apple can design and fabricate its own custom cores, instead of using those created by ARM. And it did so with the iPhone 5’s A6 chip, making big improvements over the two ARM Cortex A9 cores used in A5. You can find a wealth of highly technical detail in AnandTech’s analysis of the A6 as part of its extensive iPhone 5 review.
As the A6 and A6X show, a lot can still be done to improve 32-bit SOC performance and power efficiency, without embracing a 64-bit architecture. ARM’s own 64-bit cores, the Cortex A50 series, won’t be available in volume processors until about mid-2014, according to AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi in this October 2012 overview of the technology.