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The IBT post "seems like a bit of a wild stab in the dark, if we're honest, as it appears to be an assertion primarily based on the fact that several sources have recently claimed Apple will offer a lower-priced iPhone," writes Paul Briden, at Know Your Mobile, nicely summarizing how rumors are born and nurtured in the iOSphere.
"Apple may well be reconsidering its pricing structure but is likely doing so only to offer lower-end options too," Briden writes. "We doubt very much if it will abandon its premium structure entirely."
Still. Never underestimate what alarmed executives can do when gripped by panic.
The iOSphere thrilled when sites like SlashGear discovered on the French tech site NoWhereElse.com (or NME as its fondly called) "photos of what appear to be next-generation iPhone parts ... with suggestions of the iPhone 5S and even an iPhone 6 on the way within the year," as Chris Burns breathlessly described the revelations.
And not to keep anyone in suspense, here's one of the photos as it appears now on NME.
To say this is "blurry" doesn't quite do justice to the extent of its formlessness. Frankly, our best guess is this is a repurposed closeup of a zombie's eyes sockets just before he sinks his teeth into you.
Not even the iOSphere could call this a "purported photo." In a notably convoluted sentence, Burns writes, "This set of photos comes from a tipster speaking with NME that they've subsequently said has requested that the photos be blurred out." According to the Google translation of NME's original French language post, the source of the photographs "contacted us to let us know that he regretted having shared these photos and wish for us to remove our article.
Regret? In the iOSphere? How ... quaint.
In any case, Burns manfully soldiers on, aided if only marginally by the original photo (with the corresponding iPhone 5 part superimposed) as it first appeared on NME. "Since these photos of the innards of devices are essentially blurrier already than we'd care to think about, let's have a look and see what we can see."
The answer is much clearer than the photos: not very much. NME says the new parts are the "block speaker" for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6. And sure enough, they look different from the "block speaker" component of the current iPhone.
"The information surrounding these components it scant, with the supplier only suggesting that they've gotten their hands on Apple-bound bits and pieces," Burns admits, in the kind of understatement that's a hallmark of iOSphere rumoring.
"What we're seeing here is something that's exciting only because of the ever-so-slight but telling differences between these and past Apple components, these suggesting a new device or a new setup in the near future," according to SlashGear's Burns. He is, apparently, easily excitable.
Yet Burns can't and doesn't actually tell us what is "telling" about the differences. You take a picture that purports to be of a part for the Next iPhone. Then you take a picture of the corresponding part in the existing iPhone. Compare, conclude, blog. Even if the conclusion amounts to, "Yep: it's different."