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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending April 26

Apple iPhone 6 scuttlebutt: Magic plastic, don’t listen to Tim Cook, location perils, color failure

By , Network World
April 29, 2013 07:57 AM ET
iPhone 6

Network World - The iPlasticPhone rears its glossy head and the iOSphere shivers.

Also this week, don’t listen to Tim Cook about display size; the unanticipated consequences of iPhone 6 Wi-Fi location tracking; colorful correction and balance; the Secret of SIM.

You read it here second.

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“If Apple were to have indoor GPS tracking on the iPhone 6, there could be some concerns over privacy. Users would have to choose whether they want their friends to know they are in the bathroom and how long they have been in there.”

Rick Berke, Auto-oMobile, highlighting a heretofore unanticipated consequence of Apple’s mobile location mania.
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iPhone 6 will have a plastic body, and here’s the photo that proves it

In another rumor coup, the blog at Tactus, a mobile accessory maker, presented a photo that purports to be of an iPhone with a plastic case.

“Well, it looks like it features an all uniform plastic polycarbonate shell – very different to the iPhone 5′s sleek aluminum look, but still modern and covetable,” according to the blogpost.

[IPHONEYS: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S edition]

Here’s the published photograph. And it’s a bit underwhelming to be sure. To the Rollup, it looks dated somehow. Perhaps because the glossy plastic body in the Tactus image is a throwback to the iPhone 3GS, which was announced in June 2009.

According to Tactus, the phone using this plastic shell measures 0.35 inches thick, 4.72 inches long and 2.44 inches wide. That’s slightly thicker and wider than the iPhone 5; slightly thinner, longer and wider than the iPhone 4.

“I’ve also heard on the grapevine that the alleged budget iPhone will have an A5 processor like the iPad Mini with a 32nm diecast,” according to the post. “It’s also rumoured it will have a 3.5-inch retina screen, much like the 4S, but not as big as the iPhone 5 – a few more pennies saved with that compromise! It’s also likely to have a handy 5MP camera, again like the iPhone 4!”

Finally, the blog predicts the iPlasticphone will go on sale Oct. 15…for $300.

Essentially, you’d be paying $300 to get an iPhone 3GS exterior, released in 2009, with an iPhone 4S interior, released in 2011. The main differences would be the 4S processor shifted to a 32 nm process from 45 nm, to boost performance and draw less power, and the Lightning docking port, though there could be a bunch of other changes internally, if Apple took this direction. There’s no indication in the blogpost whether this phone would support LTE.

In the U.S., the iPhone 4S is currently offered with a two-year contract for $99, though it’s priced at $549 with no contract; the older iPhone 4 is still $450 with no contract, but $0 with a contract. It’s difficult to know whether shifting to plastic from milled aluminum for the case would actually slash the retail price of the iPlasticphone by $350.

There’s been speculation that Apple is or should be creating the cheaper phone to compete with the flood of cheap Android phones in markets like India and China. How would consumers view an iPhone that offers what is, in large part, a 2-year-old hardware platform? Would the 32 nm A5 fully support the next OS version, iOS 7, or would users be unable to make use of features like Apple Maps Flyover?  Would Apple decline to support LTE in order to save costs?

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