The (Almost) Funny Story Behind the Budget iPhone Leaks

In #all by Vlad Andrici2 Comments

If you have even the slightest interest in the mobile market, you’ve probably stumbled during your daily online adventures on the so called “leaked budget iPhone” pics. You probably didn’t even had to look that hard or that long, that’s how many they were.

Apple has always been one of the few companies that really know how to keep their upcoming devices secret. Usually Apple’s products are kept under wraps until very close to the official announcement, with only the occasional flex cable or other internal component surfacing long before the Cupertino based company unveils them.

That’s why the amount of leaked shots featuring the so called official back panels of the upcoming “budget iPhone” left us scratching our heads. Did Apple’s security mess it up so bad? Does the company feel Android’s wrath so badly that it had to leak its own device in order to keep people interested? Well, the short answer is NO. For the long and detailed answer you’ll have to join us after the break.


Well, well, what do we have here? Does the above collage look familiar? “Of course it does“, some of you will be quick to answer, “these are the iPhone Lite backpanels, you guys are late to the game“. Of course we are, we are so late that we are the first to let you know these are anything BUT the official back panels of Apple’s upcoming device.

NOTE: We intentionally removed logos and e-mail information in order not to disclose sensitive info like phone numbers, addresses and the like. We didn’t want to disclose the name of the company as certainly some people would accuse us of promoting them. Therefore if you’re an editor at a major/reputable online publication and want to double-check our findings please do not hesitate to contact us (see contact section). We also received individual pics, not just the collage.

According to our investigation (proof coming in a second), these back panels are being manufactured by various Chinese companies specialized in these sort of things: accessories and parts for popular smartphones and tablets, especially for Apple’s devices.

At first we suspected these back panels are nothing more than “disguised” iPhone 5 parts. So we contacted one of the Chinese manufacturers we already knew is involved in this business and sent one of the watermark-free leaks asking if they have this sort of iPhone 5 back cover in stock. This is the response we got:


When we manifested our interest in the so called “iPhone 5S back cover“, the contact person didn’t hesitate to give us more details like price and color options.


So for $67 everyone could be a so called “Apple insider” or have “sources close to the matter“.

Ever wondered why only the back panel has been “leaked” so far? Well, because these guys haven’t manufactured other parts for what they call the “iPhone 5S“.

We also asked for dimensions, more pictures, if the covers are identical to the official product and if the “iPhone 5S” will come in so many colors, but the contact person told us these are new products and it doesn’t have any more details about them (but that the 5S “will be out in the nearly future“).

So where does that get us? Could these Chinese manufacturers have built panels based on inside info from Foxconn? It’s a remote possibility. Could the leaked pictures reflect the actual quality of the final product? We highly doubt it.

Will at least the “iPhone 5S” (did they meant budget iPhone?) come in these 5 flavors? Well, considering the fact that from the same company (and many other such manufacturers) you could right now order iPhone 5 transformation kits in at least 12 colors, we’d advise you not to get too excited (as excited as one could get over a green or yellow plastic iPhone).

And a word of advice for all those “inside sources“: if you stumble on some weird Apple like home buttons (like the ones pictured below), please don’t claim you have the inside scoop on iPhone 10.


And speaking of home buttons, remember that piece of news regarding the “glowing” iPhone 5S/6 home button from roughly a week ago? Apple decided to step it up a notch:

iphone 6-glowing-logo.jpg

Naaah, just kidding.

The comments section is all yours.

The (Almost) Funny Story Behind the Budget iPhone Leaks was last modified: July 12th, 2013 by Vlad Andrici