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iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending July 6

John Cox | July 10, 2013
Two-sided displays, glossy and cheap, processor power.

Try it with whatever smartphone you're carrying right now, and he's right: even just pretending to watch a video in landscape mode, one can easily flip the phone over to "see" a back display, showing an email or call. But Moore makes it sound easier than, in all likelihood, it would prove to be: it would involve a massive hardware redesign and probably some significant UI redesign as well. And the hardware, and more specifically the display technology, would have to be implemented in just as massively redesigned large-scale manufacturing systems for Apple's contract suppliers and iPhone assemblers.

Moore, quite sensibly, notes the potential battery and heat impact of running not one but two displays. Yet he doesn't ask how or even whether that problem could be met with current battery technology. And he doesn't ask whether both screens would be high-res Retina displays or whether the back one would be a much lower resolution devoted to receiving and processing notifications and alerts.

The 2013 or 2014 iPhones may have big changes. It just seems unlikely that either year will be the Year of Seeing Double.

iPhone 5S or something will have glossy colors and be cheap
French-language website received photos that show just how glossy and bright one can make a polycarbonate iPhone.

The website published photos showing, apparently, plastic-bodied iPhones in at least five colors: a peachy-toned red, a yellowish peasoup green, a dirty-looking white, bright blue and industrial-safety green. The photo has been widely interpreted as showing the long-rumored "cheap iPhone."

The post by editor Steve Hemmerstoffer, via Google Translate, credits "our little Chinese weasel" as the source, a translation which unintentionally captures something of the essence of iPhone rumoring.

Perhaps Google actually meant "mole."

In any case, the little Chinese weasel provided a photo that shows phone "shells allegedly designed for plastic many colors," Hemmerstoffer writes. "Without giving us the formal proof that these shells are indeed intended to equip the hypothetical low-cost iPhone, this new snapshot confirms that these elements are now circulating in the number next to China."

But at almost the same time, Barron's Tiernan Ray blogged  on an analysis by stock analyst Steve Milunovich, of UBS, that questions whether the case for a cheap iPhone is as obvious as many insist.

"If the high end [of the smartphone market] is slowing, the obvious answer is to head to lower price points," Milunovich wrote. "Although analysts are anxious for Apple to broaden the iPhone line, we think the company has to be careful. Its brand cannot afford significant quality dilution-- short-term gain could result in long-term pain. Management is very aware of the risk as reflected by Tim Cook's comment that Apple is about making the best products rather than the most."


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