Back in the day, tech companies used to be able to keep their unannounced products under tight wraps, but these days all of the leaks seem to originate from Asia. It makes sense since most of tech company assembly lines and supply chains exist there.
Over the last several weeks, photos of the rumored "low-cost" iPhone have started to surface. The photos shared by Nowhereelse.fr (see below), a source that's been reliable in the Apple rumor community, reveal Apple will reportedly return to a design that's a mix between the iPhone 3G/3GS and the fifth-generation iPod Touch — made of unibody plastic, but without any corner tapering on the rear. The device will sport a 4-inch Retina display that matches the iPhone 5's current screen and come in — dum dum dummm — a handful of different colors.
While Apple's secret iPhone has been busy appearing in blurry spy shots on Asian forums, a photo that popped up on Chinese forum WeiPhone (picked up by Nowhereelse.fr) over the weekend may have revealed its name. If the photo is authentic, and we're not looking at a knock-off box, the plastic iPhone will be called the iPhone 5C; where "C" probably stands for color and not "cheap".
As you can see in the photo below, the packaging drops the cardboard for a plastic molded case — one that looks extremely similar in form to the ones Apple sells iPod Touches in. The change in packaging is almost certainly a move that'll help highlight the iPhone 5C's new colorful covers.
Apple's rumored to be releasing the iPhone 5C along with a proper iPhone 5S model (design will remain unchanged from iPhone 5, except with a dual-LED flash) later this year. It's also unclear how much of a "budget" device the iPhone 5C will be. Apple pundits we've spoken to suggest the 3.5-inch iPhone 4S could be dropped in favor of the 4-inch iPhone 5C in order to get more developers to take advantage of the higher resolution and new aspect ratio introduced on the iPhone 5. It's not unlike Apple to dump the old to pave a direct path for the new.
That said, it's a good time to be patient and wait it out if you're in the market for a new smartphone.