It appears that we have safely navigated from the steady stream of mockups of the next generation iPhone to part leaks for Apple’s new iPhone 6. The latest comes from Russian retailer Feld & Volk (via MacRumors), who provide high resolution photos of the back shell of the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone 6. The all-metal design has a cut-out for the Apple logo, along with headphone and lightning ports at the bottom.
Feld & Volk are based in Moscow where their primary business is to modify and resell custom iPhones to a high-end luxury market. One such customization is the addition of sapphire crystal for the front glass, reportedly using the same vendor that Apple has recently started to work with. As shown in this video, the durability of this material is exceptional. The company says that its relationships with companies that make Apple product parts enabled them to get a early look at the iPhone 6 shell.
The machining of the part is not fully completed. It is missing the required cutouts for speaker, mic, flash and camera holes. The complexity of the internals, as seen both in the photos and video, lend credibility to this being an actual part. Of course, part leaks leading up to a new iPhone aren’t exactly new. Despite Apple’s instance on doubling down on secrecy, it has not seemed to have an effect on part leakers. The scale required to build millions of new iPhones makes it difficult for any company to keep plans under wraps, even one as secretive as Apple.
This would mark the first time that Apple would have chosen to cut-out the Apple logo. Feld & Volk speculates that Apple may use it for a near field communications antenna. NFC has been rumored with iPhones for years. Apple’s recent push to Bluetooth 4.0 LTE and iBeacons makes a potential for NFC questionable at best.
As with the dummy units, this back shell shows large antenna breaks. Previous reports from Nikkei suggest the ‘stripes’ are not part of the final design, but rather lines to indicate where the glass panels will be inserted on the inner side of the line.
Though part leaks for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 have been surfacing, there haven’t been any for the larger 5.5-inch model that has been rumored to be launching this fall.