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Is This a Patent for the Rumored "Budget" iPhone? (Update: Probably Not)

Illustration for article titled Is This a Patent for the Rumored Budget iPhone? (Update: Probably Not)

It's a rumor that never dies: Apple is working on a cheaper, "budget" iPhone that will push for market-share in markets where the company's typically premium are especially expensive. But in the absence of hard evidence, we have soft evidence. Like this patent for a plastic iPhone. Maybe this is that rumored budget iPhone? Maybe? Ehhhh probably not.

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An astonishingly spare patent,—I mean, look at that graphic—number No. 8,364,032 here was filed for in February 2012, and was just granted in late January of this year. Essentially, it covers a device with a front-facing screen, rear-facing camera, and a body made out of plastic. You'll also note there's no home button.

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How this patent wasn't already snatched during the development of one of the many Android phones that seem to fit this description to a T is anyone's guess. But if there were to be a cheaper iPhone, one in the $100-$150 range, it makes sense that it would take a form similar to this.

Update:It's important to remember, though, that patents like this are just that: patents. Companies file them all the time with no intention of ever building the products they describe. And a patent this overwhelmingly broad doesn't do anything to advance our understanding of what a budget iPhone could be, or whether it exists. So it's best to probably move along and wait until something more substantial rears its head. [Tom's Hardware]

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Another silly patent .... What is actually being patented here ?? a plastic housing with a screen and a camera ? is that what it has come down to ??

I think there might still be time, I'll go patent the Wheel !