Thursday, August 1, 2013

Budget Plastic iPhone Confirmed by Industry Report

Here's another "oops!" moment for Apple. Yesterday, Apple spoiled the surprise fingerprint sensor for future iOS devices, but industry labor watchdog, China Labor Watch, revealed the existence of the budget iPhone in their report. The report on working conditions within Apple supplier Pegatron weren't satisfactory for Apple, who is stepping in. Pegatron had numerous workers' rights violations, which would have been enough to make the news. Add in Apple's sending audit teams to right the situation, and you bring even more attention to the report. With all those eyes on that report, someone found a little
gem. A small positive in a sea of negative. Apple's definitely currently working on plastic iPhones.

The news that another Chinese technology manufacturing company is skirting important labor laws is, unfortunately, unsurprising. Pegatron has been falsifying attendance recording systems, which clock overtime for their workers, making it seem like they're not being overworked. These workers also aren't getting paid for their overtime. Apple's stated that they're going to put their own team together and send them out to audit the situation, and request that Pegatron fix any rights violations in their factories, or lose Apple as a customer. Since Apple's a big company, this is a big deal to Pegatron. The surprising part of the report about the budget iPhone came in when a worker's day to day operations was detailed. I've included the snippet below.

"Today's work is to paste protective film on the iPhone's plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines. This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market by Apple".

Looks like Pegatron, once again, slipped up and leaked details of the new budget iPhone. The sentence stating that it's coming soon is promising, and could point to a fall release. It's interesting that such detail was included in the report of a yet unreleased iPhone. Perhaps China Labor Watch wanted more people to pay attention to their report and the conditions at the factory. Of course, when Apple is involved with a worker's rights issue, all eyes are on it anyway. Hopefully, the issue at Pegatron is resolved shortly, and the budget iPhone (iPhone 5C?) is released soon.
Sources: CultOfMac and AppleInsider

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