Budget iPhone 5C all but confirmed during investigation into Apple partner Pegatron

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foxconn-employees.jpgApple’s cheap, plastic iPhone has been pretty much confirmed by a new undercover report originally intended to uncover labour rights violations at iPhone parts supplier Pegatron in China.

Undercover operatives working for the China Labor Watch were looking at practice in three factories owned by Apple supplier Pegatron. Focusing on workers hours, pay rate and working conditions, one of the operatives kept a diary about the experience of working undercover at the factory, and gave a revealing account of the materials being used. One entry reads:

“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.

“The task is pretty easy, and I was able to work independently after a five-minute instruction from a veteran employee. It took around a minute to paste protective film on one rear cover. The new cell phone has not yet been put into mass production, so quantity is not as important. This makes our job more slow-paced than in departments that have begun mass production schedules.”

A plastic back cover? On an iPhone? An iPhone that hasn’t yet begun “mass production schedules”? It sounds as if the budget iPhone is indeed on its way. With the China Labor Watch being a non-profit organisation, there’s little for the group to gain by circulating lies around Apple’s product launches.

The report follows a slew of leaks regarding the cut-price rumoured Apple handset, including news that it may be called the iPhone 5C, and a few leaked photos reportedly of its plastic casing.

German blog iFun have put the launch of the cheap iPhone and premium iPhone 5S at a September 6 release. We’ll bring all the official details as they arrive, so keep your peepers peeled.

Gerald Lynch