Production of low-cost 'iPhone 5C' draws allegations of poor working conditions

Source: Zdnet

It appears that the widely rumored, low-cost iPhone will be sold as the "iPhone 5C" if recently leaked photos are real. 

French site Nowhereelse.fr posted an image from Chinese site WeiPhone that appears to show plastic retail packaging emblazoned with the name "iPhone 5C." If genuine, it could be upcoming packaging for Apple's rumored low-cost, plastic iPhone. 

The "C" doesn't stand for Cheap, China or Child Labor, but instead for "Colors" according to the consensus at MacRumors. The low-cost device, believed to be targeted at emerging economies in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will be priced less than the forthcoming iPhone 5S and will presumably include less-expensive CPU, camera and networking hardware and lower-cost materials. 

Computerworld published a 60-page report (PDF) from labor rights group China Labor Watch alleging poor working conditions also confirms that a plastic-shelled iPhone is currently in mass production at Pegatron. A section of the report entitled "July 9, 2013: A day in Pegatron" includes a paragraph in which a worker describes their role in applying protective film to the rear shell of the device before the part enters the assembly process.

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.

Pictures of what's believed to be rear shells of the iPhone 5C have previously leaked, showing that the device will come in five colors including red, yellow, white, blue and green.

Apple's low-cost, plastic iPhone 5C colors - Jason O'Grady

 

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