Labor watchdog report accidentally outs the budget iPhone 5C, confirms plastic shell

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We informed yesterday that Apple has immediately dispatched a team of auditors to inspect the facilities of its Pegatron assembler, following a report by the non-profit China Labor Watch organization. The report, issued Monday, detailed low wages leading to overtime hours that are way above the upper limit set by Apple’s guidelines for its suppliers.

Tucked into this report, however, was a pretty interesting nugget of information about what exactly is Pegatron doing right now for Apple. We knew it is tasked with assembling the long-rumored budget iPhone 5C, whose alleged packaging material you see above, and now the Labor Watch report confirms it:

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.

Previously we had heard on a plastic/fiberglass fusion of sorts for the chassis, and the handset has already leaked numerous times in various colors, while sources indicate that the 5C in its name stands precisely for “color”.

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