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The budget iPhone's packaging was leaked as well

Apple is once again caught up in China labor woes with another assembly partner, and during the investigation, a factory employee confirmed the existence of a budget iPhone. 

Apple supplier Pegatron Group is currently under the spotlight for poor working conditions at three of its factories in China. China Labor Watch, a labor rights group, sent undercover investigators to the three Pegatron factories (Shanghai, Riteng and AVY) from March to July 2013. 

Pegatron, a Taiwanese manufacturer, makes older iPhone models for Apple (the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S) and even the iPad mini.

After a thorough investigation and over 200 interviews with Pegatron employees, China Labor Watch discovered 86 labor rights violations -- which consisted of 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations.

These violations fell into several different categories, including poor working conditions, hiring discrimination, environmental pollution (dumping of cutting fluid and motor oil into the local river), excessive working hours (over 60 hours per week), underage labor, insufficient wages and poor living conditions. 

Apple is reportedly looking into the matter and will work with Pegatron to bring its conditions up to code. Apple has had to do the same in the past for Foxconn factories, which had poor working conditions as well. Problems ranged from underage workers to poor living conditions to unhealthy working environments. There were also many employee suicides. Apple implemented surprise audits and reports to keep an eye on the factories. 

In January of this year, Apple said it upped its audits of suppliers (mainly in Asia) by 72 percent from 2011 to 2012, and even cut ties with suppliers that didn't follow the code of conduct. For all of 2012, Apple conducted a total of 393 audits.

During the course of the interviews that took place at the Pegatron factories, one employee mentioned the plastic iPhones that are not yet being mass produced. Many reports have deduced that this is the rumored affordable iPhone, which has not yet been revealed by Apple. 

In China Labor Watch's 60-page report, an employee said the following:

"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."

The affordable iPhone is expected to be available in many colors and sport a $99 price tag. 

Another leak regarding the budget iPhone slipped from the Chinese website WeiPhone. It posted a picture of plastic packaging for the "iPhone 5C," which is rumored to be the name of the budget iPhone (which stands for iPhone 5 color).  

They're simply white plastic boxes that will hold the device and accessories. A front cover isn't shown for the packaging, but it's expected to be part of the box come mass production. 

Sources: China Labor Watch, MacRumors [1], [2]

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So what
By Ammohunt on 7/29/2013 2:48:02 PM , Rating: 1
This is only an issue if Apple knew the working conditions were bad which i highly doubt.

I wonder what Apple is thinking with a cheap iPhone. They have always been a premium product wit ha premium price. They are either desperate or this is much more than a cheap plastic iPhone.

RE: So what
By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2013 3:06:29 PM , Rating: 4
Why pay for an iPhone when I can get a bigger better and more feature-packed phone for the same price or less?

This is why Apple is making a cheaper phone. Their market-share is dropping and they are losing out to Androids more diverse handset landscape.

RE: So what
By Mitch101 on 7/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: So what
By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2013 4:21:16 PM , Rating: 3
I don't understand?

The iPhone went for years with the same form factor and screen resolution. They only changed to a 4" iPhone, presumably, because of the trend of larger phones becoming more popular.

Now there's talks of multiple screen sizes as well as a cheaper lower-end plastic iPhone.

What's "annoying" or "cult like" in pointing out that competition from Android handsets is most likely at the heart of this new un-Apple like strategy?

By the way, it's not like I'm the only one saying this stuff. Industry experts, bloggers, even print journalism is saying this too! Are they all part of the Android 'cult'? lol

RE: So what
By testerguy on 7/31/2013 7:43:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why pay for an iPhone when I can get a bigger better and more feature-packed phone for the same price or less?

This is just such a ridiculous fanboy comment, I'm glad people are starting to see that you're the deluded one on these forums.

'bigger' - oh sorry, is it suddenly better to have larger electronic devices? Maybe you want to go back to the days where a computer took up a whole room, or a laptop weighed 4 kilos. 'Bigger' is almost always a negative - what you probably mean is a larger screen , but that larger screen comes with compromises which many people do not want. For example, one handed use is more difficult, and the phone itself is larger and heavier.

'better' - it's as if you think stating that something is 'better' means anything.

'more feature-packed phone' - LOL - feature packed how - with the ridiculous series of S-gimmicks or features which are a poorly implemented equivalent of Apple's (eg Miracast)?

You're just totally deluded.

RE: So what
By retrospooty on 7/31/2013 8:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
Ya... Gimmicks... Sure. I agree there are some gimmicks, but this list of REAL features available on the better platform cannot be argued. IOS supports none of these and they are all used extensively by many people. Now, if you dont want/need/use these features and like a smaller screen with lower res and DPI than the competition, the iPhone is a good phone... But you cannot argue the facts.

- Higher resolution screens
- Higher DPI
- Better Edge to Edge display (no giant iBezel)
- Micro SD card
- Removable batteries
- 802.11ac
- Mini HDMI port
- Faster Voice search
- Widgets
- Live wallpaper
- Plays HD content without downscaling
- Greater than 5x4 icons
- Multi user support
- Multi Window support
- pop up browser(in a window)
- Wireless charging
- Waterproof models
- Active stylus support

RE: So what
By Tony Swash on 7/31/2013 9:42:53 AM , Rating: 2
Shame about the lag though..........

RE: So what
By retrospooty on 7/31/2013 9:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
I dont know... I have never seen it on a JB device outside of Samsungs bloaty implementation.

RE: So what
By Cheesew1z69 on 7/31/2013 4:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is just such a ridiculous fanboy comment, I'm glad people are starting to see that you're the deluded one on these forums.
ROFL! Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.... Coming from the biggest AppleTroll, that's seriously amusing.

RE: So what
By Tony Swash on 7/29/13, Rating: -1
RE: So what
By PrinceGaz on 7/30/2013 6:50:14 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised if the fingerprint sensor appears in the iPad range and I can see a strong case for it in whatever a wearable/iWatch product.

Why would you need a fingerprint sensor to verify your identity on the iWatch? You're already wearing the damn thing. It's not likely someone can easily steal it from you!

RE: So what
By Tony Swash on 7/30/2013 9:13:16 AM , Rating: 2
All devices can be stolen. Therefore any device based ID confirmation is, as a consequence, weak. The trick is to confirm that the person holding or wearing the device is who they say they are, once that can be done with a high degree of certainty and in a convenient way all sorts of application scenarios open up.

If you think a wrist watch is secure check these videos

If you think these situations are contrived look at how a real team of pickpockets use team work to steal the zoom lens right off the poor guys camera.

Imagine the efforts these guys would go to if your watch unlocked your credit card account.

RE: So what
By ritualm on 7/30/2013 12:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
You can have the most secure [eco]system in the world and it's meaningless because you can't use it without a reference handbook on the side.

You are implying that iOS is more secure than anything else out there. False.

RE: So what
By Cheesew1z69 on 7/30/2013 12:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
You are implying that iOS is more secure than anything else out there. False.
Of course, look who you are responding too.

RE: So what
By Tony Swash on 7/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: So what
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2013 2:32:29 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to tell you, but this technology is worthless.

If I have your phone, I already have your fingerprints. How? Because they are ALL OVER THE PHONE already from you handling it.

After that it's almost child's play to get the system to recognize your print that I've lifted from the phone and transferred to the proper medium.

RE: So what
By testerguy on 7/31/2013 7:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
Security expert Reclaimer.

Anything Apple creates is inherently flawed but Samsung's S-Voice, or touch-free swiping are awesome features (even though they don't even remotely work).

RE: So what
By ritualm on 7/30/2013 6:00:00 PM , Rating: 2
The point I was making was that authenticating your ID using a reliable and easy to use fingerprint reading system built into an easily carried device (phone, watch, whatever) would have big implications and open up a lot of possibilities.

Fingerprint reader for device security? Nothing that a $1 roll of cellophane tape can't bypass.


RE: So what
By spread on 7/31/2013 2:09:34 AM , Rating: 1
As a consumer, I Tony Swash have greatly identified with the branded products and services that Apple/inc has offered me. I have understood the message loud and clear and it is my mission to spread that message to the nonbelievers and defend the branded truth against all facts and figures.

As a person who has no hobbies, it is my solemn duty as Tony Swash to obsess over my chosen branded products and services and bring them into my life, care, nurture, speak softly to them and cradle them into their dock for the night as if they were my family. My branded products understand me, they have saved me by showing me the Apple branded truth. They love me and I love them back.

Who do you think you people are? Don't you talk that way about my children! MY CHILDREN ARE PERFECT HOW DARE YOU.

RE: So what
By Tony Swash on 7/31/2013 7:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
You seem mentally fragile. Learn to accept the diversity of the world. Calm down. Try to stop interacting with imaginary entities. That way lays madness.

RE: So what
By superflex on 7/30/2013 8:53:27 AM , Rating: 1
This is why Apple is making a cheaper phone. Their market-share is dropping and they are losing out to Androids more diverse handset landscape.

This and they are targeting K-12 kids who beg mommy for an iPhone for their 8th birthday.
Keeping up with the Kardashians is oh so important for the pre-pubescent crowd and Apple is eager to collect and mine their data.

RE: So what
By kleinma on 7/29/2013 3:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
The ecosystems the big tech companies have set up are very lucrative and also volatile. Apple loses a customer to Android (or vice versa) they are losing more than just a phone sale. They are losing a customer of their ecosystem. The longer you spend in one, the less likely you are to move to another, because of purchases (digital and physical) that go along with your product. Apple probably feels like the software and ecosystem of their product line is good enough to keep people where they are, but get rid of that high barrier of entry, which is the high cost hardware device.

Also, not for nothing, but Apple is one of many companies who does business with pegatron, and foxconn, and others. Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, etc.. pretty much anyone who does major electronics hardware manufacturing, deals with one of these mega companies in China, which are all known for horrible labor practices. Non horrible labor practices = higher operating costs, which is why manufacturing went to China in the first place.

RE: So what
By erin11zamarripa on 7/29/13, Rating: 0
RE: So what
By Shadowself on 7/29/2013 7:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
What Tiffany didn't report is that Pegatron management is forcing staff to submit false reports to Apple about workers' time and working conditions, not just getting staff to sign doctored time cards. Thus Apple *could* say that they didn't know about these reported conditions.

Does this let Apple 100% off the hook? No. Apple needs to step up its unannounced inspections and spot checks. Apple did this with Foxconn. It needs to do it with the rest.

Additionally, Apple needs to write into its contracts with these suppliers that there are very stiff financial penalties for filing false documents with Apple. If Pegatron were hit $100k for each and every false document supplied to Apple, Pegatron would stop doing it and clean up its act. Additionally, there should be penalties for not upholding Apple's minimum set of workplace requirements. A penalty of about $200k per event should do the trick.

Pegatron does not care about its workers or Apple. Pegatron cares about the bottom line. Apple should hit them there.

And let's not forget that some of these reports turn out to be publicity stunts for the reporting group. There's nothing better for getting your name out there than to say you've discovered horrible things about Apple. We should all remember about a year and a half (or so) ago when a very highly publicized report claimed Apple (and Apple's suppliers) were treating workers most horribly. When independent organizations went to verify this, they couldn't. In fact, they found out that the vast majority of the original report was pure fantasy and the groups that initially pushed the report and the author had to recant the story.

If independent (not Apple!) groups verify these conditions, Apple needs to get going and fix it -- fast.

On the other or your topics, I suspect the new, lower cost iPhone (assuming its real) is not a "cheap" iPhone, but rather a lower cost, lesser featured, iPhone. Except in the 1991-1995 days (which almost bankrupted Apple), Apple has never been one to engage in the "race to the bottom". Selling cheap stuff cheaply has never been Apple's plan (except for that one period). I doubt we'll see a cheap iPhone selling for $99 without a contract anytime soon.

Beige-box Mac Debacle
By YearOfTheDingo on 7/29/2013 4:35:34 PM , Rating: 2
$99 iPhones? How does Apple hope to maintain the perception it's an upmarket brand? I remember the last time the company tries to compete on price--it nearly went bankrupt. I wonder if this isn't an ego-driven decision, a statement that Steve Jobs ain't around no more.

RE: Beige-box Mac Debacle
By flyingpants1 on 7/29/2013 8:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Except there have always been cheap iPhones, and this is basically just a refresh of the 4/4S/5 with lightning.

$99? Amazing!
By piroroadkill on 7/30/2013 5:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt it, though. Never, ever quote "with contract' prices. They're useless for any kind of comparison.

RE: $99? Amazing!
By ritualm on 7/30/2013 12:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
Forget $99*, how about FREE*?

*New activations with 2-/3-year contracts required.

Tim Cook
By poi2 on 7/29/2013 5:34:04 PM , Rating: 3

I would kill myself too...
By techxx on 7/29/2013 2:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
...if I had to touch Apple products 60 hours per week.

Budget iPhone?
By DJ Brandon on 7/31/2013 11:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
Every year when the new iPhone comes out the previous one drops by $100 and the one prior to that drops to free. Can you really get more budget then that?

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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