Chinese labour report references less expensive iPhone production

Chinese labour report references less expensive iPhone production

It's nowhere nearly like leaving a prototype in a bar, but if proven accurate, a Chinese labor report potentially leaking information about an announced, less expensive iPhone, certainly won't make Apple happy. First noticed by Jony Evans of Computer World, the report includes:

"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."

Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac noticed this line:

Its assembled products include iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, and low-priced plastic iPhones

The iPhone 3GS was discontinued when the iPhone 4 went free last year, which means Apple is not longer ordering any known plastic-backed iPhones. So, what product are they referencing?

Source: Computer World, 9to5Mac

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Chinese labour report references less expensive iPhone production


From what we've heard so far I can't help but think that the lower-cost iPhone would not replace the 4s but the 5 which would be discontinued. There was a rumor about that and I don't think Apple would sell such a high-quality device for $100 less just like that. The elaborate metal casing and the display technology don't seem to be suitable for production in lower numbers. So there comes a plastic iPhone that would replace the iPhone 5 and carry the same internals. Not a cheap phone by any means. I don't see this plastic phone replacing the 4S. It seems to me highly troubling if Apple releases an A5 device in fall 2013 when its other products would be going for A7. Who thinks Apple would offer two or three years of software updates on an A5 device?

if Foxcon is ramped up to produce the iPhone 5s it is logical to think that the current iPhone 5 would be switching production to a different plant - Pegatron until it becomes discontinued this fall.

This is my current position on the whole plastic iPhone thing. There are a lot of things to have in mind and so far this is the only plausible conclusion I managed to draw for myself.

Was reading about this on another tech site. Tell me Rene I am still relatively new to Apple world. What is all this hate spewing toward Apple, it's devices and users. Concerning the alleged labor violations as Apple users we are the worst. We were called 'iAmerican, isheep, the usual fanboys etc., I sum up some of this 'hatred' as nothing but jealousy what do you think?

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