Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems certain to be readying a cheaper, plastic-bodied iPhone. The latest triangulation of the rumor is courtesy of China Labor Watch, who pepper a report with mentions of the new product. Thought to be called the iPhone 5C, the smartphone is probably aimed at BRIC markets, but may also come to these shores.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers do the math.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Michael Kan can has newz:
Apple supplier Pegatron...came under fire for allegedly violating Chinese labor laws [in] a new 60-page report from New York-based China Labor Watch. ... The report also questioned Apple's efforts to cap the work week.
China Labor Watch, which has been critical of Apple and Samsung...investigated three Pegatron factories...one of which it claims is building the budget version of the iPhone. [Apple] is investigating the reported issues, the company said. ... Pegatron is also investigating the claims...the company's CEO Jason Cheng said. MORE
Did someone say "budget iPhone"? Jonny Evans discovers the "shocking" proof:
Apple's...plastic iPhone is confirmed. ... China Labor Watch inserted people inside three of Pegatron's factories. ...it confirms the future debut of a plastic iPhone:..."This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market."
[The] lower-cost plastic iPhone [is] assembled in factories in which worker rights are sacrificed in favor of profit and productivity. This isn't a problem that's exclusive to Apple. ...what [should you] as a person interested in technology...do about this? Pay more for products...or pay the same and accept your part in perpetuating such exploitation? MORE
And Ben Lovejoy loves that angle, jumping on it with joy: [You're fired -Ed.]
The introduction to the report...contains this statement: "assembled products include...low-priced plastic iPhones." ...page 27 of the report states: "Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched," [and] goes on to say: "The new cell phone has not yet been put into mass production.".
While the numerous leaked photos...made it pretty certain the rumors were true, there always remains the possibility that we were actually looking at knock-offs. ... But this report does add a great deal of weight. China Labor Watch is a respected non-profit [and] the “today’s work is to paste protective film...” quote is pretty specific.
...we tend to believe that the phone (perhaps to be called the 5C) is indeed plastic. MORE
So what? John Paczkowski reminds us why we should care:
With the high end of the smartphone market growing increasingly more saturated, it behooves Apple to begin more aggressively targeting the market’s lower reaches.
Apple could do quite well with an iPhone priced low enough to draw budget-conscious consumers and first-time smartphone buyers into a higher price range. MORE
Meanwhile, George Malim ponders the economics:
What happened to the Henry Ford philosophy that workers on his production lines should be paid enought to buy one of his cars?
Turning half the world into indentured slaves...limits the size of the market. ... Pay workers 30% more = sell more and worry less about tax planning. MORE