Budget iPhone Seemingly Confirmed in Undercover Safety Inspection

Thanks to a non-profit, undercover safety investigation into Apple supplier, Pegatron, we apparently have confirmation that Apple is indeed getting ready to release a cheaper, plastic-backed iPhone.

The ultimate goal of China Labor Watch's inspection was to assess workers' pay, hours, and overall working conditions, but one of the undercover investigator's diary entries has finally confirmed what has, until now, been mere speculation:

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.

This apparent confirmation of a cheaper, plastic iPhone—which seemed nearly inevitable to begin with—is only further supported by photos, uncovered by Chinese blog WeiPhone this weekend, of supposed plastic retail packaging bearing the moniker "iPhone 5C."

And while it's impossible to be absolutely certain until we see the phone itself clutched in Tim Cook's hand, the packaging certainly seems inline with the supposed plastic shell leaked by Tactus. Between that and this new revelation of an actual worker helping to actually assemble one, it seems almost certain that anyone looking for a more budget-friendly iPhone will find themselves in luck this fall. [China Labor Watch via The Next Web]