Pegatron Employee Describes Role in Producing Apple's Lower-Cost Plastic iPhone
Earlier today, labor rights group China Labor Watch issued a report making claims of poor working conditions at Apple's assembly partner Pegatron. As pointed out by Computerworld, the 60-page report (PDF) confirms that Apple is working on production of a plastic iPhone, a device that has been rumored for some time and seen in a number of recent part leaks.
A section of the report entitled "July 9, 2013: A day in Pegatron" includes a paragraph on page 28 in which a worker describes his or her role in applying protective film to the rear shell of the device before the part enters the assembly process.
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.
Pegatron had previously been reported as Apple's manufacturing partner for the lower-cost plastic iPhone, which is rumored to be launching later this year alongside the iPhone 5S. The firm has long been an assembly partner for Apple, although it has been overshadowed by the much larger Foxconn. Pegatron has, however, been growing rapidly as Apple has been seeking to balance and expand its supply chain to provide more stability and flexibility.