Apple Logo iPad 2 1600A new report published by the China Labor Watch, an NGO based in New York that is tasked with highlighting workers’ rights issues in China, has confirmed that Apple is working on a low-cost version of the iPhone, which will have a plastic case.

While profiling a Chinese factory belonging to the Pegatron Group, the report mentions that Pegatron (Shanghai) Ltd Co. assembles cell phones and tablets for Apple including the iPhone 5 and “low-priced plastic iPhones.” It also repeatedly confirms the existence of the low-cost iPhone as it analyses the conditions at the Pegatron factory. For example, “It primarily manufactures the iPhone for Apple and is currently manufacturing the soon-to be-released cheap iPhone.”

There are several key passages which reveal that Apple will be making a cheap plastic iPhone but as yet it isn’t in full production. One reads:

[quote qtext=”During the period of our investigation, Pegatron Shanghai had begun producing the cheap iPhone. Because this new iPhone product is evidently in the early stages of coming to market, some of the production lines for the cheap iPhones are only carrying out low production quotas. ” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

While another says:

[quote qtext=”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 new cell phone has not yet been put into mass production…” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Other than revealing the tidbits about the new iPhone, which is rumored to be called the iPhone 5C, the report isn’t very complimentary about the working conditions in the factory or the salary received by the workers, but that is a whole different discussion!

So here is the question, would a cheaper iPhone model tempt you to jump from Android to iOS?

Gary Sims

Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade. Prior to that, he had over 10 years of experience as a software engineer.