Much has been made about the secrecy and working conditions at Foxconn, where tens of millions iPhones and iPads are produced each year. New Year Time’s excellent article “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad” recently highlighted the long hours, and often harsh conditions workers have to endure. What the public has never seen though, is a true inside look at the factories that churn out your favorite iDevices 24/7 – until now that is. In a special Dateline episode airing tomorrow, co-anchor Bill Weir will offer a glimpse of the manufacturer’s inner workings — from how Apple products are made to interviews with factory workers — after being given an unprecedented tour of a Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China.
According to 9to5mac, a reliable source at Foxconn in China (the same source that tipped them off regarding Apple’s plans to release the iPhone 4S instead of the 5 late last summer) has let it be known that the next iPhone (currently being called iPhone 5), is gearing up for production. It is said there are multiple sample next-gen iPhones that are floating around the factory and they all differ slightly from one another. Interestingly enough, the one thing they all have in common with each other is the 4+ inch display, which if true, means Apple will finally release an iPhone with a screen size comparable to other Android phones. In addition, the current samples so far are symmetrical in thickness (no teardrop shape that’s been rumoured previously) and longer/wider than the current iteration, though none share the form factor of the iPhone 4/4s. It’s important to remember that none of these prototypes are actually the final versions – many things can change from now until its actual release in the summer/fall of this year.
- Apple officially announces iPhone 4
- iPhone 4 available on June 24 in US, France, Germany, Japan and UK
Some say rumours travel faster than light. While there is no actual way to prove this, the whole Apple community lives and thrives on them. It even seems to have found a way to actually harness the power of rumours to stay afloat. And now, following the recent appearance of the possibly hi-res iPhone 4G (iPhone 3,1) in Apple’s firmware, the future versions of the OS have been spotted in the wild as well. All of this may also point to the iSlate.
Apple have always marched to the beat of a different drum, the think different drum. While this results in unique and oftentimes, revolutionary products, there are times when their dread of conformity is sinister. The particular angle that I am throwing is their insistence on absolute secrecy, a secrecy that can largely be to blame for the death of a 25 year-old Foxconn employee, Sun Danyong.