When we spotted this photo on French blog NoWhereElse, we were close to dismissing this as just a bunch of iPhone 5C knock-offs (the shanzhai industry works very fast), just as the site also speculates. But after digging around the original poster's Sina Weibo profile, we deduced that this spy shot came straight out of Pegatron's Shanghai plant, which matches what we've read in the recent China Labor Watch report on Apple.
According to her posts, the cheeky employee -- or more likely an ex-employee at this point -- in question joined the company's quality control department around mid-July. In an earlier comment, she also hinted that her plant is responsible for the latest Mac mini as well. The above photo was published yesterday, and it only came with the following caption:
"The low-end iPhone 5C to be launched for Chinese consumers in September doesn't look much different than the Xiaomi Phone 2, right?"
While it doesn't explain what's going on in the image, this appears to be a warm-up procedure (likely just with small batches for quality control) to make sure the devices are fully functional before they are boxed up. We've seen this in factory tours before, but no photography was allowed in the production lines; which makes us wonder how this shot came out of a supposedly well-guarded environment. September couldn't come any quicker for leaky Apple.