Today's Tech: iPhone 5 news pours in, Panasonic shows off 8K TV, Samsung promises to investigate child labour concerns

It’s been a busy start to the week on the iPhone 5 rumour mill, with three separate pieces of speculation reaching us today. Over at IFA in Berlin, a new mock-up of the device has apparently emerged, whilst Vietnamese sources have published a video claiming to show-off a fairly radically redesigned version of the iconic iPhone earpods.

But most interestingly, the expected 21 September release of the new Apple smartphone is now in doubt, after reputable news sources confirmed that Sharp was apparently having difficulty manufacturing the LCD display screens for the device. There’s no indication that next week’s 12 September announcement will be put off – but the next-gen handsets themselves might take a little bit longer to make it to fanboys’ pockets.

IFA also seems to have marked the beginning of the 4K TV revolution, with a number of blue chip consumer electronics companies - including Toshiba, Philips, Samsung, LG, and Sony - showing off 84in, ultra-definition sets in recent days. However, Japanese firm Panasonic has gone one better, debuting a 145in, 8K “Super Hi-Vision” television in addition to launching its new 4K models. With 4K expected to take between five and ten years to fully take off, the availability of an 8K set is likely to be a long way off, but it still makes for some nice eye-candy for display enthusiasts – it would certainly spice up a typical Match of the Day instalment.

It looks like Apple’s expected iPad mini won’t be the only 7in tablet to hit shelves next month. Google could be preparing to launch an upgraded, 3G-ready model of its own miniature slate, the Nexus 7. According to a new rumour, a mobile data-enabled version of the Asus-manufactured device is in production and could be available as early as six weeks from now - coincidentally, or not, around the same time frame that will see the launch of the iPad mini. Follow the link for more details about the rumoured tablet improvement.

Where all these products come from is only occasionally brought to our attention, but Samsung is currently fighting the consequences of a report from China Labor Watch that claimed the Korean firm’s supply factories were exploiting child labour. Samsung says its own investigation found no proof of this, but admitted to a number of bad practices taking place at a HEG Electronics facility in China that produces its products. The company has now claimed any suppliers found guilty of poor conditions and employing under-age workers will be instantly cut off.