"Apples Broken Promises" - BBC

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Grim, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. The BBC is showing a documentary tomorrow called 'Apples Broken Promises', it seems to be about the continuing bad conditions employees in China work in when assembling the iPhone. Probably worth a watch.

    Also Apple has stopped selling in Russia due to the currency crisis, can't be selling anything and not getting top $ for it! They raised prices in Russia by 20% last month too, get every last bit of money before things went sour.

    And the last bit of Apple news, they were found not guilty in a huge class action lawsuit claiming that they broke antitrust laws by forcing people purchased songs on i-Tunes from 2006 to 2009 into buying iPods because it only worked on those devices.

    A busy week for Apple.
  2. There's an interesting bit of misinformation in the BBC's summary of that Broken Promises documentary. They use the phrase "how are its workers treated when the world isn't looking" when the show is about 3rd party manufacturing and mining operations in China and India. That's not a very promising start for something that's supposedly an expose.

    As for the lawsuit, it was the other way around. They were suing Apple because Apple wouldn't allow hacks to the OS that would permit DRM protected songs from other music services to work on Apple devices. Apple won because they proved that their contracts with the recording industry required them to defeat hacks to the iPod operating system.
  3. Didn't Apple promise to sort out the working conditions for those people building the phones at the Chinese factories? They have reps going there, they will know what it is like, they can easily take the contract away if the workers don't get fair treatment so Apple is easily liable in these situations.

    If you employed a company to build you a product and then found out that company was using child labour or forcing 18 hour days for little money would you continue using them?

    We shall see what is in the report but my guess is many human rights violations in the iPhone making factories!*

    *Don't get me wrong it probably happens with other companies too but Apple charge a premium for their products so they end up in the public eye.
  4. It's not actually that easy for Apple (or any other company) to say "change the conditions or we'll go somewhere else" when it comes to the assembly process. They can do that to some extent for the various parts (like who manufactures the SoC or the touchscreen), but it's not like there's a lot of choice outside of Foxconn when it comes to assembly. Does that mean Apple doesn't have any responsibility? No, but I doubt you could find another tech company that needs it's tech products assembled at Foxconn that has done more than Apple to try and improve some of the conditions.

    I don't have a problem with the BBC or anyone else focusing on working conditions for laborers. It's an important topic that many people don't think about too much. But framing it as if it's specific to Apple undermines the entire premise of the reporting being done to make people aware. It's disingenuous at best to imply that workers at Foxconn or mines in India are "Apples workers".

    Plus, Tim Cook has consistently stated in interviews that the reason they don't have U.S. companies and U.S. workers doing the manufacturing or assembly for the iPhone/iPad is not the labor costs, but rather the lack of infrastructure to support the scale of production. For example, the current Mac Pro desktop is manufactured in the United States. It's possible for Apple to do that because the scale is much smaller.
  5. The amount of pure profit Apple makes, and lets be honest here, they make a lot, they could easily setup manufacturing. So what if it costs them a few million $, if it is about showing that they don't support these types of what is basically slave labour then it should be done.

    Doing something like that would get Apple so much credit with the entire world, showing that they will not stand for the conditions these poor people are forced to work under.

    Sometimes profit comes before people and it seems most multinationals are all about the profit.
  6. And if Apple made the investment to do so, that wouldn't change the fact that hundreds of thousands of Chinese laborers worked for low wages to produce tech products. Yes, Apple has a very large business currently for the iPhone/iPad, but how does it compare to the overall production of any type of tech product? Apple products are a tiny fraction of what is produced overall. It's pure fantasy to believe that Apple's role is bigger than that.
  7. So you are saying because everyone else is doing it, it is OK for Apple to exploit these people too? It doesn't matter that others are doing it, someone has to take the lead and Apple have more money than most companies.
  8. No, I'm saying that even if Apple were to make the changes you're suggesting, it doesn't change the fact that it's a drop in the bucket vs. the overall tech manufacturing market. You and the BBC are indulging in a fairy tale scenario that suggests that Apple's role is dominant enough to force the change by itself. Apple isn't even the largest smartphone company, much less the dominant user of Chinese labor for ANY type of tech product. Where do you think all those cheap PC parts that allow people on this forum to brag about their low cost custom desktop builds come from? Or the dirt cheap big screen TVs and computer monitors?
  9. I am not ignorant to the fact that other companies use these same people. I do however find it offensive that Tim Cook suggests the infrastructure not being in place is the issue when Apple sit on crazy profits every year and could easily take the moral highroad by investing in a country with a better human rights record. .
  10. It sounds like you think lower profit levels equals less responsibility to me. You want to feel better about your inexpensive tech products produced by the exact same supply chain, and focusing on Tim Cook and Apple is the way to do it. Basically you're saying "Sure, the other companies exploit people in the exact same way. But they're not as successful as Apple within the past few years and they give me a low price, therefore I don't need to worry about it so much."
  11. Not at all, you yourself said that Tim Cook can be quoted as saying the reason Apple use exploited labour is due to the lack of infrastructure in the US.. Well they have more than enough money to do something about it so in my eyes he is just using an excuse to use cheaper labour and make more profit.

    I don't endorse the use of exploited people as cheap labour by anyone but Apple are probably the biggest brand in the world right now in terms of brand recognition. This means that people look to them first and when they see them knowingly using exploited labour they take a dim view on it. This is why they come up first when this issue appears in the media, everyone knows Apple and everyone knows they make a lot of money.

    Apple have spoken on the subject many times but nothing has been done to make the situation better for these people.
  12. First of all, you're not correct when you say "nothing has been done" by Apple. There are well-documented efforts to improve pay, hours, and safety.


    Like I said earlier, you would have a hard time trying to find another major tech company that was doing more than Apple. That doesn't mean it's enough or shouldn't be scrutinized by the media in 2014, but focusing specifically on Apple is really just negligence. The BBC is glossing over the vast majority of the issue by doing so. Like you, they seem to be interested in avoiding feeling bad about all the other hundreds of global brands that make use of the same labor force within the same supply chain.
  13. Don't forget this interesting tidbit fro Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack.

  14. That's a pretty big cubicle.

  15. Epcot is going to have to modify their spaceship earth ride.