Saturday, June 17, 2006

iPod Chinese sweatshop

Cost to buy an iPod = US $299.
Cost to buy an iPod Nano = US $149.
Chinese worker paid per hour to build iPods = 15 cents. (US $ 0.15).

Apple profit rose 41% and in the first half of fiscal 2006, Apple generated more than $10 billion in revenue.

Sweatshop Conditions at iPod Factory Reported

By Mike Musgrove
The Washington Post

Apple Computer Inc. is having an iPod-related public relations headache this week, following a report by a British newspaper on working conditions at Chinese factories where the popular music player is built.

The Mail on Sunday reported that a Chinese factory that manufactures iPods employs 200,000 workers who live in dormitories where visitors are not permitted. Workers toil for 15-hour days for as little as $50 per month, according to the article.

As Mac fan sites buzzed with debate over the report, Apple issued a statement saying it is investigating the matter.

"Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible," the company statement said.

Apple said it is "investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China." It added, "We do not tolerate any violations of our supplier code of conduct."
[See update as of July 18, 2006 at:]

IPod factory workers are employed by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known by the brand Foxconn Electronics Inc. The relationship between Apple and Hon Hai is typical in the electronics industry, where manufacturing is frequently handled by contract builders.

The working conditions, as described in the British newspaper article, aren't unusual, said Karin Mak, a project coordinator at a nonprofit watchdog organization called Sweatshop Watch.

"It's very common," she said. "These types of conditions are very typical, unfortunately."

The Taiwan company, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, has a market value of about $23.7 billion, and registered "Foxconn" as its trademark. It now has more than 12 branch offices around the world, marketing Foxconn products.

We're calling for a boycott and for Apple to put the precision squeeze on Hon Hai Precision and their foxy con.

See update as of July 18, 2006 at:


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