MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,072
14,827



Rob Schmitz of public radio show Marketplace played a key role in debunking a number of Mike Daisey's claims about his trip to China to see working conditions at Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn. As part of his investigation, Schmitz tracked down Daisey's translator and learned that a number of the experiences Daisey related as part of his "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" theater monologue never happened.

ipad_assembly_foxconn.jpg



Foxconn workers assembling iPads (Rob Schmitz/Marketplace)
Following his exposure of Daisey's fabrications, Schmitz has been given access to Foxconn's plants, and he has been filing some reports about what he has seen in those facilities. Among the most interesting contributions is a brief video posted yesterday showing for the first time several of the steps in assembling and testing an iPad.

Marketplace has aired a number of segments interviewing Schmitz about his visits to Foxconn's plants, where has described working conditions and talked with workers about their experiences. Many note that the work is boring and repetitive and that they are sometimes treated like machines, but most seem to acknowledge that Foxconn offers better opportunities than many of the other factories.

Article Link: An Inside Look at How iPads Are Assembled and Tested
 

iapplelove

macrumors 603
Nov 22, 2011
5,239
7,345
East Coast USA
Is it more shocking they only make 14 dollars a day or that 14 dollars a day is actually concidered a good wage for Asian factory workers?
 
Comment

Stouver

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2012
39
0
Is it more shocking they only make 14 dollars a day or that 14 dollars a day is actually concidered a good wage for Asian factory workers?

Whether it is right or wrong is one thing but it shouldn't be compared to the "American Way"
 
Comment

imgonephishin

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2003
141
0
Interesting analysis and I think it's so important to compare apples to apples (wages at Foxconn vs. other Chinese factories). Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is an important concept that a simple number like "$14/day" just can't capture.

The biggest thing that surprises me is that almost every article about Foxconn fails to mention that Apple is just one of dozens of major companies that contracts with Foxconn. I recognize Apple is the biggest and with being the big dog comes a lot of scrutiny and attention, but how about some attention for any of these companies? A huge number of non-Apple consumer electronics that we use on a daily basis are manufactured there. Every heard of these prominent Foxconn customers?
  • Acer
  • Amazon.com
  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Motorola Mobility
  • Nintendo
  • Nokia
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Sony
  • Toshiba
  • Vizio
 
Comment

Caliber26

macrumors 68020
Sep 25, 2009
2,177
2,682
Orlando, FL
Anytime I hear about the sacrifices some of these people make, just to earn a few bucks a day, it makes me realize how much I take for granted and that I live a very blessed life. It also makes me appreciate my iPad in a whole different way.
 
Comment

bawbac

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2012
1,232
48
Seattle, WA
The workers in this factory work harder than some people I know. It's a shame that they get paid so little.

Apple could rectifiy that easily by recommending incentivie & bonus plans, which they could help fund by paying more for their devices but they won't because they love being greedy and high margins.
 
Comment

kemo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
756
128
ProtonVPN
huh, such a low salary! If I think I have more per hour than they per day, I have to ask myself, am I having a lot, or they just have too little?:mad:
 
Comment

erann

macrumors newbie
Feb 4, 2012
14
0
Many note that the work is boring and repetitive and that they are sometimes treated like machines

What's the news here? I have worked in factories in Scandinavia and the work was boring and repetetive and workes were constantly treated like machines. That's what factory work is everywhere. And compared to the cost of living, the salary was exactly the same the Foxconn workers have.
 
Comment

Robin4

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2010
355
26
RTD-NC
What I would like to know is their standard of living expenses. If the average monthly rent is $50.00/mo, then $14.00 a day may be a decent rate of pay.

We don't know enough to assume it is exploitation.
 
Comment

daxomni

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2009
453
0
It's really good to hear that the low wages, long hours, chemical exposures, and suicides were all fake and had finally been debunked. When I heard they had "suicide nets" I knew something didn't sound right. It's good to know the truth has finally come out that everything is just fine.
 
Comment

Moonjumper

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2009
2,507
2,369
Lincoln, UK
A good reminder of how different life is for the people who make these devices. Their country is as alien to us as our would be to them. What seems a bad wage to us is a good wage to them.
 
Comment

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,198
2,138
Manhattan
Most of the workers look very young. I wonder if they move on to higher paying occupations (hopefully) later in life.

Anyway, it doesn't appear from conditions at the plant its particularly harsh for China. The only thing that might be nice would be to give each worker an iPad or iPhone after a year of work. It would allow them to connect with what they are doing--and not have to sell their kidneys to purchase a product they make.
 
Comment

notabadname

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2010
1,434
514
Detroit Suburbs
Value of money

People always make incorrect blanket statements about Chinese salaries though. I doubt many people on this site have been to China, where the average meal can easily be had for the equivalent $1 at local restaurants. There are plenty of jobs in the US that make relatively the same, with lesser working conditions. A min-wage US worker is no more able to afford meals and housing and healthcare than a worker in China.
 
Comment

Fraaaa

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,081
0
London, UK
Is not any harder than any factory work I have been doing or that my parents still are doing.

Factory jobs are always paid less than what actually a person should be paid considered the effort made, but this is not how the economy works. Most of us are lucky enough to have a decent job because of a degree or an opportunity due to different circumstances and location. However, this "problem" is not applying only to China or Foxconn for the matter. Other countries have factory and the workers are not paid much. I'm not saying that they have equal opportunity like us, but Foxconn really doesn't look like a sweatshop.

I believe that people are moving towards better education and better opportunities, and mechanical job will be left to robots, while we humans are going to be focusing on more creative and brain challenging matters.
 
Comment

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
Interesting video, and it keeps re-rolling the dice: is Foxconn evil or good. That video implies that they do a lot of good for their workers, but I'm not convinced I've seen an unbiased report on Foxconn yet.

huh, such a low salary! If I think I have more per hour than they per day, I have to ask myself, am I having a lot, or they just have too little?:mad:

You are comparing their salary it to US dollars. They don't get paid in US dollars.

You cannot fairly compare another countries's currency/salary to yours. It may seem low to you, but essential things are cheaper over there. It's all relative.
 
Comment

JohnDoe98

macrumors 68020
May 1, 2009
2,488
99
You are comparing their salary it to US dollars. They don't get paid in US dollars.

You cannot fairly compare another countries's currency/salary to yours. It may seem low to you, but essential things are cheaper over there. It's all relative.

I've never understood this claim. Are you suggesting iPads and other electronics are sold at a discount in China? I doubt that. Yes the cost of living is lower, but that's also because the standard of living is so much lower. People can't afford to have their own apartments, their produce doesn't have nearly the diversity that ours does, etc. I think you can compare, and the result is that the quality of their lives is considerably worse than the American way.
 
Comment
T

The Toddfather

Guest
Apple could rectifiy that easily by recommending incentivie & bonus plans, which they could help fund by paying more for their devices but they won't because they love being greedy and high margins.

I think the occupiers are wondering where you went. Grow up.
 
Comment

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,603
2,838
The Chinese economy is completely different. The US dollar has a huge amount of inflation, so $14 only buys you 3 meals at McDonalds here. In China, it will go a bit farther than that.

If Apple goes in and starts paying factory workers $10 an hour then people working higher level jobs (Not farming and not factory work) will stop and try and become factory workers because they will have higher pay, thereby screwing up any economic growth they have and ensuring that nothing changes.

Yes, it is a bad situation, but throwing money at the problem isn't going to change anything.
 
Comment

mrgraff

macrumors 65816
Apr 18, 2010
1,014
701
Albuquerque
Where can I get that screen test application? I'm sure it's something that only the factory has access to, but if it isn't something in the system that I'd have to jailbreak out, are there any similar apps out there?
 
Comment

GyroFX

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2002
389
2
Los Angeles and NorCal
The Chinese economy is completely different. The US dollar has a huge amount of inflation, so $14 only buys you 3 meals at McDonalds here. In China, it will go a bit farther than that.

If Apple goes in and starts paying factory workers $10 an hour then people working higher level jobs (Not farming and not factory work) will stop and try and become factory workers because they will have higher pay, thereby screwing up any economic growth they have and ensuring that nothing changes.

Yes, it is a bad situation, but throwing money at the problem isn't going to change anything.


Too bad 14 RMB won't even buy them a meal at McDonalds in China
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.