Like Mr. Daisey, I too am an Apple enthusiast. While I may not be a “techie” type, I do follow their products and believe in them as a company. I want to believe that everything Apple is doing is better than what anyone else is doing. I want to believe that Apple is a leader in technology, service, design, production, etc. It’s like I’m under their spell. However, listening to Mr. Daisey’s experience at the factory in Shenzhen makes me question the companies practices. Apple is known for its secrecy, keeping details about their upcoming products tightly guarded. This news of the conditions at Foxconn, combined with Apple’s light response to it, only adds to the secrecy surrounding them. Surely they know more than what they’re telling us.
I don’t feel that the problems at Foxconn are all Apple’s fault, though. In many ways I believe it’s a societal problem that extends beyond just this one factory. According to other articles I’ve read in recent months, the conditions at the factory are actually relatively good for China. It is providing opportunities, especially for women, to go to work, which is much better than having no opportunities at all. But in conditions like the ones at Foxconn, with terribly long working hours and little life outside of the production line and the concrete square in which they sleep, is it actually better than nothing?
We’ve heard of bad working conditions in China plenty of times before. Will this news actually affect Apple in the end? Will they make more of an effort to change the conditions of the factories they use? Is that even a realistic possibility? As consumers, we’ve come to hold Apple to a higher standard. We expect the best from them, and as leaders in the industry, I think Apple has the opportunity to take the lead here and work towards a solution. Like the narrator suggested at the end of the podcast, companies could combat the high turnover rates in their factories by improving working conditions and becoming the kind of company that people want to work for in the factories. Maybe other companies will follow suit.