Is There Any Way We Can Help?

A Big Apple fan

“The first thing came to my mind about Apple products is ..they are expensive. Still expensive to our standards even if they are produced at a place where labor is cheap and production cost is low. But still, can we, as die-hard Apple fans, do something to protect the rights of Chinese factory workers? May be, we can spend $5 more on an Apple product that we buy and make a change to the life of a factory worker, get him better wages, provide him better living dorm, and reduce the working time? Cause-related Marketing can be a good idea here but the main question is how many of us are really willing to spend $5 more for an Apple product?”

“I feel bad that the demand of luxury products here cause a lot of suffering in other countries. I think the best solution is, we should try to make these jobs come back to the United States. After all, letting these jobs go abroad doesn’t really help economy here. And Apple is not taking serious consideration to those suppliers who did unscrupulous exploitation of poor factory workers”.

“I just hope more people will know about the harsh working conditions in China and start giving pressure to Apple. Hopefully, Apple will set up a plant with an automatic production line here in the near future. In this way, not only the Chinese workers problems will be resolved, the next generation of college graduates will also get a better opportunity to find a job here”.


7 thoughts on “Is There Any Way We Can Help?

  1. It would be great if we could move all of the jobs that we are sending overseas back to the U.S. I definitely think that a lot of problems would be solved this way. However, the chances of corporations agreeing to take these measures are probably slim to none. No matter how much good it would do for our economy, I don’t think many company’s would be fond of investing in a measure that would cost them more money.

  2. I think that instead of wondering if consumers are willing to pay $5 extra dollars, we should be wondering why Apple can’t afford to pay $5 more for their labor. They have the highest margins in the industry, and the amount of money Apple spends on labor costs to Foxconn is minuscule.

  3. Surprisingly, I hadn’t really thought much about your point about how expensive Apple products are. I think that could be a great argument to help persuade Apple to take more permanent steps towards helping the mistreated workers. If their products are so expensive, why can’t they pay their workers one more dollar a day and make a big difference?

  4. I’m not sure if you caught in, but the 2nd podcast (retraction) that we listened to said that it would cost $65 more per iphone if they were produced instead in the US. If this is the case, then I can only imagine that it would be even less if production were to stay in China. Your question poses a really great question to me, as an Apple product consumer. Would I be willing to pay…let’s say $65 (or a little less) more for my iPhone? Even as a broke college student, I can decidedly say that yes, of course I would. In my opinion, Apple could really benefit from moving manufacturing to the US…think of all the ways they could market that and really sell it to skeptics. If prices per computer raised by less than $100, I’m inclined to doubt that any enthusiast would even notice.

  5. Valerie. I want to track down that information, but I find it hard to believe it would add $65 to the cost of each phone. I just don’t think labor is that big of a variable cost in each phone. Plus, if it were made in the US, I suspect it would take many FEWER workers due to greater automation.

    Can you recall how the $65 was derived or described?

  6. Well, you heard right. Here is the transcript.

    But, neither of them _really_ discusses how that is derived 😡 and Duhrigg makes my point too.

    “Ira Glass

    One of the most interesting things, and one of the newest things that I think you pointed out in this series is that the cost of labor in an iPhone, if it were made in the United States, would be only about $65 more per phone. I mean, that’s a lot of money if you’re manufacturing stuff.

    But with iPhones selling with hundreds of dollars profit in each phone, Apple could still make a profit if it were manufacturing in the US. And you have an entire article where you lay out, that is not actually the main reason why these are made overseas at this point
    Charles Duhigg

    That’s exactly right. And that $65, that’s the high-end estimate. Some people told us that, from a labor perspective, you could build the iPhone in the United States for just 10 extra dollars a phone, if you’re paying American wages.”

  7. Pingback: $65 per phone? Not likely (labor costs, fairness, profit) « Business, Society, and Government 4

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