October 28, 2010


so you got your shiny new iphone. i bet you didn't know that people died to make that phone? at the risk of sounding like a hippy, if anyone is an apple slut its me. now with my confession out of the way, i'll shed some light on the infamous foxconn. foxconn is a taiwanese based electronics company who also happens to be apple's no.1 manufacturer. their primary factory which is based in shenzen, is a mere 32.3km from where i sit right now. foxconn outsources all its manufacturing of apple's iphone/ipad to the plant in shenzen, china. china has the lowest production costs in the world and is not at all new to doing mr. jobs dirty work. at least 10 employees at foxconn have taken their lives this year, half of them in may. workers, 86 percent of whom are under 25 years old, live in white dormitories with eight to 10 people sleeping in a room. the living quarters have stairs running up the outside walls and the company has begun covering them with nets to prevent people from jumping. inside the compound rows of young men and women stand at assembly lines, their feet shod in blue slippers and white caps on their heads. the smell of solvent hangs in the air. they stand for twelve hours a day and work for six days a week earning a mere 935 rand (134 usd) per month. wtf!? ironic that hon hai precision industry (foxconn) generate more revenue each year than microsoft corp., apple and dell inc.

the reason i'm writing this post is because i met dan (not his real name) in a bar the other night. he is a software designer for apple and he flew down from california to, as he colloquially said "put out some fires". well, dan is definitely not top brass at apple, but his street level perspective of the situation made me realize how fucked up it actually is.

i must admit though, dan's white iphone 4 was pretty dope.

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