Would you pay more for ethical consumer electronics?

Summary:Cheap products or ethical products - you choose!

The petition by watchdog group SumOfUs which asks Apple to "make the iPhone 5 ethically," got me thinking - how much more would you pay for an "ethical" product?

Could Apple do this? According to SumOfUs, yes:

Can Apple do this? Absolutely. Apple is the richest company in the world, posting a profit margin for the last quarter of 42.4% yesterday. They’re sitting on $100 billion in the bank. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in the New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen – “Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”

Cutting to the chase here, what SumOfUs is saying is that by cutting into that 42% profit margin, or dipping into that cash pile in the back, Apple could afford to make an ethical product. But there would be cost, and inevitably that cost would be passed on down the chain to the consumer.

Side note: How much of a difference would an ethical iPhone 5 make when you consider that pretty much every other bit of consumer electronics is made is similar (or worse) conditions to those that the iPhone are manufacturer in? In reality, this is an industry-wide problem, but it's being made an Apple issue because of how much money the company is making from its products.

So my question is this - how much extra would you be willing to pay for an ethical iPhone 5? Let's assume a base model at $199 ... how much would you be willing to pay on top of this to have the device built ethically?

Note: If you aren't the type to buy an iPhone, assume something else costing $199 that you would buy.

[poll id="750"]

Topics: Apple

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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