iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

Summary: Ever been curious where the workers who make your iPhones and iPads live and sleep? Here's your answer -- and it ain't pretty.


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Topics: CXO, iPhone, iPad, Mobility, IT Employment


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Food For THought

    What are the conditions outside in China - I mean what are options for these workers in the "Free" world in China??
    Are they better than these?
    • no...

      ... for the vast majority probably worse. foxconn is regarded as a top employer in china.

      and how come always apple is singled out for the headline when theses companies produce any single electronic device used on that planet? the usual badmouthing of apple? desperate FUD attempts by the click-who**s paid by zdnet's advertising partners? are there no ethics left in the blogosphere?

      how come we don't see those headlines: "zune and xbox factory worker housing" or "wii and playstation factory worker housing". ah, right the advertising partners wouldn't like it. so it comes in handy that apple never advertises on IT doofus sites like this one.

      and of course no one would click on that headline. apple should use some of that 60 bn in cash and start to sue the a**es off these unethical bloggers.
      banned from zdnet
      • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

        @banned from zdnet <br><br>Whatever. I suppose the truth hurts you fanboyz. Get over it.

        And the fact is, this isn't even that bad. There are army dorms much worse than this in the US. Sue??? Oh shut up. I'm more concerned that Apple may be poisoning these people and I'm vastly more concerned about their pay and right to form unions.
      • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing


        Yeah, your concern is so evident.
      • hypocrisy?

        "Apple may be poisoning...?"
        that's my point. you aren't concerned about nintendo, microsoft, dell, hp, nokia or sony poisoning these workers though they work in a factory that produces for ALL of these companies. it is only apple, right?
        banned from zdnet
    • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

      Come on, this is a third world country!!! Do you guys have any idea how unskilled workers live and work over here in Africa. If you want to be shocked ask one of the big international companies in Africa for a pic of the house of one of their cleaners. Ridiculous, those wire fences is probably to prevent people from getting in and not for preventing people jumping out. Wake up, there?s a real world outside the borders of first world countries!
    • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

      The suicide nets and ropes show the real misery they must feel. Everything else is a facade.
  • No, not really

    I had a couple of friends who spent six months on a work assignment in the heart of China, far away from the major cities. People live in squalor and yes, they eat just about anything that has four legs (incidentally they lost a lot of weight while they were there). So even though this looks bad by Western standards, it is actually better than the conditions most, if not all, lived in prior to working there.

    This doesn't mean that the work or environment isn't depressing. If you go back in history to the Industrial Revolution, you will find similar patterns of depression and suicide from people who migrated from rural areas to the cities.

    I must say that I am sick of the ZDNet bloggers link baiting with iPhone/iPad in every posting that is even remotely connected to Apple. I'm not Apple's biggest fan, for my own reasons, but come on.
    • Suicide rates at Foxconn are half the national average

      whoops. There goes your depression propaganda angle.
    • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

      "I must say that I am sick of the ZDNet bloggers link baiting with iPhone/iPad in every posting that is even remotely connected to Apple. I'm not Apple's biggest fan, for my own reasons, but come on."

      While it's true that most all computer companies use foxconn these days, Apple stands out because they try a lot harder to elude people into believing that somehow their hardware is superior. Superior to what? The Dell on the line 4 feet over? It's all crap, and its time that Americans realized why it's crap.

      And for those that want to throw in the "but Apple designed it, so therefore it's better" crap... if the worlds best architect designed a building and let the worlds crappiest contractor build it, it will still be a pile of crap.

      In summary, I think all major brands, Apple, Dell, HP, etc... are pure crap. Equally crap. This comes from experience with working on all of them. Percentage wise, just as many Mac's come in needing repair as PCs. ASUS is the one stand out. They seem to really care about quality with their own product, but they lose points in being a pain to deal with if and when one of their's does die off under warranty.
    • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

      [i]I must say that I am sick of the ZDNet bloggers link baiting with iPhone/iPad in every posting that is even remotely connected to Apple.[/i]

      I'm curious. Did anyone force you to read the article?
      Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

    I travel in Asia all the time and these arrangements don't look bad at all from a China perspective.

    Also - The vertical wires are there to keep birds from flying in and nesting on the balconies, and going the bathroom all over the place.
  • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

    @noel_thomas: what are you talking about?

    These conditions are GREAT. I lived and worked in China for 4 years. I taught college and had my own sales and marketing consulting business. I've visited/consulted with many different factories in China and these dorms are NICE. Many college dorm rooms, even the "new" ones are much worse than these. The construction workers that I met, lived in much much worse conditions.

    Stop trying to project your idea of how people should live on to the reality of conditions and economy in a foreign country. These dorms are a VAST improvement to where a lot of these workers came from and they are making TREMENDOUSLY more money than they would be working on the family farm.
    • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing


      Actually, you seem to be projecting more then any comments or the article itself. From what I can tell, noel was asking a simple question. Yes, the conditions shown would be considered appalling by the average US citizen. OTOH, they can see why they can't compete with offshoring. Few (if any) would be willing trade their current situation for this alternative.
      • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing


        What part of "Here's your answer -- and it ain't pretty," did you miss?
  • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

    It looks better than I expected. I wonder what they would think of where I live.
    Schoolboy Bob
    • Seems great there!

      Oh my... they look like any university dorm here in Asia Pacific. Even some student dorms in Japan & Singapore (in the suburbs) feel similar. Just maybe with non-double-deckers, thicker mattresses & slightly more natural light filling the room. Cleaner and more lively I must say (due to the students & house/disciplinary masters), but nevertheless structure/architecture-wise somewhat similar. This is high-rise communal living. Wake up guys! Stop the conspiracy theorists! (Especially those who can't even count the number of countries in Eastern & Pacific Asia.)

      Most of the executives of these big companies in China (are from rich family backgrounds) and most likely spent time abroad in American universities. You think they don't know the line between humane and cruel?
    • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

  • Apple prods, and DELL too

    The floor to ceiling wire running up and down the balcony is a common safety contraption used in Asian balconies to keep kids from falling out of their apartments.<br><br>Every balcony in China has a sink. The balcony is the center for doing laundry: wash in sink or wash machine, and then hang the clothes up to dry.<br><br>These dorms look great. There's nothing untoward here in the dorms. The exercise equipment is all over China and rarely used. All the fuckup is with management and what pressure they put on their employees. It's to catch that on camera.<br><br>FoxConn makes equipment for more companies than just apple. Maybe half of ZDNet's laptops were made in a facility just like this. Hmmm?<br><br><br>Sincerely, <br><br>Tall American Dude living in China<br>==>Lancer---
  • RE: iPhone/iPad worker factory housing

    I lived in barracks in the 60's in this country,and they were far worse than that.We had 30 bob a week,when the average wage for someone our age was ?5.Remember before the second world war,on paper Britian was the richest country in the world!