A recent Tweet by @drachgenabe: "One suicide death per 200,000 sold iPad."
Apple has a marketing problem of epic proportions. The human cost of its latest hot product is suicide by the workers that make it.
Apple's response is to top up workers' salaries. But what if it also said it would make "Fair Trade" iPads?
"Think Fair" would be the right kind of killer marketing and a great upgrade to Apple's immensely succesful "Think Different" advertising campaign.
Fair Trade electronics products would cost a bit more to make but Apple can afford to pay more for manufacturing. Apple has a profit margin of 21%, Dell's is 3%, HP's is 7%. Apple has nearly $40 billion in cash.
Higher manufacturing costs would easily be offset by the tremendous marketing value to be had in becoming the first Fair Trade tech company. Apple has a long history of being first.
Steve Jobs is not motivated by becoming ever richer but by creating the best products with the best user experience. There's little wrong with the addition of a warm and fuzzy user experience that a Fair Trade iPad would provide.
The biggest drawback that I can see is this: Fair Trade Apple products would make the fanboys even more annoying. They'd be walking around, their noses in the air, exuding moral superiority from every pore, and their farts would smell better than roses. It could become suffocating if you were caught in a confined space with one of them.