(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Bad Apple?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Reports that the hardware innards of Apple's iconic iPods may be made in extremely exploitative conditions in China have got a quick response from the Apple's PR people who claim that if such accusations hold merit, Apple was unaware of it. Apple representatives have pointed to their environmental policy which includes " a commitment to uphold the human rights of workers, and covers matters including: discrimination, harsh treatment and harassment, involuntary and child labour, working hours, remuneration and freedom of association."

Apple's success has been in large part through their outstanding promotion of the company image so I imagine they will distance themselves from these accusations (and possibly, these suppliers) quickly rather than loose face and become tainted in the eyes of the consuming public.

Update: You know it's bad PR when the story makes it onto the BBC News.

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At 6/15/2006 11:41:00 am, Anonymous Grant said...

I do hope that if Apple do find that the accusations are true that they work with those suppliers to clean up their act, rather than just move on to another supplier. This is far more constructive and beneficial to the exploited communities, and an approach advocated by most people working in the ethical/fair trade business.

It will be interesting to see if this turns out to be a real scoop, and exactly how Apple will respond...

At 6/23/2006 01:07:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a supplier to the ipod business, I can assure you that Apple could care less about how we reach their aggressive price goals!Apple's only interest right now is to maintain their profit margins. We have recently been asked by Apple to reduce our component price more then 30%, regardless of our own profitability. Many of us are forced to meet their price targets(at a loss)as we have put a lot of capital investment in place to support their iPod demand. We can't simply walk away from this business and Apple is relying on that. Apple's GSM team has little to no business ethics, nor do they care to maintain long standing relationships with suppliers. This will eventually hurt them.


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