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back to article 40,000 Apple fanbois demand ethical iPhone 5

Favourite aggregator of anti-corporate campaigns, SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for an "ethical" iPhone 5, and has already garnered more than 40,000 signatures. The emotive petition paints a picture of a young girl in a Chinese factory being steadily poisoned by the use of n-hexane, promising that the neurological …

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Anonymous Coward

where you going to buy your hardware from instead? It's a rare company that doesn't use 2nd/3rd world labor.

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Vote with your wallet S-L-O-W-L-Y

I agree that most manufacturers are guilty of manufacturing under similar conditions so applying pressure to change by switching brands will be unlikely to work.

But since much of their profit comes from frequent fashion driven turn over we can announce that we will not buy new gear until the manufacturers clean up their production. By keeping old hardware longer one can apply some (not much, but better than no) pressure.

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Facepalm

You're a hypocrite

There, I said it. So now enlighten me and show me a company, other than Apple, with more ethical manufacturing policies and PROVE TO ME WHY THEY ARE SO.

I'm waiting for your reply :o)

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Devil

What's with the apple bashing?

My understanding is that whilst in general ethics are not at the top of most production line agenda's, Apple actually are doing much to be open and honest, and to improve things... yet they are the one's getting the bashing.

Sudo stats...

On average in China there are 220 suicides per million workers. Foxconn is only 18 per million.

In America for example there are 35 fatal work place injuries per million workers. Foxconn is only 7.

The average salary in China for production workers is $4.k. Foxconn is $6k.

(Source: onforbes.es apparently)

I don't think Apple do enough, but they also aren't all evil too.

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Anonymous Coward

Err

Your stats don't take into account the fact that foxconn don't do things which are particularly dangerous compared to, say a foundry, they shouldn't have as many injuries.

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WTF?

People hate success and hate seeing someone do well

It's like the school playground here, sometimes. You know, the one in which the bright kid is bullied mercilessly by the half-wits for just doing well.

I don't think Apple are any more or less evil than other corporations using Chinese labour. I think it's disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

The real evil lies in the value Western consumers place in their toys, demanding that all manufacturers race to the bottom to produce ever cheaper goods. Blame yourselves, you all deserve what you get.

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Windows

The only thing Apple really cares about is their bottom line, and as long as they're making 70% profit on iPads and squeezing their suppliers and manufacturers for all they're worth, poor conditions and worker abuses will continue.

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FAIL

Riiiight. Because, of course, no bugger else does that.

Not Dell, not Microsoft, not Asus, not Nokia (who sell far more mobile phones than Apple do), not Nintendo. Not Sony.

And, of course, we'll whine about 7 deaths per million in a factory in China as "unethical", but nobody gives a shit about the 40K deaths per year on the roads in the US alone. How is the automobile any more "ethical" then?

Foxconn != Apple. Foxconn's employees are Foxconn's responsibility, not Apple's. US health and safety regulations do not apply in China. This is—contrary to popular belief—not Apple's fault either. However, there are no laws saying Apple (or Dell, or Sony, etc.) cannot do business with Chinese businesses, so why are people complaining when they do exactly that?

Don't like the laws of your country? Change them. It is YOUR duty to ensure the laws YOUR country has meet with YOUR standards. That's why government is generally at the consent of the people. (Yes, even in nations that don't have democracies. That's why civil wars, rebellions and uprisings happen. Believe you me, if the Chinese want change that badly, they won't have much trouble getting it. There are well over 1.5 billion of them, and rather fewer in positions of government. That's why corrupt governments don't want an educated and informed population!)

China's society is the responsibility of the Chinese, and nobody else. We've seen what happens when you try to impose a new socio-cultural template from without: it gets messy. For a population to be willing to change, they have to have a stake in the process. The desire for change must come from within the society.

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Silver badge

@Sean Timarco Baggaley

I don't doubt the truth of your comment for an instance but is the "everybody else does it too" argument really any form of defence?

I mean surely, you've got to start _somewhere_. Good luck with the petition. I'm not an Apple customer so signing it would be hypocrisy but, you know, if they forge a lead that other less culty manufacturers have to follow, I'll be very happy about that.

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Anonymous Coward

We care, we really do!

All we did was tell the suppliers to make sure that the price went down by 10%. Again.

We explicitly told them that they shouldn't do this by putting extra pressure on the workforce or cutting corners on safety. Or letting the product quality go down. Or by doing anything that would lower the component yields.

It's not an unreasonable request - everyone in the consumer electronics industry works at about 60% profit margins don't they?

Regards, Apple

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Thumb Down

no proof they're all at all apple users, cheap trick

to be sure of who's voting sumofus should make this voting only through an App for iPhone.

sumofus is not an accredited nor certified polling institute nor do they poll in a scientific manner so on principle they might as well shut up. There is no way of checking how many times a person voted. Also, there is no possibility to vote against, only for whatever they're promoting.

people/companies trying to make themselves heard using somebody else's shine just get blackballed in my universe.

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Anonymous Coward

not a poll

It's not a poll, its a petition. They don't need to be a certified polling institute it's purely about getting the most number of signatories. You have to give your name, email address and zip(post)code so if you want to "sign" multiple times you have to provide alternative contact information and probably a valid email address to confirm. Sorry to downvote you but I couldnt do anything else given the content of your post.

(not an iphone owner)

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Anonymous Coward

(not an iphone owner)

petition or not problem is there is no real check on the number of persons who really voted. take a bot herder with a contract from apple and you will get 40000 votes in a jiffy. A petition online doesn't have the same power as a real one, because, yeah, it's too easy to cheat. Or maybe coming up with different zip codes and alternative contact information is considered a challenge these days?

don't be sorry to downvote, be sorry that you're not objective ac.

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Bronze badge

Tim Worstall's take

Timmy says that the protestors are silly and are spouting nonsense. He's written about the issue over at the Forbes blog.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/01/29/the-apple-boycott-people-are-spouting-nonsense-about-chinese-manufacturing/

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What about the rest?

As Apple are only 6% of the worldwide mobile phone market who do we petition about the other 94%?

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When all of the other American manufacturers who outsource at least a part of their production to China (automakers, for example) do as much as the tech manufacturers do to ensure safe working conditions, give me a call.

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The problem is Apple claiming to ethical but shown not to be by the report.

I think Apple is trying to balance Chinese workers' health to that of its shareholders.

Hopefully they will get it right soon.

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Anonymous Coward

On the subject of fruit-themed electronics...

I'd like an ethical RaspberryPi. Yet to see even a supplier code of conduct report on those.

Would pay an extra fiver on top.!Maybe they could be built in the UK then?

Where do I sign up?

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Anonymous Coward

Here's the reason

It was all explained why they are having to manufacture in the far east but they did want to make them in the UK:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, thanks I know their stated reasons although other than price I'm not entirely convinced.

Arduinos are fully built in Italy, why can't we do the same in the UK with the RaspberryPi?

There's also other countries in Europe with better conditions and I'm sure very wiling to do this. I've had PCBs built in Bulgaria (Olimex).

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This is an issue with Apple

because it seeks to portray itself as a company somehow out of the ordinary. So when it turns out that its kit is made under near slave labour conditions and its new iCloud server farm is powered by very high CO2 but very cheap Appalachian coal just to save a few bucks the gap between the "magical" and "insanely great" PR blurb and reality becomes rather too wide to ignore.

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"because it seeks to portray itself as a company somehow out of the ordinary."

Bizarre. People seem to have no problem with driving extremely dangerous machines called "cars" that mow down 40K+ people every fucking year in the US alone; wearing clothing made in sweatshops in the Far East (some of it definitely made by children); eating chocolate made from cocoa beans that are often picked by children too; eating and drinking to wild excess—to the extent that a large percentage of the population in the US and some other Western nations is morbidly obese.

How many of you own electronic devices that are not made by Apple, yet are still made in China?

How many of you own any mass-produced products that are made in China?

Yet, somehow, it's only Apple who are "unethical"?

Hypocrites, the lot of you.

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Anonymous Coward

They do care...

...about their executive multi-million dollar annual bonues but not a damn thing about Chinese slave labor.

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oh please! if workers in china are so upset then they should tell their government to do something. Apples is just one of many (50+ high tech companies use Foxxconn+). Do you really think Microsoft will stop having their XBox built by Foxxconn+? How about the many large screen TV companies?

Apple does the most of any company to try to benefit their suppliers. Who does more than Apple in this area?

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FAIL

What a pile of W&nk

I'm sorry, but this is so unbelievably naff and w&nky, it just makes me cringe.

Hows about the 40,000 people write petitions to the people behind the manufacture of their cars?

What about the TV set, the DVD player, the Sat Nav, the Fridge, the Oven, the Microwave, the Washing Machine, the Dishwasher - eh eh eh? eh?

Going to write a petition to all those manufacturers too? Hmmm?

Heck, what about the food you eat - fruit maybe? Bananas? - care to investigate the supply chain in Equador? eh? eh eh eh?

The very fact that these fanbois can afford to buy phones that cost 10 years wages for most developing countries work forces should send a clear message back to them - stop being such total w&nkers.

If you want to do something about it, this is NOT the way to go about it.

The reality is, if you end up impacting the supply chain and see Apple drop various companies, workers will lose their jobs (erm, excuse the pun)

Cheap electronics = cheap labour - it's a sick world, but that's about the size of it.

It's the reason the Western world was overtaken by Asia in the manufacture of High Tech goods - our working environments are protected.

40,000 fanboi's isn't going to change a damn thing.

Nothing short of a revolution in countries like China is going to raise the standards of work environments in Chinese factories.

.. Flame retardant underpants firmly in place, ready to face a barrage of down votes for speaking the god honest obvious truth - you want to change the world? Get into politics ...

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Anonymous Coward

Well said, except that a revolution would break up China in far worse ways than the USSR..

Things would go from not great to nightmare levels over there and consequently the world economy would take a serious shit that would make this recession seem like the good times.

Don't play with fire so please stay off politics, although if you did I'm sure someone would come along to explain you why you shouldn't.

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Daring Firelall's John Gruber asks: "is fanboi like fanboy only gay?"

Undark and the Radium Girls • Damn Interesting

The owners and scientists at US Radium, familiar with the real hazards of radioactivity, naturally took extensive precautions to protect themselves. They knew that Undark’s key ingredient was approximately one million times more active than uranium, so company chemists often used lead screens, masks, and tongs when working with the paint. US Radium had even distributed literature to the medical community describing the “injurious effects” of radium. But inside the factory, where nearly every surface sparkled with radioluminescence, these dangers were unknown. For a lark, some of the women even painted their fingernails and teeth with radium paint on occasion, to surprise their boyfriends when the lights went out.

http://www.damninteresting.com/undark-and-the-radium-girls/

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Undark - very interesting

never heard of this before. thanks for the link.

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Flame

a quotation

"The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread ." - John Milton

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Bronze badge

Sigh, arguing for an Ethical Apple reminds me of...

...the last G20 summit meeting here in Australia, and the crowd of protestors outside chanting their chants and waving their slogan signs, then, when they break for lunch, with one hand they held a cellphone against their ear, while eating a mcdonalds burger with the other.

Nothing will come of this - as it shouldn't anyway - because those who whine the loudest have no freaking clue what they're arguing about in the first place. Those 40K signatures mean little when you have to rent the crowd to sign it...

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Mushroom

Just a few thoughts.

China is a much better/nicer place than it was during Mao's time, and even better than pre WW2.

Famines that killed tens to hundreds of millions were the lot of the Chinese in living memory.

They may not have the same workplace standards of the West today , but not so long ago the conditions in mines,factories and other workplaces were pretty grim.

But recent economic events in Europe and USA will almost certainly cause a decrease in living standards for the 99%, perhaps catastrophically so.

No more Ipods , Ipads etc.

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Anonymous Coward

More accurate reporting perhaps.......

"....SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for a "DECENT" iPhone....." OR

"....SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for an iPhone that doesn't make the owner look like a twat......" OR

".....SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for iPhone 5 to be as good as, or try to be better than ICS..."

Like any iPhone owner cares about anyone else? BOLLOX. They only care that their peers see them with an iPhone, so they can inflate their status amongst their kind.

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Anonymous Coward

Sausages

You wouldn't eat sausages if you saw how they make them.

People don't like / don't want the truth abouth where most of their stuff comes from. People just want to get on with their lives and eat tasty meat.

A bit mean to pick on any single manufactorer in this regard.

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FAIL

They should talk with their wallets.

People have been lining up to buy Apple products with none of these concerns. If these people really want to change Apple's behavior then they should by products from companies that demonstrate the ethical behavior that they want from Apple.

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