Tim Cook took a moment at the D10 conference today to defend Apple’s reliance on supply chains and its willingness to micromanage them when they fall short of expectations.
Cook said that no one else is measuring working hours in China, nor reporting on it. “We took a position to say we want to bring this down,” he said. “We’re measuring working hours for 700,000 people.”
According to Cook, Apple went through a large effort to bring the overtime down, but also pointed out that many workers there “want to work a whole lot because they want to move and work for a year or two and bring back as much money as they can to their village.”
Cook also mentioned that Apple decided a long time ago that they wouldn’t become a manufacturing company, noting that this continues to be the perspective at Apple. He also said that the “engine” of the iPad is made right in the US, noting that the the Corning glass is made in Kentucky.
Apple recently initiated the biggest supply chain audit of any tech company in history in association with The Fair Labor Association. Despite the media’s intense scrutiny of Apple’s working conditions at Foxconn, nearly all tech companies have been using the same process to manufacture products for years.