The first pictures of a working iPad mini have surfaced ahead of a rumored unveiling next month. The device sports the aluminum shell we’ve seen a number of times in recent weeks, only it’s fully assembled with what appears to be a working display.
SAN FRANCISCO — American companies are rightly proud to show off any manufacturing facilities supporting jobs during the current recession, and San Francisco-based Timbuk2 is no exception. This week, the company known for its messenger bags showed us the hangar here in the Mission district where workers cut and sew colorful swaths of material and help contribute to the local manufacturing economy.
As a group of reporters was ushered through the trendy open-plan set-up, it made us think about what a factory tour of Apple’s manufacturing plants would be like. We’ll never know, of course. Tim Cook would never allow a tour like this one.
In a four-month investigation of 10 of Apple’s Chinese suppliers, China Labor Watch has found what they call “deplorable” working conditions in many of the factories of Apple’s component manufacturers. These factories allegedly contain hazardous working conditions and excessive overtime.
Foxconn chief executive Terry Gou has confirmed that Apple will use some of its cash to help improve the labor conditions for more than 1 million workers in Foxconn’s Chinese factories, where devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod are assembled.
The China Labor Bulletin (CLB) has spoken out after an episode of This American Life, which highlights the poor working conditions at one Chinese factory, was retracted last week, making it clear that this does not clear Foxconn’s name. “The press and stock investors will continue to watch how Foxconn treats its workers,” the CLB made clear.
Despite recent reports detailing the mistreatment of factory workers assembling Apple products in China, there’s still a huge demand for jobs at the Foxconn factory. Thousands of people lined up for hours outside a recruitment agency in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou in the hope that they would be chosen to build iPhones at the Foxconn factory.
Tim Cook was outraged by a recent report from The New York Timesthat provided a detailed look at the poor working conditions for Chinese factory workers assembling our Apple gadgets. It seems he’s not the only one. The BSR, a leader in corporate responsibility which works with Apple to develop sustainable business strategies, has labeled the report “inaccurate” and “misleading,” and has requested that it is corrected by the NYT.
Foxconn workers at an Xbox plant in China threatened a mass suicide earlier this month after the manufacturer reportedly refused to pay compensation it had promised earlier. Today, Microsoft and Foxconn have announced that the dispute has now been resolved.
A Pegatron plant in Shanghai, China, where rear panels for Apple’s iPad will be manufactured, suffered an explosion over the weekend which hospitalized 23 workers and injured a further 38. Though the explosion did not cause a fire, according to a Reuters report, the Pegatron factory reports there is “some damage” to machinery.
While most of the components crammed inside your iOS devices are built by low-cost Asian manufacturers, its dual-core A5 processor is actually built a little closer to home — at Samsung’s new factory in Austin, Texas.