Starving To Death On An iPhone Assembly Line

By

feat_Apple46__01__630x420

When Apple launched the iPhone 5 last year, it was the most aggressive launch Apple had ever attempted, requiring entire armies of workers to aggressively line-manufacture their most advanced, difficult-to-make iPhone yet. But what was it like to be one of those workers? Businessweek has published a fantastic, haunting investigative report on one Nepalese worker, who almost starved to death after his stint as an iPhone tester.

Here’s What Working Conditions At Chinese Electronics Plants Are Really Like [Exclusive Interview]

Adapted from CC-licensed photo by Mrbill on Flicker.
Adapted from CC-licensed photo by Mrbill on Flicker.

If you own an iPhone, laptop, Kindle, Android device, electric toothbrush, baby monitor or GPS navigator, it was probably put together by a worker in a Chinese factory.

Although Apple is currently juggling the PR hot-potato over working conditions at Foxconn plants in China, a situation made more murky by the factual takedown of Mike Daisey’s monologue, dozens of other global companies make their must-have electronics there.

For a wider perspective, Cult of Mac tracked down one of the world’s leading experts on modern labor in Asia.

Dr. Boy Lüthje is a sociologist at the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research and currently a visiting scholar at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii who has spent a decade visiting factories to study working conditions at electronics manufacturers in Asia, including Foxconn.