Source: The Guardian
An undercover reporter joined thousands on the production line battling to meet deadlines for iPhone 5
Any committed foodie will wax lyrical about the value of provenance – the integrity of the food, the care and craft behind creating it. How long, then, before this middle-class preoccupation with quality, traceability and plain goodness of the things we buy extends into technology?
We suspend our ethics when Apple launches a new phone. That unboxing is a virgin moment, as if the phone morphed inside the box from the tiny sparkling seed implanted by Jonathan Ive. Slide your finger through the Designed In California seal and your phone takes its first breath…
It’s a supreme piece of packaging design, but the reality is far from an immaculate conception. Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer of iPhone, has faced a steady stream of criticism and concerns from poor working conditions to suicides.
Now the Shanghai Evening Post has published a detailed diary of working life at the Foxconn production plant by undercover journalist Wang Yu. He lasted 10 days in the plant, seven of which were in training, and three on shifts “marking placement points on the back plate”. Foxconn recruited 20,000 new workers in March to meet its production targets for iPhone 5, and has to produce 57m in one year, Wang’s report stated.
No doubt much of the nuance has been lost in this translation by micgadget.com, (who bafflingly signed off from this piece by saying how excited they were about seeing the new iPhone 5) but Wang complains of having to work on 3,000 phones during a 10-hour shift, paid only 27 yuan ($4.27) for two hours’ overtime. Read the rest of this entry »