It is kind of strange to be doing a case study on Apple. It’s a company of which I am a massive fan of. I own an iPhone, iPad, iMac, Macbook Pro and an Apple TV. It’s safe to say, I am a fanboy.
With our case study, we decided to take the angle of which Apple is treating it’s workers who create’s it’s products in the Foxconn factories in China. I already knew a lot about how the whole procedure worked, but I have taken a blind eye mainly due to my ‘fanboyism’. The following is what we have found.
The company/organisation is Apple, it is now the biggest and the most successful company in the world. What we want to make people aware of is how much they mistreat its workers in the Foxconn factories which in a lot of cases , is also where they live, socialise and sleep.
The problem and the issue is that being the worlds most profitable company over the past 5 years, the state of the workers living and working arrangement’s is disgraceful. Long hours, minimum pay and poor living quarters is having a major effect on it’s workers with some taking their own lives. With this happening, it’s giving bad publicity for Apple and has made for massive media attentions and it’s not for good reasons.
Here are some articles which shows this;
The problem with these issues is that it’s not just Apple, 95% of company’s are exactly the same and work in the same way as Apple. BBC investigations have found that other high street brands such as Topshop and Primark are employing Children and having equally poor working standards. If a company like Apple were to make a stand, it may change other companies stances on their working ways. With Apple also obtaining massive media interest, it would bring the problems to the forefront and what changes they are looking to make.
In my opinion, unless government legislations are put in place, companies will always resort to these techniques as it’s enables them to make more money on their products. Also, with most of these workers being in China and the neighbouring countries, it’s the norm for workers to be paid next to nothing. The problem stems a lot further afield then just the companies employing and using these workforces.
Apple however has always defended it’s position. Tim Cook, Apples CEO has installed net’s at the factories to stop more suicide. Over the past year, they have allowed a bit more of a media presence into their factories to show they have nothing to hide. This week, Tim Cook has written a letter to Apple employees showing an increase in working conditions for all departments (including the assembly lines) have improved.
Obviously, when you talk about a successful and world renowned company such as Apple, you have to be careful as they have a lot of legal backing. After all, we are talking about the company which took a 12 year old child to court for him making a white coloured version of the iPhone 4 available before Apple could figure out the so called “light-leak” issue (9to5Mac). There would be no copyright issues as we are not talking about their products. There are a lot of activist’s in both the US and China which are trying to force Apple into change. Green activists at the 5th avenue store in Manhattan have been shining green lights through the glass saying that the products they are making are not eco-friendly. This has gained massive attention on the internet mainly due to the strange protest with using the lights. Apple’s product specifications pages on their website also show how “eco-friendly” the company thinks there products are, but activists object this.
Other creative activist’s have produced video’s and pictures etc but there is nothing of substantial quality. Apple have a lot of say in the way they are marketed, perhaps they have nipped all bad press before it comes to light.
Using our creative skills, we could look at re-creating the “green” effect by having people use iPads and iPhones but have green smoke coming out from the objects as they are being used. This will show how ineffective their “eco-friendly” products are. Using children would also world well as advertising irresponsibly products has more effect and a stronger reaction. We thought a little child playing with a iPad, iPod any sort of apple product. Holding and using one of the products and all you see is green smoke coming from the product, like a smoke bomb. We could use a lot of different skills to promote the issue like video’s, picture’s and podcast’s.