back to article 40,000 Apple fanbois demand ethical iPhone 5

Favourite aggregator of anti-corporate campaigns, SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for an "ethical" iPhone 5, and has already garnered more than 40,000 signatures. The emotive petition paints a picture of a young girl in a Chinese factory being steadily poisoned by the use of n-hexane, promising that the neurological …


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  1. Gordon 10


    40,000 people change their mind when told the new iphone 5 will cost £1000.

    Honestly I dont get how naive people are. Apple at least play a reasonable amount of lip service to their suppliers workers health - not brilliant - but better than a lot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "40,000 people change their mind when told the new iphone 5 will cost £1000."

      Of which only £800 is profit.

      1. Volker Hett

        Ok, let's allow another 10 GBP for transport and the guy in the shop.

    2. BillG

      "40,000 people change their mind when told the new iphone 5 will cost £1000. Honestly I dont get how naive people are"

      iPhone users aren't naive - they just don't care.

      Apple makes about 600% profit on iPhones. They can afford manufacturing where people don't die, but they would rather profit more off the sheeple.

      It makes me wonder how indifferent iPhone users are to Apple's deadly manufacturing.

      1. CmdrX3


        I hate to burst your bubble but in general Western society just doesn't care, as long as they get cheaply manufactured goodies of every description, it doesn't stop at Apple and their iPhone users. The average bloke or blokette that walks into their local phone shop or electrical supplier just wants to buy their gadge at the lowest possible price. They couldn't give two monkeys whether their kit was put together by a half starved low paid chinese work slave or by a 9 year old child working 12 hour shifts.... as long as they can get it for £20 cheaper, the conscience generally remains at home. Am I one of those people, yes sadly I am, and I don't have a bit of Apple kit to my name.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But just think how much more stylish you could be as you exploit 3rd world children if you did buy Apple products...

          1. Jim in Hayward

            Apple does not allow child labor. They investigate on their own and have offered their supplier lists to third party investigative teams to make sure this does not happen. Apple is the gold hope to the people of china. And they know it!

        2. Jim in Hayward
          Thumb Down

          @CmdrX3 - Apple does not allow child labor. Foxxconn does not have child laborers.

        3. BillG


          No bubble to burst. But in the case of Apple, let's face it, they are selling an IMAGE and a BRAND. Nobody buys a Blu-Ray disc player to express their independent, creative side. Meanwhile, Apple's commercials show a connected people that are SHARing and COMPASSIONATE. Let's coordinate a meeting with our friends at a coffee shop. There's an app for that, right?

          Yeah, most people in Western society don't care, as long as they get it cheap. But Apple users are supposed to caaaaaaare. The Apple brand says that they are not like most people.

          Truth is, people who buy iPhones are not different from most people. They are not just a part of the herd, they ARE the herd.

          P.S. There are no public records of Mr. Jobs giving any money to charity.

      2. RogerThat

        40,000 idiots

        Apple is at least trying to improve the situation. It is open and transparent about its suppliers and hires companies to find and correct abuses. No other company even lifts a finger to do anything similar, and dozens of U.S. tech companies use the same suppliers Apple does.

        So for going out on a limb to make things better, Apple gets punished by 40,000 idiots. Is this what we have come to as a nation? Our education system must have turned the brains of thousands into oatmeal. No thinking. No logic. No reasoning. No gathering of facts. Just lashing out at whomever is available because someone has been depicted as suffering. Please, spare me.

        1. Bjorg


          You don't see the irony in your statement, do you? A mere *one* paragraph before you wrote "No logic. No reasoning. No gathering of facts.", you made a sweeping generalization that no company, in the entire world, does anything to improve the lives of these people, but "Apple at least tries". Safe working conditions is such a new and innovative concept that only Apple could have come up with it, right? From where I'm standing, you seem like the oatmeal-brained one.

    3. Shonko Kid

      40000 people..

      will change their mind the minute they see an iPhone 5 in the shops, no matter what the cost.

      Let's face it, they could make the leather cases out of actual Chinese worker's skin, and Apple will still shift boat loads of them.

      iPhone 5, now made with pure puppy blood.

      If you don't like how something is made, don't buy it. It's that simple.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SO LONG AS.....

      there is a 'Fairtrade' logo on the box they will come.


      Apple will donate 5 pence from every sale to Fairtrade initiatives helping workers in third world countries to a better life.

  2. Pseu Donyme

    The point of outsourcing pretty much: get <something> without having to care / being responsible as to how <something> is produced.

  3. jai

    how many of those 40,000 are really so concerned that they'll _not_ buy the iPhone5 if it isn't shown to be more ethical?

    i doubt very many. it's all very well to sign a petition demanding these things, but are they also willing to vote with their wallets?

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      I am and have.

      I do not have an iPhone and probably never will.

      But that's mainly because of a beef I have with Jobs, dead though he may be, and the legacy he has left behind.

      But are the alternatives all really that free of taint?

      I bought a HTC a long while back which probably reeks of taint along similar lines. As do most things. A long time ago you'd see toys 'Made in Hong Kong'. Now you see almost everything (ok, I exaggerate, but you get the picture), 'Made in China'.

      There's quite little we can do I think, but I'm open to suggesitons.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hows about...

    Hows about Apple actually start giving money to charity. All other silicon valley companies do, but not Apple, presumably because of Steve's buy-in to Ayn Rand's philosophies. Now Steve has gone, I hope that Apple start realising that they have to take part in the societies that they profit from - be that in China where the manufacture is, or in the West where the money is.

    1. amanfromearth

      Hows about you not ignoring the fact that they do give to charity through their matching employees donations scheme.

      1. amanfromMars 2
        Thumb Down


        Wowee, how generous. Their employees must spend the money for them to do so... I can imagine that must amount to hundreds and thousands per year. I bet charities are so grateful.

        1. Justin Clements

          Not at all

          If it is a matching programme (like I've seen at Sun), the employee merely raises money for chairty (or gives money to charity), that their employer then matches pound for pound, dollar for dollar.

          A few years ago, one of our fundraising teams (we run events) raised £14,000 for charity, and iirc Sun Microsystems were putting up another £14k as per their charity programme.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Justin Clements

            I'm deeply cynical about companies matching employee donations or just giving to charities full stop, you can bet that if there wasn't a damn good way of clawing the donations back off the tax man or at least offsetting them against tax that the majority would stop it right away.

            1. RogerThat

              Immoral giving

              I am deeply morally opposed to businesses giving to charity. The sweet goodness of capitalism is that it produces millions of times more help for mankind, poor or rich, than charity. Businesses should use their money to invest in themselves to produce jobs, growth, wealth and products that make peoples lives better. If they don't know how to do that, then they should go bankrupt and their assets go to other companies that do know how to make people's lives better.

              Understand, please, that a business is a very fragile thing. Unless its customers like it and its products enough to buy, the business will go away in a very short time. Buy nothing from Apple and in a year or two, it will cease to exist, even with its nearly $100 billion nest egg.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Not true. If Apple ceased to generate any revenue, but continued at their current burn-rate as far as all running costs including R&D are concerned (which is ~ $8bn p/a), they'd happily exist for a good few years.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. ItsNotMe


        "Hows about" remembering that there is no evidence that Stevie "Boy Wonder" Jobs ever personally gave ANY money to charity? Hmmm?

        "Writing for the New York Times, Andrew Sorkin was puzzled that he couldn’t find any evidence that Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, had given away any part of his significant $8.3 billion personal wealth. What he did find is that when Jobs returned to his old company in 1997, he canceled Apple’s philanthropic programs and they have remained dormant ever since."

        As much as a scumbag Bill Gates was/is...he and his wife have given BILLIONS of dollars away to charity...and continue to do so.

        And no…I’m not an Apple Hater…I own 3 iPods and 3 Apple computers…but I still think Jobs was a dirtbag of the highest order. Maybe only to be eclipsed by Larry Ellison.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Jobs deemed his most effective way of contributing to humanity was focusing his time and resources on turning out millions of new products that people want, and improving people's lives through these products. He was obviously correct.

          Bill Gates this the best use of his time and money for humanity was funding and running his own charities instead of running Microsoft turning out more versions of Windows. Considering the state of Windows at the time that big charity started, essentially a big monopoly casting about what to do after establishing a choke hold on the computer industry, Gates' decision was also correct.

    2. Matthew 3

      or how about...

      ...making a version in the USA, for the USA? They wouldn't have to change their profit margin or compromise on standards. Just make it a different colour or something so that the ethical worriers can just pay more.

      If nobody buys this (more expensive) version then Apple have proved that the consumers themselves put value over ethics.

    3. Jim in Hayward

      I think you have your Apples to Microsoft mixed. Microsoft gives nothing to charity. Bill Gates does to save his soul from hell. But everyone knows (except him) that money can not save you.

      Microsoft - the danger is real. The Danger is Microsoft!

    4. RogerThat

      The real charity starts with investing

      Charities do far less good than businesses that create jobs. Investing in wealth creation and more jobs is more ethical than giving to charities.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Trolling much?

        What has charity got to do with ethical treatment of employees in your supply-chain?

        I think the idea is that you might give the employees a bit more than just enough to buy food. Invest in the the Chinese economy so that the people there can do more. Perhaps spend some time educating themselves rather than spending all day every day on the production line. Perhaps they could lend some of the wealth you have allocated to them to a nephew who has a bright idea for a new business in the local community.

        Businesses concentrate wealth, they re-allocate it. It is people doing useful work who create it. All those billions apple has represent the work and wealth previously owned by apple customers. If they hadn't bought an iphone, they would probably have spent the cash on something else. Perhaps cinema tickets or fruit and veg. Just because apple has gained a large slice of the pie, doesn't make the pie bigger.

        Any wealth apple has created comes from increased productivity of apple-phone users as compared to non-apple-phone users. Undoubtedly this has happened, but probably not to the extent indicated by Apple's bank balance.

        Add to that the Western propensity to earn not from creating things, but from stopping people from using ideas or doing things and you have a very shaky economy indeed.

        Don't confuse wealth-possession with wealth-creation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          wealth creation...

          ... is the central delusion of capitalism. It's just not possible to create wealth, all you can do is take it from other people. Like you say, the pie doesn't get any bigger.

  5. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Where else (other than China) can you get such a device made in such quantities?

    You can't make such things without chemicals and producing pollution. We used to send people down underground in this country despite it causing them harm. Yet many say we shouldn't have killed off mining.

    It's all very well saying make them in the USA, but there's nowhere that can make them in sufficient volume for the right sort of price. Unless of course you want a £2000 iPhone with a 2 year waiting list.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Try Northern Europe...

      My Nokia N8 was made in Salo, Finland, and is every bit as well made as its concurrent, the iPhone 4. The likes of iSuppli list the BOM costs for both devices as within $10 of each other, and the N8's sale price was pretty much in line with the iPhone's at launch (iPhone network-unlocked prices are loaded by Apple - a bit of comparison of price-plans will reveal that the networks get them for about €400 each).

      Apple's laptops are made in China too, and have been for a decade. The only products they still make "in-house" are the some iMacs and some MacPros.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You probably mean...

        ... assembled in Finland from components made in China. Slightly better than made and assembled in China I suppose. Even if every component was made in Finland, it's more than likely that the raw materials - rare earth metals etc - came from the same war-torn parts of Africa where the mineral rights are literally fought over by opposing armed factions that routinely use mutilation and rape as instruments of war. There are very few - tending towards zero - ethically sound consumer electronics products on the market. What makes Apple's behaviour more obscene than most others is the the 70% profit margin - they really are cashing in on the misery of the workers in their supply-chain...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Kristian Walsh

        Nokia is also a Foxconn customer as well.

  6. Mondo the Magnificent


    ...when the next generation of Apple product is "ethical" enough for the SumOfUs collective, will they make the same stink with Asus, Acer, Dell or WalMart who all make use of Chinese production facilities?

    Very doubtful as low hanging 'fruits' are always easy to pick..

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blinkered view

    The problem with this petition - and similar calls - is that it gives the impression the problem is all about Apple. It's true that Apple is embroiled in it, but the truth is that we *all* are. A large proportion of the goods we buy are produced in similar (or worse) conditions.

    We aren't going to change anything by pointing the finger at Apple. We might make it even worse if we direct our spending toward companies are less ethical than Apple (and there are many). It's not just the IT industry as a whole either - it's our whole political, economic, and social ethos. *Everyone* has to participate - every individual, company, and government around the world. Otherwise we allow the most unethical and hard-nosed companies to trash those who try to bring about change.

    1. CollyWolly
      Thumb Down

      so we just ignore the problem?

      As one of the richest companies in the world, and highest profit margins per unit sold, Apple make a good place to start.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No scapegoats

        @CollyWolly: "so we just ignore the problem? As one of the richest companies in the world, and highest profit margins per unit sold, Apple make a good place to start."

        No - we need to do something that will genuinely improve the situation. What good will it too to take one successful company (and a reasonably ethical one at that) and trash them as a scapegoat? Any number of more ruthless firms will step into its place, and the situation will be worse. I'm amazed at the hypocrisy of the media - they have turned a blind eye to this problem for decades, but drag it out now again to pillory some company almost at random. But he media is locked into the same exploitation - no one is guiltless in this problem.

        The truth is, most of our goods are produced by slave labour, and have been for a long time. That needs to end, and it takes *all* of us to do it. The laws that protect workers in the West need to be extended to *all* countries that produce goods for us, including fair wages and work conditions. Unless all countries sign up to this, we will simply enrich the most ruthless.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      When the finger was pointed at Nike, it brought most of the rest of the (respectable) companies in the industry into line regarding child labour.

      1. billyad2000

        And at the same time put a great many children on the street.

        Gotta be careful when applying western values to poor countries, often the outcry will often do more harm than good.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nike now uses prison labor earning under $0.5 per hour. Still at least it US prison labor so thats ok.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Prison labor is actual Slavery!

          This is how insane "moral intervention" has become: people pulling themselves up by the shoe strings are accused of engaging in slave labor, yet the actual slaves forced to work in the prisons in the US are considered "better" solutions. Talk about upside down world!

  8. Richard Wharram

    It's a dirty job

    but someone's gotta do it.

    1. Richard Wharram

      It was a reference to the sub-heading

      Not a serious comment.

      Note to self: References to mid-eighties alt-rock get downvoted.

  9. Disintegrationnotallowed

    Vote with your feet

    Want a more ethical phone, go buy a manufacturers who can show they are more ethical. Best way to hit a company is in the pocket surely?

    Or is it, as I suspect, that all manufacturers behave as badly? Attacking Apple because they "make big profits" is not the point surely? All that will happen is that will push up the cost to other handset manufacturers who will simply buy from a different supplier who isnt as ethically managed?

  10. sabroni Silver badge

    vote with your wallet

    it's the only language they understand and for most of us it's the only way we can have any effect...

    Of course if any one can suggest a better way to alter Apple's behaviour...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      where you going to buy your hardware from instead? It's a rare company that doesn't use 2nd/3rd world labor.

    2. Dave Walker

      Vote with your wallet S-L-O-W-L-Y

      I agree that most manufacturers are guilty of manufacturing under similar conditions so applying pressure to change by switching brands will be unlikely to work.

      But since much of their profit comes from frequent fashion driven turn over we can announce that we will not buy new gear until the manufacturers clean up their production. By keeping old hardware longer one can apply some (not much, but better than no) pressure.

    3. Flashy Red

      You're a hypocrite

      There, I said it. So now enlighten me and show me a company, other than Apple, with more ethical manufacturing policies and PROVE TO ME WHY THEY ARE SO.

      I'm waiting for your reply :o)

  11. David Beeston

    What's with the apple bashing?

    My understanding is that whilst in general ethics are not at the top of most production line agenda's, Apple actually are doing much to be open and honest, and to improve things... yet they are the one's getting the bashing.

    Sudo stats...

    On average in China there are 220 suicides per million workers. Foxconn is only 18 per million.

    In America for example there are 35 fatal work place injuries per million workers. Foxconn is only 7.

    The average salary in China for production workers is $4.k. Foxconn is $6k.

    (Source: apparently)

    I don't think Apple do enough, but they also aren't all evil too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Your stats don't take into account the fact that foxconn don't do things which are particularly dangerous compared to, say a foundry, they shouldn't have as many injuries.

    2. Flashy Red

      People hate success and hate seeing someone do well

      It's like the school playground here, sometimes. You know, the one in which the bright kid is bullied mercilessly by the half-wits for just doing well.

      I don't think Apple are any more or less evil than other corporations using Chinese labour. I think it's disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

      The real evil lies in the value Western consumers place in their toys, demanding that all manufacturers race to the bottom to produce ever cheaper goods. Blame yourselves, you all deserve what you get.

  12. fLaMePrOoF

    The only thing Apple really cares about is their bottom line, and as long as they're making 70% profit on iPads and squeezing their suppliers and manufacturers for all they're worth, poor conditions and worker abuses will continue.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Riiiight. Because, of course, no bugger else does that.

      Not Dell, not Microsoft, not Asus, not Nokia (who sell far more mobile phones than Apple do), not Nintendo. Not Sony.

      And, of course, we'll whine about 7 deaths per million in a factory in China as "unethical", but nobody gives a shit about the 40K deaths per year on the roads in the US alone. How is the automobile any more "ethical" then?

      Foxconn != Apple. Foxconn's employees are Foxconn's responsibility, not Apple's. US health and safety regulations do not apply in China. This is—contrary to popular belief—not Apple's fault either. However, there are no laws saying Apple (or Dell, or Sony, etc.) cannot do business with Chinese businesses, so why are people complaining when they do exactly that?

      Don't like the laws of your country? Change them. It is YOUR duty to ensure the laws YOUR country has meet with YOUR standards. That's why government is generally at the consent of the people. (Yes, even in nations that don't have democracies. That's why civil wars, rebellions and uprisings happen. Believe you me, if the Chinese want change that badly, they won't have much trouble getting it. There are well over 1.5 billion of them, and rather fewer in positions of government. That's why corrupt governments don't want an educated and informed population!)

      China's society is the responsibility of the Chinese, and nobody else. We've seen what happens when you try to impose a new socio-cultural template from without: it gets messy. For a population to be willing to change, they have to have a stake in the process. The desire for change must come from within the society.

      1. dogged

        @Sean Timarco Baggaley

        I don't doubt the truth of your comment for an instance but is the "everybody else does it too" argument really any form of defence?

        I mean surely, you've got to start _somewhere_. Good luck with the petition. I'm not an Apple customer so signing it would be hypocrisy but, you know, if they forge a lead that other less culty manufacturers have to follow, I'll be very happy about that.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We care, we really do!

    All we did was tell the suppliers to make sure that the price went down by 10%. Again.

    We explicitly told them that they shouldn't do this by putting extra pressure on the workforce or cutting corners on safety. Or letting the product quality go down. Or by doing anything that would lower the component yields.

    It's not an unreasonable request - everyone in the consumer electronics industry works at about 60% profit margins don't they?

    Regards, Apple

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    no proof they're all at all apple users, cheap trick

    to be sure of who's voting sumofus should make this voting only through an App for iPhone.

    sumofus is not an accredited nor certified polling institute nor do they poll in a scientific manner so on principle they might as well shut up. There is no way of checking how many times a person voted. Also, there is no possibility to vote against, only for whatever they're promoting.

    people/companies trying to make themselves heard using somebody else's shine just get blackballed in my universe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not a poll

      It's not a poll, its a petition. They don't need to be a certified polling institute it's purely about getting the most number of signatories. You have to give your name, email address and zip(post)code so if you want to "sign" multiple times you have to provide alternative contact information and probably a valid email address to confirm. Sorry to downvote you but I couldnt do anything else given the content of your post.

      (not an iphone owner)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        (not an iphone owner)

        petition or not problem is there is no real check on the number of persons who really voted. take a bot herder with a contract from apple and you will get 40000 votes in a jiffy. A petition online doesn't have the same power as a real one, because, yeah, it's too easy to cheat. Or maybe coming up with different zip codes and alternative contact information is considered a challenge these days?

        don't be sorry to downvote, be sorry that you're not objective ac.

  15. The Axe

    Tim Worstall's take

    Timmy says that the protestors are silly and are spouting nonsense. He's written about the issue over at the Forbes blog.

  16. Michael M

    What about the rest?

    As Apple are only 6% of the worldwide mobile phone market who do we petition about the other 94%?

  17. John A Blackley

    When all of the other American manufacturers who outsource at least a part of their production to China (automakers, for example) do as much as the tech manufacturers do to ensure safe working conditions, give me a call.

  18. Wang N Staines

    The problem is Apple claiming to ethical but shown not to be by the report.

    I think Apple is trying to balance Chinese workers' health to that of its shareholders.

    Hopefully they will get it right soon.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the subject of fruit-themed electronics...

    I'd like an ethical RaspberryPi. Yet to see even a supplier code of conduct report on those.

    Would pay an extra fiver on top.!Maybe they could be built in the UK then?

    Where do I sign up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here's the reason

      It was all explained why they are having to manufacture in the far east but they did want to make them in the UK:

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes, thanks I know their stated reasons although other than price I'm not entirely convinced.

        Arduinos are fully built in Italy, why can't we do the same in the UK with the RaspberryPi?

        There's also other countries in Europe with better conditions and I'm sure very wiling to do this. I've had PCBs built in Bulgaria (Olimex).

  20. Peter Townsend

    This is an issue with Apple

    because it seeks to portray itself as a company somehow out of the ordinary. So when it turns out that its kit is made under near slave labour conditions and its new iCloud server farm is powered by very high CO2 but very cheap Appalachian coal just to save a few bucks the gap between the "magical" and "insanely great" PR blurb and reality becomes rather too wide to ignore.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      "because it seeks to portray itself as a company somehow out of the ordinary."

      Bizarre. People seem to have no problem with driving extremely dangerous machines called "cars" that mow down 40K+ people every fucking year in the US alone; wearing clothing made in sweatshops in the Far East (some of it definitely made by children); eating chocolate made from cocoa beans that are often picked by children too; eating and drinking to wild excess—to the extent that a large percentage of the population in the US and some other Western nations is morbidly obese.

      How many of you own electronic devices that are not made by Apple, yet are still made in China?

      How many of you own any mass-produced products that are made in China?

      Yet, somehow, it's only Apple who are "unethical"?

      Hypocrites, the lot of you.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They do care...

    ...about their executive multi-million dollar annual bonues but not a damn thing about Chinese slave labor.

  22. Jim in Hayward

    oh please! if workers in china are so upset then they should tell their government to do something. Apples is just one of many (50+ high tech companies use Foxxconn+). Do you really think Microsoft will stop having their XBox built by Foxxconn+? How about the many large screen TV companies?

    Apple does the most of any company to try to benefit their suppliers. Who does more than Apple in this area?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    What a pile of W&nk

    I'm sorry, but this is so unbelievably naff and w&nky, it just makes me cringe.

    Hows about the 40,000 people write petitions to the people behind the manufacture of their cars?

    What about the TV set, the DVD player, the Sat Nav, the Fridge, the Oven, the Microwave, the Washing Machine, the Dishwasher - eh eh eh? eh?

    Going to write a petition to all those manufacturers too? Hmmm?

    Heck, what about the food you eat - fruit maybe? Bananas? - care to investigate the supply chain in Equador? eh? eh eh eh?

    The very fact that these fanbois can afford to buy phones that cost 10 years wages for most developing countries work forces should send a clear message back to them - stop being such total w&nkers.

    If you want to do something about it, this is NOT the way to go about it.

    The reality is, if you end up impacting the supply chain and see Apple drop various companies, workers will lose their jobs (erm, excuse the pun)

    Cheap electronics = cheap labour - it's a sick world, but that's about the size of it.

    It's the reason the Western world was overtaken by Asia in the manufacture of High Tech goods - our working environments are protected.

    40,000 fanboi's isn't going to change a damn thing.

    Nothing short of a revolution in countries like China is going to raise the standards of work environments in Chinese factories.

    .. Flame retardant underpants firmly in place, ready to face a barrage of down votes for speaking the god honest obvious truth - you want to change the world? Get into politics ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well said, except that a revolution would break up China in far worse ways than the USSR..

      Things would go from not great to nightmare levels over there and consequently the world economy would take a serious shit that would make this recession seem like the good times.

      Don't play with fire so please stay off politics, although if you did I'm sure someone would come along to explain you why you shouldn't.

  24. Rangoon78

    Daring Firelall's John Gruber asks: "is fanboi like fanboy only gay?"

    Undark and the Radium Girls • Damn Interesting

    The owners and scientists at US Radium, familiar with the real hazards of radioactivity, naturally took extensive precautions to protect themselves. They knew that Undark’s key ingredient was approximately one million times more active than uranium, so company chemists often used lead screens, masks, and tongs when working with the paint. US Radium had even distributed literature to the medical community describing the “injurious effects” of radium. But inside the factory, where nearly every surface sparkled with radioluminescence, these dangers were unknown. For a lark, some of the women even painted their fingernails and teeth with radium paint on occasion, to surprise their boyfriends when the lights went out.

    1. El Rev

      Undark - very interesting

      never heard of this before. thanks for the link.

  25. Herbert Meyer

    a quotation

    "The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread ." - John Milton

  26. John Tserkezis

    Sigh, arguing for an Ethical Apple reminds me of...

    ...the last G20 summit meeting here in Australia, and the crowd of protestors outside chanting their chants and waving their slogan signs, then, when they break for lunch, with one hand they held a cellphone against their ear, while eating a mcdonalds burger with the other.

    Nothing will come of this - as it shouldn't anyway - because those who whine the loudest have no freaking clue what they're arguing about in the first place. Those 40K signatures mean little when you have to rent the crowd to sign it...

  27. elderlybloke

    Just a few thoughts.

    China is a much better/nicer place than it was during Mao's time, and even better than pre WW2.

    Famines that killed tens to hundreds of millions were the lot of the Chinese in living memory.

    They may not have the same workplace standards of the West today , but not so long ago the conditions in mines,factories and other workplaces were pretty grim.

    But recent economic events in Europe and USA will almost certainly cause a decrease in living standards for the 99%, perhaps catastrophically so.

    No more Ipods , Ipads etc.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More accurate reporting perhaps.......

    "....SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for a "DECENT" iPhone....." OR

    "....SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for an iPhone that doesn't make the owner look like a twat......" OR

    ".....SumOfUs, has started a petition calling for iPhone 5 to be as good as, or try to be better than ICS..."

    Like any iPhone owner cares about anyone else? BOLLOX. They only care that their peers see them with an iPhone, so they can inflate their status amongst their kind.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You wouldn't eat sausages if you saw how they make them.

    People don't like / don't want the truth abouth where most of their stuff comes from. People just want to get on with their lives and eat tasty meat.

    A bit mean to pick on any single manufactorer in this regard.

  30. AnotherBird

    They should talk with their wallets.

    People have been lining up to buy Apple products with none of these concerns. If these people really want to change Apple's behavior then they should by products from companies that demonstrate the ethical behavior that they want from Apple.

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