The Apple of Foxconn’s i

Acer Inc. (Taiwan) (United States) Apple Inc. (United States) ASRock (Taiwan) Asus (Taiwan) Barnes & Noble (United States) Cisco (United States) Dell (United States) EVGA Corporation (United States) Hewlett-Packard (United States) Intel (United States) IBM (United States) Lenovo (China) Microsoft (United States) MSI (Taiwan) Motorola (United States) Netgear (United States) Nintendo (Japan) Nokia (Finland) Panasonic (Japan) Samsung (South Korea) Sharp (Japan) Sony (Japan) Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden) Vizio (United States)

The daily purchase of iphones exceeds the number of babies born each day. Whether or not that is a commentary on taking an Apple product to bed instead of waking a loved one from slumber, is a topic for another discussion.

The question going forward is how America replaces Foxconn with American workers, in the most lucrative worldwide manufacturing industry for the foreseeable future. The numbers are irrefutable with respect to the will of the people; 13 Billion in profits, 46 billion in sales, just for the latest quarter of 2011. Apple’s comment on this blowout response to its product was; earnings would have been higher if productivity would have kept pace with demand.

The world has spoken, and the message is clear. The numbers dictate consumers worldwide are willing to look the other way for a 23% discount with respect to slave labor. So, here we are again, fighting the same battle our ancestors fought. Albeit, this battle of self interest is conducted in the Boardroom’s, yet nonetheless, pervades each and every household, not unlike the War Between the States.

The phrase that comes to mind is plausible deniability. The fact that Apple contracts its manufacturing operation to sources of cheap labor camps is a way to create distance as well as off the charts, parabolic profits, for their shareholders; 70 million iphones, 30 million ipads, 60 million otherApple products sold just in the last year.

Another phrase that comes to mind is creative destruction. At first, it seems like an oxymoron, similar to military intelligence. It is a movement, infused within the corporate business Boardrooms worldwide. Apple is hardly alone in this modus operandi. The list of innovators manufacturing products worldwide utilizing slave labor is omnipresent.

This is an industry going forward that is as American as Apple pie; an industry that American workers should be sharing a piece of the Apple pie; an Apple pie that is absent of plausible deniability or creative destruction, one we feel good about the morning after we make love to it.

Comments 16 comments

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

Thank you for your comments rahul0324. Interesting metric of the Apple click.Be well

rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

Interesting write! A great take on the ongoing economic strife!

Here in India we see apple becoming a status symbol more than a technological symbol of achievement! Students with i-phones have more friends in my college... :) lol!

I personally would like to keep an i-phone, but I do not feel the need for it. I spend more on my health, fooding and living collectively!

A great take!

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Good question and I am not sure. Posterity is not quite right I don't think, although it is a great word. Maybe contemporary. Sorry I can't come up with a better term - drawing a blank.

The Apple of our eye. Interesting. :)

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author


The Apple of our eye

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

Hey professor,

I'm searching for a term which depicts how historians may reflect upon this particular period of time...Antiquity?

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you for laying out the specifics in terms of financial cost to us (lost jobs that go overseas and lower prices for products we seem to "have" to have), financial savings to Apple, and the moral and humanitarian costs of outsourcing with essentially slave labor.

We should be appalled, indignant, willing to forgo some of our toys and gadgets, rather than support and participate in such a system. Thank you for drawing the lines and connections so clearly. Perhaps more of us will wake up from our self-imposed mental slumber. SHARING


gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

Thanks Glo, I look forward to the story.

Gloshei profile image

Gloshei 4 years ago from France

I will try gif but not as good at writing as you are.

I'll search through the 'grey matter'

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

Hello dear friend Gloshei,

I'm looking forward to hearing about all the details of that very experience of which you mention. Sounds like a fascinating Hub, of which only you can articulate. So, do you care to share your experience?

Thanks for your comments but I am looking forward to reading your personal experience of the matter at large.

Gloshei profile image

Gloshei 4 years ago from France

Great hub, it reminds me of a large fibre optics firm I worked for in UK. Families were brought down from the north 'and' housed, only to be told three months down the line your fired.

Why? they moved a lot of work to China. These companies don't care as long as they get the work out and 'profits' in.

voted up

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

Thanks for your comments CHRIS57,

I would argue the very reason for outsourcing is lower productivity cost. The fact Apple makes a 65% profit margin indicates paying slave wages is an acceptable practice for those whom choose to outsource.

With respect to your point creating a fraction of jobs in the U.S.; I don't see that happening anytime soon if ever. I would suggest going forward it would be in the best interest of America to make it more attractive for companies like Apple to manufacture it products here. Apple stated the only reason sales weren't higher was supply could not keep pace with demand.

Thanks once again for your input.

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

Thanks as always for your kind words. I heard just last nite of a petition regarding the Apple situation. I haven't checked it out yet but from what I heard, it sounds interesting. Hope all is well. Take care.

CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 4 years ago from Northern Germany

However inhuman the labour conditions at foxconn may be, you are aware of the fact that only a very small fraction of value add is coming from Foxconn, are you?

Apple apparently makes a 65% profit margin with the IPhone sales. Doing all assembly labour in the US and not in China would reduce the profit margin to some 50%.

Where do you take the 23% discount from for slave labour? Should be less.

My estimate is that taking assembly work back to the US would only create a fraction of jobs compared to the thousands working at Foxconn for Apple. The reason is the highy automatable nature of the labour.

phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

How do things get so complex? Making profits is a way of life in the States. Getting the best for less seems almost a consumer right. So how do you make big profits for the company and stockholders and give the consumer what it wants? Slash your expenses down to the bone and pass the savings on to the consumer. Wages are the biggest expense most businesses have so you get in slave labour and there you have it.

But then we complain it's not fair, they deserve a wage they can live on and not be exploited. No argument from me. Outsourcing takes jobs away from people at home who really need them. True again.

So are we left with the choice of doing what's right and then doing without our gadgets because they would be priced out of average consumers' reach, or do we carry on as normal?

I do enjoy your hubs gjfalcone. They really challenge the way I think. Voted up and interesting.

gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 4 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona Author

The best comment I heard regarding being imprisoned is what's the difference. Freedom, not likely. Fresh air, Foxconn employees use toxic chemicals.

What recourse is left. Tax breaks can't come close to the savings in wage labor.

Thanks for taking the time and for sharing your thoughts Mr. Berry.

DougBerry profile image

DougBerry 4 years ago from Abilene, TX

Hmm, I was thinking about this the other day and wrote a little piece about it. I got a negative comment over at Reddit when I said something about the slave labor Apple uses. They didn't seem to like the fact that I pointed out that China is still a Communist dictatorship where you can go to jail if you don't go to work.

Argh, we're getting less and less choice because all of the big corporations are signing on for Chinese manufacturing.

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