Nightline's Look into Apple's Foxconn Factories

ABC aired their Nightline special tonight where they took an inside look at Apple's Foxconn factories. Apple allowed Nightline access to the Foxconn factories that produce iPhones and iPads. Foxconn is the world's largest electronics manufacturing company that has contracts with most major U.S. electronics companies. The full video is not available online at this time.

foxconn ipad polishing

Overall, the report held no real surprises. They summarized many of the events leading up to the bad press surrounding Foxconn's working conditions. The cluster of suicides was mentioned over the past few years that led to the installation of suicide netting to discourage impulsive suicide attempts. Nightline did note that the suicide rate at Foxconn was still below the Chinese national average. Tim Cook, then Apple's COO, flew to China during that time to help coordinate the response. Beyond the suicide netting, pay was increased and counseling offices were set up.

Work on the factory line is described as monotonous with 12 hour shifts with two hour long meal breaks. When questioned, workers complained about cramped dorms and low pay, but the jobs were in high demand with thousands coming to Foxconn for work. Nightline traveled to a nearby village to compare those living conditions which didn't seem any better. The families who remained in the village told Nightline that their living conditions were better with the "young people" working in the factories.

The Verge compiled some interesting statistics from the report:

- It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade
- It takes five days and 325 hands to make a single iPad
- Foxconn workers pay for their own food — about $.70 per meal, and work 12 hour shifts
- Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so
- Workers make $1.78 an hour

Nightline's visit coordinated with Fair Labor Association who is compiling their own report on the factories.

Overall, the report was fair-to-positive making it seem like Apple was being very responsive to the concerns.

Update: Video of the segment is now available to U.S. viewers through ABC's website.

Top Rated Comments

awesame Avatar
118 months ago
Wait...

How does it take an odd number of hands to make an iPad?

Who's the poor bastard with only one arm?
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
budselectjr Avatar
118 months ago
"We are unhappy about the pay!!!"

*watches a mob of people almost break down the door to get a job*

:confused:
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vrDrew Avatar
118 months ago
Its worth remembering that a generation or two ago twenty or forty million people in China starved to death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chinese_Famine) as a result of the "Great Leap Forward" (i.e. Chinese peasants melted down cooking pots and farm implements to make pig iron).

The kids we saw tonight are living a life of inconceivable luxury compared to that of their parents and grandparents. And their children and grandchildren will live lives comparable to that which we currently enjoy in the US and Europe. Just as our great-grandparents toiled in harsh conditions to build our present consumer society, so these people are doing today.

The Nightline report was about what I expected. You'd get people complaining about low pay, boredom, etc. in most factories here in the US.

The only odd note came at the end, when the reporter suggested that Apple could, because of their profitability, double the pay of all the Foxconn workers. As a trained economist, I groaned at that over simplistic piece of pandering. Imagining the distortions and corruption such an act would introduce into the system - ABC News would be there next year to investigate all the murders, kickbacks, and bribery that occurred as a result. Bottom line: Paying radically "over the market" rate for labor isn't always such a good idea.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
118 months ago
Do they really hand carve the :apple: logo, or did I hear that wrong??

The worker was just shaving the burrs off it, after it's presumably been machined.

arn
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wikus Avatar
118 months ago
This is not going to make those fandroids very happy when articles start popping up about ABC's relatively good report about Apple... :D

Hi, I own an Android phone. Having said that;

This whole report is absolutely ridiculous. Since when was it Apple's responsibility for Foxconn's employees? Since when were client's of a company the representatives of said company? Why is Apple being treated as if Foxconn *was* Apple?

The two are completely independent companys, so why the hell should Apple even 'allow' the media to look into Foxconn's factories? THATS FOXCONN'S CALL.

Am I the only one that thinks "WTF?!?" about all this????
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
skottichan Avatar
118 months ago
*does the math*

So, just working 1 day covers their rent. And around 6 day's work covers both their rent and all their food for a month.

I'm assuming they're working 6 days a week. If that's the case they're making about $512/mo. While that is del below the poverty line... wait... I just realized something, everything is in USD. *does more math*

$512USD is about 3200yuan. That's not bad, given that in many cases in rural China, some people make only slightly more than that in a year.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...
hlh030121feafutureoffitness012 1614286673

A Look Inside Apple's 23,000 Square-Foot Fitness+ Studio

Friday March 5, 2021 10:59 am PST by
Apple Fitness+, the latest service to join the Apple family, integrates tightly with the Apple Watch to offer a comprehensive and growing selection of workout and exercise videos made by a team of professional trainers. Apple Fitness+ Studio (via Men's Health) Apple curates and records all of the videos at a location in Santa Monica, California, and each video features a similar background...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft Edge 89 Brings Vertical Tabs and New History View

Friday March 5, 2021 4:06 am PST by
Microsoft has officially released version 89 of its popular Chromium-based Edge browser, bringing its long-trialed vertical tabs feature to Mac for the first time. Vertical tabs are intended to make more efficient use of screen space, and should prove a welcome addition for users browsing on 16:9 ratio displays in particular. Users can click vertical tabs to switch between them and...