BBC One later this week is airing a documentary, Apple's Broken Promises, that profiles factory conditions for overseas workers who are producing components and assembling the company's iPhone 6. Richard Bilton and his team at current affairs program Panorama went undercover to examine Chinese factory life and mining conditions in Indonesia.

apples-broken-promises-bbc-one

Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that everyone wants - but how are its workers treated when the world isn't looking? Panorama goes undercover in China to show what life is like for the workers making the iPhone 6. And it's not just the factories. Reporter Richard Bilton travels to Indonesia to find children working in some of the most dangerous mines in the world. But is the tin they dig out by hand finding its way into Apple's products?

The hour-long documentary is slated to air on BBC One at 9:00 PM UK time on December 18. It will be available online for UK viewers shortly after the documentary airs later this week, and may at some point air globally on BBC World News.

This isn't the first time Apple's supply chain factories have been profiled by a major media outlet. ABC's Nightline visited Foxconn's factories in 2012 with the permission of Apple, which provided an inside look at its iPad and iPhone production line. The report documented the long shifts and low wages paid to the workers but also pointed out that Apple was being responsive to concerns that its workers were being treated unfairly.

The Nightline profile was a response to an earlier and overwhelmingly negative report by The New York Times that uncovered the poor working conditions at Apple's Chinese supplier facilities.

Top Rated Comments

sanook997 Avatar
106 months ago
Will they compare working conditions at Apple suppliers (note the subject employees do not work for Apple) with working conditions at suppliers to other U.S. companies like GE, Ford etc....

Nope, not a chance, because if they did there would be no story.

What if Apple Suppliers treated their employees better than 90% of all other employers in China? Its very possible, even likely but you will not hear a word of it in this BBC go for the ratings grab.......gonna be BS all the way, count on it.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macintologist Avatar
106 months ago
Prediction: the story will end up relying on hoax sources. Remember back in 2012 Mike Daisey's hoax anti-Apple story (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2012/03/retracting-mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory) about Apple in China on This American Life that was retracted?
Ira Glass: I have difficult news. We've learned that Mike Daisey's story about Apple in China - which we broadcast in January - contained significant fabrications. We're retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryansimmons323 Avatar
106 months ago
I love the BBC and yes, there are serious issues with working conditions in China and elsewhere when it comes to the production of consumer electronics.

However, out of all the big players in tech, Apple is one of the most responsible when it comes to working conditions in manufacturing.

While other companies get away with it because Apple is taking all the flack for them, those companies do nothing to make a difference for these workers. They make no effort to move production back to the US and they do nothing to help workers.

As for the BBC, it seems that they have an ongoing desire to talk down Apple and to never highlight or celebrate their successes.

I'm reminded of an article Stephen Fry posted on January 24th for the Mac's 30th -

If Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s excellent and totally non-partisan technology reporter, is so much as seen as holding an Apple product he will get streams of trolling invective from mad Apple haters. If he holds up a Samsung and licks it, none of us give a toss. It’s all become very troubling. I notice the BBC have no article in their tech page today even mentioning the Mac’s 30th birthday. I supposed they’re just scared by those weird trolls who think that Apple has them in their pay or something equally mad. I can’t be arsed to go out there and defend Apple products, they speak and sell for themselves. If you think the world is fine enough in all other areas for there to be room for you to be all angry about Apple, then go ahead and be angry. It’s your spleen. Do what you like with it.
It's seemingly out of fear of being called out for bias, maybe because there's simply too much positive news about Apple and not enough in the way of legitimate negative stories.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lusky Avatar
106 months ago
I'm gobsmacked at the comments on here. how dare the BBC investigate Apple????? Are you all serious?
It doesn't matter what anyone else is doing Apple are the biggest and they will receive the most attention. I mean how did that argument go down with your teachers in school, i did something naughty but it's ok so does all these other people???

I pay enough money for Apple products that they shouldn't be made with cheap labour. they are making Billions a year in profit they can and should have a 100% clean supply chain. If Apple are forced to clean up better then hopefully that knocks on the rest of the chain. BBC and Panorama have a decent reputation at these things so I'm more than willing top five it a chance
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MagicBoy Avatar
106 months ago
Your 'treasured national institution' is funded via tax, tax is theft. I am coerced into paying for the BBC.

My dealings with with Apple are entirely voluntary. If I don't use their services, I don't pay for them.
HA!

I suggest you move to another country that doesn't levy taxes. Best of luck with that. :rolleyes:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Uplift Avatar
106 months ago
I love the BBC

The BBC and the reporting it supports needs to die, it's a politically biased corp ran by the government that has turned a blind eye to pedophilia, and because i own a TV i'm legally required to support it as well.. The whole thing needs disbanding.. but this is another debate:p
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
Mac Pro 2019 Apple

Mac Pro Enthusiasts Raise Concerns Over Upgrade Limitations of Apple Silicon

Thursday January 26, 2023 6:30 am PST by
The new Mac Pro coming later this year is expected to feature the same spacious modular design as the 2019 model, but with fresh concerns over its lack of upgradeability surfacing, some users are beginning to wonder what the transition away from Intel architecture actually means for Apple's most powerful Mac. The current Intel Mac Pro that Apple sells is popular with creative professionals...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...