An inside look at how iPads are made [video]

By on April 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM.

An inside look at how iPads are made [video]

Apple’s iPad and the conditions under which it is built are topics that surface regularly on technology blogs and in the mainstream media. While the company did recently initiate a review by the Fair Labor Association, human rights organizations regularly take Apple to task for not doing more to ensure factory workers employed by its China-based manufacturing partner Foxconn are treated well. Foxconn and parent company Hon Hai employs hundreds of thousands of workers, however, and hundreds more travel from around the country each day to line up and apply for jobs at Foxconn’s various plants. Marketplace Shanghai bureau chief Rob Schmitz was recently given a rare opportunity at operations within Foxconn’s Shenzhen iPad factory, and his crew was permitted to film a number of active stations on the iPad assembly line that have never been seen before. The result is an inside look at some of the fascinating technology that goes into building the world’s most popular tablet. Marketplace’s video follows below. More →

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New Apple CEO goes where Steve Jobs would not

By on March 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM.

New Apple CEO goes where Steve Jobs would not

Steve Jobs took particular care to ensure the company he created continued to operate at the high levels he demanded after he left. Thanks to the processes he put in place, the procedures he pined over and the products he helped mastermind, Apple’s last quarter was the biggest ever among technology companies, and Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world. But current Apple CEO Tim Cook has brought change to the company he now runs, and how that will affect Apple in the long term remains to be seen. As Cook continues to separate himself from his predecessor in a number of ways, the executive visited China recently to put himself on the front lines of Foxconn’s new iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, which will employ 120,000 people according to Bloomberg. Foxconn’s facilities recently underwent an Apple-prompted series of inspections by the Fair Labor Association, which is expected to release a report on its findings soon. Another image of Cook at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory follows below. More →

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Apple and Foxconn respond to ABC’s iPad factory expose

By on February 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM.

Apple and Foxconn respond to ABC’s iPad factory expose

Apple and Foxconn have each responded to various claims made in ABC’s Nightline segment that took a look inside two Foxconn factories in an effort to shed light on their working conditions. Responding to a comment made by one worker who claimed she carves aluminum shavings from 6,000 iPad cases each day, Apple said this was likely the result of a miscommunication. “In manufacturing parlance this is called deburring. Her line processes 3,000 units per shift, with two shifts per day for a total of 6,000. A single operator at Ms. Zhou’s station would deburr 3,000 iPads in a shift,” Apple told ABC. Read on for more. More →

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Protestors to deliver poisoned iPhone factory workers’ letter to Apple shareholder meeting

By on February 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM.

Protestors to deliver poisoned iPhone factory workers’ letter to Apple shareholder meeting

SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone campaign, plans to deliver new petitions to Apple during its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. Along with the petitions, the group plans to hand over a copy of a letter it distributed on Wednesday written by two factory workers who were allegedly poisoned while assembling iPhone displays. “Apple has a moral obligation to fully compensate workers like Guo Rui-Qiang and Jia Jing-Chuan and to take the hard steps required make sure that tragedies like this never happen again,” SumOfUs Executive Director Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman said in a statement. “Ethical consumers won’t be fooled by whitewashing by organizations like the Fair Labor Association. We insist that Apple grant truly independent NGOs full access to its factories to truly independent NGOs, not groups funded and controlled by the corporations they’re supposed to monitor.” SumOfUs’s press release follows below. More →

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Poisoned iPhone factory workers beg for reform in open letter

By on February 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM.

Poisoned iPhone factory workers beg for reform in open letter

A pair of workers who claim to have been poisoned by toxins in a Suzhou, China factory while assembling touchscreens for Apple’s iPhone have written an open letter begging consumers to demand reform. SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone Campaign, released the letter in an email to the media on Wednesday afternoon. The letter was written by Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan, two former factory workers who urge consumers to sign SumOfUs’s petition and demand that Apple force its suppliers and manufacturing partners to improve working conditions at their Chinese factories. Both workers claim to have been poisoned by a chemical cleaner called N-hexane, and they have suffered neurological damage as a result. The Fair Labor Association is currently conduction inspections of two Foxconn factories, prompted by Apple, and while only preliminary inspections have been made at this point, the organization says it has already found “tons of issues.” The workers’ letter follows below in its entirety. More →

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ABC looks inside Foxconn during ‘a trip to the iFactory’ [video]

By on February 20, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

ABC looks inside Foxconn during ‘a trip to the iFactory’ [video]

ABC recently became the latest news organization to be given a look inside consumer electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn’s facilities in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, and the Nightline special that resulted from the trip will air on Tuesday. In the meantime, ABC News has posted a 90-second teaser video containing footage from reporter Bill Weir’s trip to China. Apple, of course, is the only Foxconn partner mentioned in the preview so we can expect the forthcoming report to focus on the Cupertino-based company’s wares, but the teaser promises a never-before-seen look at Foxconn’s facilities so it could be an eye-opening segment. Foxconn and its premier partner Apple have once again taken center stage in a human rights debate that recently saw protesters deliver a petition to Apple’s Grand Central Terminal store demanding the technology giant play a more active role in improving working conditions in the Chinese factories that assemble its hardware. ABC’s teaser video follows after the break. More →

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Foxconn owner Hon Hai reports huge revenue growth in January

By on February 15, 2012 at 7:15 AM.

Foxconn owner Hon Hai reports huge revenue growth in January

Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Ltd., parent company of original device manufacturer Foxconn, reported huge revenue growth of nearly 50% for the month of January, Taiwan Economic News reports. The manufacturing giant enjoyed performance that beat forecasts last month, with revenue ballooning 47.9% year-on-year to NT$274.6 billion, or approximately $9.1 billion USD. Revenue was down 13.3% sequentially after a big December capped off a hot holiday quarter, but the seasonal decline was expected and well below the average 20% fall off Hon Hai typically sees between December and January. Hon Hai’s nearest competitor Quanta Computer saw revenue grow 2% to NT$78.3 billion in January, and rival Compal Electronics reported a dip of 22% to NT$43.7 billion in January. More →

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Protesters to rally against Apple at Grand Central store tomorrow

By on February 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM.

Protesters to rally against Apple at Grand Central store tomorrow

Protesters plan to stage a demonstration tomorrow in an effort to take Apple to task for partnering with Eastern manufacturers repeatedly accused of mistreating factory workers. Change.org and SomeOfUs have combined their efforts to raise awareness of poor working conditions in factories operated by Foxconn that manufacture consumer electronics for Apple and other vendors. The two organizations have gathered more than 250,000 electronic signatures on petitions that call for Apple to demand improvements be made to the working conditions in the factories that build iPhones, iPads and other Apple products. Representatives from both groups will join protesters on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at Apple’s new Grand Central Terminal retail store to deliver the signed petition to Apple. “I have been a lifelong Apple customer and was shocked to learn of the abusive working conditions in many of Apple’s supplier factories,” Change.org’s Mark Shields said in a statement. “At Foxconn, one of Apple’s biggest manufacturers, there is a history of suicides, abusive working conditions, and almost no pay. These working conditions are appalling, especially for Apple.” The groups’ full press release follows below. More →

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Workers should not have to die so Apple can build the iPhone 5, petition says

By on February 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM.

Workers should not have to die so Apple can build the iPhone 5, petition says

A new web-based petition singles out Apple and calls for the company to force its suppliers to reform the working conditions at their factories. Original device manufacturer Hon Hai and its subsidiary Foxconn are among the Eastern firms repeatedly accused of mistreating workers, and Apple has again been called upon to demand change as Foxconn’s biggest customer. Read on for more. More →

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Hon Hai revenue jumps 19.9% in 2011

By on January 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM.

Hon Hai revenue jumps 19.9% in 2011

Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai reported revenue growth of 19.89% year-over-year in 2011 and 37.5% quarter-over-quarter in the fourth quarter last year, Taiwan Economic News said Friday. Hon Hai recorded $10.5 billion in revenue for the month of December, $92 billion in revenue for the year and $30.5 billion in revenue for the full fourth quarter of 2011. Hon Hai said the growth was propelled by a strong demand for new computers, phones and other consumer electronics. Analysts predict that the company, perhaps best known for its Foxconn subsidiary, which builds Apple’s tablets and smartphones, will achieve annual revenues of $100 billion in 2012. More →

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Foxconn’s $12 billion Brazil iPad plant ‘in doubt’

By on September 29, 2011 at 6:50 PM.

Foxconn’s $12 billion Brazil iPad plant ‘in doubt’

Foxconn’s plans to build a $12 billion factory in Brazil dedicated to producing iPads is “in doubt,” government officials in Brazil told Reuters. Reportedly, negotiations have stalled because both sides have yet to reach an agreement on tax breaks for Foxconn. Additionally, Brazil may not be able to populate the factory with enough skilled laborers. Worse still, Brazil has been tasked with building infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup followed by the Olympics two years later. Skeptics argue Brazil will not be able to finish all of the construction required for the two major sporting events and create Foxconn’s proposed “intelligent city” outside of Sao Paulo. Read on for more. More →

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Apple iPad 2 order cuts in Q4 reportedly confirmed

By on September 27, 2011 at 4:30 PM.

Apple iPad 2 order cuts in Q4 reportedly confirmed

Claims that surfaced on Monday suggesting Apple had cut iPad 2 orders for the fourth quarter have reportedly been confirmed. JP Morgan analysts Mark Moskowitz and Gokul Hariharan wrote in a note to investors on Monday that Apple had reduced its fourth-quarter iPad 2 orders from 17 million to 13 million units, suggesting that demand for Apple’s market-leading iPad might finally be waning. Some speculated that a portion of iPad production may have moved to Foxconn’s new factory in Brazil while others suggested that the report was not accurate, and JP Morgan’s Moskowitz would later issue a second note backtracking on the firm’s earlier statements. But should he have been so quick to fold? Read on for more. More →

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Apple reportedly cuts iPad orders by 25% for Q4 – or production shifts to Brazil

By on September 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Apple reportedly cuts iPad orders by 25% for Q4 – or production shifts to Brazil

Apple has reportedly cut its fourth-quarter iPad orders to China-based manufacturing partners by 25%, JP Morgan analysts Mark Moskowitz and Gokul Hariharan wrote in a research note on Sunday. According to Bloomberg, JP Morgan expects Hon Hai’s iPad 2 production to drop from 17 million units to 13 million units in the fourth quarter as a result of the cut, though Moskowitz did not adjust his earlier iPad shipment projections of 10.9 million units and 12 million units in the third and fourth calendar quarters as a result. Read on for more. More →

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