"An e-mail arrived this week from a reporter with a San Francisco newspaper, the SF Weekly. The journalist, Matt Smith, asked if I knew that an NPR freelancer [David Pogue] had accepted services from a computer company, which he then did a story about for NPR's Morning Edition. I didn't. I looked into the matter, and here's what I found."
"Journalists are accustomed to seeing public relations pitches in their inbox. I was surprised, though, when I recently got one on June 8 touting tech columnist David Pogue’s speech to P.R. professionals in which he credits P.R. with providing most of his ideas.
The pitch revealed that for $159 I could view a video of Pogue’s 'Pitch Me, Bab' speech set for an online airing on July 11. The speech is derived from an earlier appearance at a public relations conference called the Media Relations Summit, staged by Ragan Communications.
Fast-forward a bit and here is the upshot of that pitch: my inquiry into it has led to a Times internal review and, as a consequence, Pogue is barred from making any more speeches like this one to public relations professionals.
The decision came because such appearances are explicitly prohibited by The Times’s ethics policy. Excerpts of the relevant portions: 'Staff members may not advise individuals or organizations how to deal successfully with the news media (though they may of course explain the paper’s normal workings and steer outsiders to the appropriate Times person)….They should not take part in public relations workshops that charge admission or imply privileged access to Times people.'"
And when manufacturing gets expensive in China it's going to move to Vietnam or Indonesia or Botswana. Look at the esoterica's link too. This is how the world works.
But what would totally rebuilding the global technology supply chain add to the cost? The whole reason Apple doesn't manufacture its own stuff, but gets Foxconn or whoever to do it, is because then the practically infinite streams of parts is Foxconn's problem, not theirs. Which they can do because there's a vast system there
Expecting manufacturing to return to the US is a pipe dream. It's never going to happen.I would be interested in hearing you defend this statement.
Expecting manufacturing to return to the US is a pipe dream. It's never going to happen.
Levi's are available made in the USA for $198 & made somewhere else for $58-$64.
An American Standard Stratocaster is $1000, non-US is $500
There's some cachet attached to the US versions and there might be materials differences, but I'd love to see other examples.
Apple, and other companies using foxconn, are thinking fairly short term here. They should be investing in automated and environmentally conscious manufacturing techniques that could be implemented here in the US.
Didn't Steve Jobs say exactly that to Obama?
And also tried to cure his cancer with woo.
It's still weird how all of this is marketed as an Apple specific issue, even when it's been shown they are leading the industry in a way of (at least on paper) responsibility. I'm not saying the situation is right or justified, but I'd want to find a cellphone made in better working conditions than Apple's. -- mrzarquon
Two points: 1. They are going to continue manufacturing in countries where the labor is cheap, and that is probably not going to be the U.S. -- mcstayinskool
it kind of seems like Daisey is being a little axe-grindy. Sure, he's been to China more times than I have, but once again, is he really an expert on Chinese factory conditions? --KokuRyu
But thats the thing, Apple sold 37 million iPhones last quarter, great. But Nokia sold 110 million [pdf] cellphones, and while not all smartphones, Apple definitely is not the company getting the largest number of electronic devices assembled in China. -- mrzarquon
Nobody's going to buy an iPhone that costs $3,000. People might say they will, but when push comes to shove they will not.
Especially not an iPhone where the glass falls out of the front after three months. -- Fnarf
That said, these people have alternatives. They could starve. Or toil in even worse conditions for even less money. To demand that Foxconn implement Western standards in their factories is to tell their workers that we know what's best for them. "Head back to the rice paddies where there's no hope for your future." -- Phreesh
Their goal should be to maximize wealth as well as ensure the long term sustainability of the company. -- Ad hominem
My editor, John, recently visited Foxconn city. He reported on the trip for us here. I wrote about Daisey's crusade here and the recent Foxconn flare-up here. -- BlackLeotardFront
Now, I’m not going to get all Das Kapital on you. The idea here is simpler and closer to home than some grand idea of political and economic metatheory. The basic fact is this: an “ethical” iPhone would be too expensive. That’s literally all there is to it (replace iPhone with your device of choice). Everything follows from our own unwillingness to pay for the true cost of a device. People want a better world, but they don’t want to pay for it. Nothing new there, really.
2) Do you really think that if Steve Jobs hadn't died anything would have been done to change it? Despite the image of Jobs as some huge Buddhist, the man had no fucking heart for the others. It all mattered how things looked to him in detail right here in his space, but he could give two shits about the people making the products, and if he did, he'd justify it like the Apple fans who whine about it also being a Microsoft, Dell, Acer, etc... problem. -- symbiod
The problem won't be solved, but at least they'll feel better. And in the end, for most people that is what's most important.
How is Apple a fashion brand? This time you just expect to sell that same tired argument that they charge a premium for the logo to idiots?
Expecting China to enforce its own labor laws might be naive, but that's a very different story than "what do you want, we're all addicted to our gadgets."
In short-term thinking, we of course have the responsibility to ask for better conditions for our fellow human beings who just happen to have been born in China and work in difficult conditions making gadgets for our pockets and purses. We like to care for our neighbors, and would demand that Apple (or whoever) should spend an extra few of its (or our) dollars to make the lives of 1 million Chinese people better.
In long-term thinking, we have the responsibility to ask for better conditions for, say, all 1 billion people in China. Immediately making all the Foxconn employees in China better will do nothing at all to help the other 99.9% of the population. However, buying Apple products made by Chinese workers working jobs they're willing to take will help create snow-ball effects of growing the middle class, taking people off back-breaking sustenance farm work and into cities and industries, and eventually help them become consumers and not just producers of these very gadgets. --haykinson
No “useful idiots” of the kind who had made the Soviet Union under Stalin appear the savior of humanity emerged from the trip. The parade held in Beijing to mark the fifth anniversary of the People’s Republic reminded the philosopher A. J. Ayer of the Nuremberg Rallies. Though impressed by the “dedicated and dignified” Mao, the trade unionist Sam Watson was dismayed by Chinese talk of the masses as “another brick, another paving stone.”
If everyone here who has an iPhone/Pod/Pad gave them up it wouldn't make a lick of difference, not because they've already been made, but because nearly anything in your house that plugs in has gone through a Foxconn-like place, if not Foxconn itself, as well as most of the things in your house that don't plug in. Apple is the popular whipping boy for this but the fact is, it's so pervasive that nothing short of going Amish is likely to make any kind of difference.
Not impossible at all, but we don't really have any reason to believe it's just going to happen. On the other hand, I don't think anyone will be surprised if these people are all replaced by robots within 10 years.
You forgot the shipping of all parts to the states. I have no idea what markup would be on macbook pros, iPads and iPhones, but it would be there. So now Apple, who is in a fight with Android in the smartphone market, has to add 65 dollars to the price of their phone.
So you'd have a small percentage that decides to stay Apple products. You'd have a very small percentage of non-Apple users switching to Apple, and you'd have a large segment of Apple users that will move on to other products. Apple is already a company that gets accused of having high prices, sometimes fairly, sometimes not. But the idea that people will flock to Apple for doing the right thing is nothing but a fantasy.
As usually delmoi, you don't understand Apple and the average consumer, which is why you've been wrong for so long (or you're letting your hatred of Apple cloud your thinking, pick one).
I guess it's difficult for people now to remember how unfashionable Apple was. They didn't suddenly decide that 'hey, our products sucks, let's become a fashion company'. They changed their products, and made them better. Yes, Apple not only makes great products, they market them better than any other company. So in the end, you have solid products that also are seen as fashionable.
In your mind you see the tech details as super important. You don't buy anything without knowing how fast the CPU is. But you're a dinasaur. Most consumers couldn't care less how fast their HD spins. They only care if the product does what they want it to, and if it looks good, even better.
To believe the iPad was the first successful tablet because it was fashionable, or that Apple became the biggest tech company in the world because they simply sold fashion, is so completely ignorant you should be embarrassed to claim so. -- justgary
You claim that all this is coming back to bite Apple in the ass. I don't see it that way at all. I see a great opportunity for Apple to lead the way to change. So not only will Apple be able to claim their products 'just work', or sell 'fashion', but they'll be able to sell their company as doing the 'right thing'. Maybe they'll fuck this up, but I'm betting not. -- justgary
Also, at the moment, if you edit video for a living and you want to use your thunderbolt raid to serve HD footage at a decent bandwidth to your laptop, then really, its only mac that allow this. And a fully kitted out Mac Pro can be matched by a nice HP workstation, but the combination of the Mac hardware and the OS and the additional software does still work the best in my experience -- C.A.S.
But there is no reason the components have to be made outside the US, either. There are no impenetrable Asian secrets to making any of those components.
Shipping is a red herring, anyway. The separate parts of an iPhone take up, what, twice the volume of the iPhone itself, when shipped? Especially as the individual parts can be more "carelessly" packed since they aren't as fragile, in all likelihood, as the assembled machine.
« Older Rap legend Too Short has made a career in rap docu... | The nutrition puzzle Why do so... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt