iKill – putting your Apple products in perspective

I ordered a new iPad for my mother this week. She’s been using a laptop the last few years, but it takes forever to boot up, Windows keeps hijacking the computer to install onerous updates and she really only needs to e-mail and surf the web. So the iPad seems to fit her needs. Plus, it’s cool.

It seems the entire world, including my Mom, is getting on the Apple bandwagon. It’s hard not to. What with its sleek, clean marketing, fun and intuitive design, and a founder who has reached the ultimate, legendary status in death… it’s easy to lose ourselves in the cult that is Apple.

I’m tracking her iPad as we speak via the UPS website. It arrived in Anchorage, Alaska this morning from Shenzhen, China.

That’s right. Many of Apple’s products are Made in China by Foxconn Technology Group. But you already knew that. The company, which manufactures iPhones, iPods and iPads in China, runs factories in Shenzhen — last year they were plagued with bad press when at least a dozen of their factory workers committed suicide.

“Did my iPhone kill 17 people?” writes Joel Johnson, editor at large for Gizmodo.com. (the number of suicides was actually 18 by the end of 2010)

This infographic below might help you answer that question.

It was sent to me by one of its designers, Tony Shin, a Seattle native and University of Washington graduate who double majored in Economics and Management. You can email him at Tony.Shin40@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @ohtinytony


Sign this petition: TheSumofUs.org

The petition urges Apple to step up and lead the way in factory labor improvements, to “make the iPhone5 and your other products ethically” and to insure “the quality of working conditions matters as much as the quality of [Apple's] products.”

More on China and factories:
A Visit to a Wenzhou Shoe Factory
China Struggles to Rebuild Mental Health Programs

One thought on “iKill – putting your Apple products in perspective

  1. This is both at the same time, interesting…and quite disturbing. My heart goes to those families who’ve lost loved ones. But, there may be other reasons for suicides. It’s not fair to pick on just one high profile company. What about the other multi nationals out there? What are some of their…(dare I say) statistics? What about the large Chinese companies?

    Before we pass judgement on Apple… Let’s keep our minds open and seek more info. Don’t be a born again finger pointer a la Kony…and jump on the whitewash bandwagon.

    Have a read on this retraction statement from a “journalist”:


    It’s a guy’s retraction on all the fabrications he made about his “investigations” into Apple. He now admits he made most of it up!

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