Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't specifically mention The New York Times' exposé on working conditions at Foxconn in his company-wide email yesterday, but it's clear that this was the first attempt at damage control.
After reports that Foxconn wanted to get out of the Apple business, Apple has gone ahead and started getting out of the Foxconn business, dumping its partner in human rights crime for the production of the rumored cheap iPhone. Get ready for the human-rights crowd to come out of the woodwork again on Pegatron.
A year ago, we probably would've been excited about new reports that the Foxconn is starting to manufacture the new teardrop-shaped iPhone for a midsummer launch, but now we just feel weird about the whole thing.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama talked a lot about bringing back American jobs as well as American ingenuity as represented by Steve Jobs. But talking about them together somehow seems oxymoronic.
Though Foxconn is spinning CEO Terry Gou's comparison of his workforce to zoo creatures as a cultural mis-communication, it doesn't change the fact that the company actually treats its workers like animals.
Apple released a complete list of its suppliers for the first time on Friday, saying some of the 156 companies with which it contracts don't adhere to its standards for labor or environmental practices, including a ban on child labor.
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