Inside Foxconn: How iPads Are Made

A short but nuanced glimpse at the conditions from which spring our beloved Apple products, with long hours of tedium and breaks on the soccer field. If this was your life, would you want to use an iPad after?

Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz is only the second reporter ever to gain access to visit the factory floor at Apple’s Chinese producer Foxconn.

16 Comments on "Inside Foxconn: How iPads Are Made"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Apr 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    I call bullsh*t on this video.

    My mam told me all about where iPads come from, and it didn’t involve repetitive motion injuries or noxious chemicals.

    In reality, an iPad starts to come together when a unicorn meets a pixie sprite that he really truly and deeply cares about  . . .

    • seems like you are having fun with some drugs

      • I Ron Butterfly | Apr 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |

         but the Chinese workers at Foxconn are pissed that their overtime has been reduced.

        thus we have a case of white do-gooders who presume the right to tell yellow capitalists how to live their lives.

        • Jin The Ninja | Apr 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm |

           right. that’s really what’s going on. min. wage slave =/= capitalists.

  2. whether it’s iPads or oil or financialised sleight of hand… the “industrialised” west has long been living large on the backs of the poor and the disenfranchised.
    low wages are also a disincentive to the development of automation technologies and production techniques, which is the best way to increase productivity, which likewise is the best way to improve living standards. i’m not one of those who believes technology is the cure-all for what ails our society, but let’s face facts, if we were still farming with oxen and plowshares living standards and quality of life would considerably worse (though the food and air might be less contaminated)

  3. Seriously censored view of the production line. Really how many of those tasks could be completely automated, reason why not, Chinese labour in China is cheaper and more disposable than robots, thats from getting paid less than a dollar an hours.
    Things are cheaper in China, sorry only labour is cheaper in China, it’s called global commodity pricing, a wholesale kilo of rice costs the same in China as it does in the US, subject only to the quality and organic purity.
    As for the low average age, nobody lasts long and when you can no longer keep up the pace, out you go.

  4. Nobody at Foxconn was ever forced to work there. They do so because it represents an improvement over the other options available. So yes, they are bad working conditions, but only from our perspective. If you were to take the option away, the employees would have to turn to even worse standards.
    It can be easy to criticise sweatshops, but ultimately they do more than anyone else to alleviate the conditions their employees would be working in. When Honduras was pressured into closing sweatshops by the US, a unicef report found the children had since turned to prostitution and subsistence farming, both significantly more dangerous, less stable, and at a fraction of the income they were making in the sweatshop.
    Yes sweatshops isn’t a very satisfying solution, but until the fundamental issue of poverty is tackled, sweatshops are the best we have to help to some degree. After all, it’s the solution that the employees went for.

    • mealy mouthed apologism for economic/social injustice and exploitation.
      try living in abject poverty for a while and then tell me again about how these people “chose” to work at Foxconn. economic empires like the US may force certain nations to close sweatshops as a bit of window dressing, but simultaneously hamstring them via the IMF/Wold Bank from providing the resources to make sure these kids are in school (which is where they belong) or from providing real economic opportunities for their citizens (a.k.a the Washington consensus).

      • Try living in abject poverty for a while, then say whether or not you’d like a Foxconn branch to be hiring nearby. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a pleasant choice, but people work there because it is a significant step up from whatever else is available. At the moment, there are high levels of destitution, and sweatshops can alleviate that to a small degree. I agree with you regarding aid though. Ultimately, education and housing programs would be worthwhile to help these people out of poverty, into a situation where they don’t have to rely on things like Foxconn

        It’s just that while they do have to rely on things like Foxconn, I’d rather such employment was there, than for there to be nothing available at all.

    • It doesn’t look like a “sweatshop” to me. I’ve seen American factories that looked worse. 

      • Jin The Ninja | Apr 19, 2012 at 10:49 am |

        sweatshops are not always about appearance, but rights, pay, hours, toxicity. electronics need a sterile environment, that doesn’t make it healthy.

    • they get paid 14$ a day and the ipad cost 600$. Your reasoning is basic capitalism, hey they could be wosre but the bad part is that you support this. companies can go all over the world and give a better option to people, but don’t think they are helping them. If anything they are hurting you becuase they find cheap labour that won’t be american. We should be against this becuase if nothing else it supports non-american jobs, secound because it pays little to no wage. And by doing so it brings down value in american jobs. Its wrong , but capitalism is based on stealing value form labour so no suprise here.

      • bunchaclowns | Apr 20, 2012 at 5:35 am |

        If liberals think capitalism is so evil, then why do they keep supporting the system with their dollars? They talk about how evil sweatshops are while typing their dissent from their sweatshop-made computer, probably sitting in a house filled with sweatshop products…. that they CHOSE to buy. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and making you buy the evil iPhone..

      • With regards to overseas jobs, I would rather our workforce didn’t have to waste its time on tedious, low-paying assembly work. Outsourcing lets us focus on projects that would otherwise have been impossible, notably things like entertainment, arts and academia.

  5. bunchaclowns | Apr 20, 2012 at 5:26 am |

    So you guys are going to try to convince me that you really had no idea that Steve Jobs was a capitalist this whole time?

  6. bunchaclowns | Apr 20, 2012 at 5:46 am |

    This looks a lot better than any meat processing plant in rural Alabama.

Comments are closed.