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An ABC Inside Look into Foxconn, the Factory in Which iPads Are Made

An ABC Inside Look into Foxconn, the Factory in Which iPads Are Made

By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)

After months of speculation and rumors surrounding the conditions and employment details of the workers in Apple's largest factory, Foxconn, the tech giant did something very uncharacteristic and embraced transparency. Apple allowed the press into Foxconn and gave full permission to publish its findings.

For Apple, the good news is, nothing blatantly illegal was found (despite rumors of underage employees), but the picture that was painted, at least from the two videos below, is far from pretty.

Due to 18 recent suicides, there are now "Suicide nets" outside of the windows. That's just wrong on so many levels. How about getting to the bottom of the issue that caused these suicides, namely insanely low pay and long hours?

Meanwhile, there are some touching moments in the video like when the woman who has made hundreds of thousands of iPads with her own hands, gets to see and touch the tablet for the first time, as a finished product. The fact that it would take three months of her salary to be able to afford the gadget, well that is a little less sympathetic.

As far as the manufacturing process of these devices,  The Verge updates shares some interesting facts:

Here’s the rest of what we learned:

  • It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade
  • It takes five days and 325 hands to make a single iPad
  • Foxconn produces 300k iPad camera modules per day
  • Foxconn workers pay for their own food — about $.70 per meal, and work 12 hour shifts
  • Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so
  • Workers make $1.78 an hour
  • New employees at Foxconn undergo three days of training and “team building” exercises before they begin
  • The FLA (which Apple brought in to audit Foxconn) is interested in whether or not workers will look up at visitors in a factory — if they’ll be “willing to look at curiosities”
  • Apple paid $250,000 to join the FLA, and is paying for its audit
  • Louis Woo, when asked if he would accept Apple demanding double pay for employees replied “Why not?”

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