Apple recently granted ABC Nightline full access to its Chinese supply chain. ABC's Bill Weir traveled to Shenzhen, China for an exclusive look inside Apple's supply chain, and ABC provided the following quote from Weir about his trip:
For years, Apple and Foxconn have been synonymous with monster profits and total secrecy so it was fascinating to wander the iphone and iPod production lines, meet the people who build them and see how they live. Our cameras were rolling when thousands of hopeful applicants rushed the Foxconn gates and I spoke with dozens of line workers and a top executive about everything from hours and pay to the controversies over suicides at the plant and the infamous "jumper nets" that line the factories in Shenzhen. After this trip, I'll never see an Apple product the same way again.
Today, ABC News has posted a teaser of the video on its web site along with a report about what they found at the Shenzhen and Chengdu Foxconn plants in China. ABC will air full "iFactory: Inside Apple" report on a special edition of "Nightline" due tomorrow, today, February 21, at 11:35pm ET/PT.
The ABC report offers a grim description of working conditions inside Foxconn plants stating:
"Okay." "Okay." "Okay."
The voices are robot feminine and they never shut up, each chirp a surreal announcement that another new iPad is about to be born.
"Okay." "Okay." "Okay."
The factory floor is spotless under the bright fluorescent lights and with hypnotic rhythm, thousands of hands reach into a conveyor belt river, bringing each gliding gadget to life one tiny piece at a time.
A supervisor will bark the occasional order in Mandarin, but on this line the machines do most of the talking while the people work in silence.
Their faces are blank as they insert a chip or wipe a screen or plug in a diagnostic cable to hear that everything is "Okay."
And they will repeat that motion and hear that fembot voice a few thousand more times before lunch.
It is just an average day at Foxconn.
Full report can be accessed here.
Here is the ABC teaser:
Update: Here is another 5 minutes teaser. ABC anchor Bill Weir at 3:40 timeline says, "Although we didn't find any egregious violations, if the Fair Labor Association finds any violations, we'll report those going forward."
Video: ABC anchor Bill Weir:
Video: Foxconn: An Exclusive Inside Look
Video: Nightline from ABC News: Apple's Chinese Factories: Exclusive
The full ABC Nightline: Apple's Chinese Factories: Exclusive video is available here.
Some interesting factoids:
- 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?"