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Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits Foxconn, Conditions to Improve

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

An Apple CEO goes to China.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is on a visit to China, which wouldn't be complete without a visit to Foxconn – the company responsible for the production of much of Apple's products.

Cook reportedly paid a visit to the newly built Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park -- which employs around 120,000 people -- in the north central province of Hebei.

The Cupertino company has been under fire of late over the working conditions of Foxconn workers who produce the millions of iPads that get sold worldwide. It appears now that Tim Cook is taking action with Foxconn to make things better.

According to Reuters, Apple and Foxconn have agreed to "clamp down on illegal overtime, improve safety protocols and upgrade worker housing and other amenities." Doing so will require the hiring of tens of thousands of new workers.

Foxconn said that it will limit the weekly work hours of its workers to 49 per week, including overtime, while keeping the same wage. This is a reduction from a report that found workers putting in more than 60 hours per week on average during peak production times.

Such changes will inevitably drive up the costs to produce products at the Foxconn factory, though the full impact may not be directly passed on to the consumer as companies such as Apple and HP may absorb some of those increased costs.

(The images that appear here were released today from Apple Inc.)

Read more from @MarcusYam on Twitter.

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  • 22 Hide
    plznote , March 30, 2012 1:38 AM
    A part of me knows that this is a good thing. But it'll never happen. Humans are just too greedy.
  • 22 Hide
    mister g , March 30, 2012 1:38 AM
    Quote:
    Such changes will inevitably drive up the costs to produce products at the Foxconn factory, though the full impact may not be directly passed on to the consumer as companies such as Apple and HP may absorb some of those increased costs.


    RIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!
  • 18 Hide
    koga73 , March 30, 2012 1:45 AM
    How many times have we heard this before?!
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    plznote , March 30, 2012 1:38 AM
    A part of me knows that this is a good thing. But it'll never happen. Humans are just too greedy.
  • 22 Hide
    mister g , March 30, 2012 1:38 AM
    Quote:
    Such changes will inevitably drive up the costs to produce products at the Foxconn factory, though the full impact may not be directly passed on to the consumer as companies such as Apple and HP may absorb some of those increased costs.


    RIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!
  • 18 Hide
    koga73 , March 30, 2012 1:45 AM
    How many times have we heard this before?!
  • 10 Hide
    chumly , March 30, 2012 1:48 AM
    I think it would be an amazing thing if the greedy people started being responsible for the people that make them their money. In the long run, I think people would be happier to buy products from companies that they know are a benefit to their planet and community.
  • 7 Hide
    Plasmid , March 30, 2012 1:55 AM
    How about bringing them jobs back to America. Do that and I'll consider buying something from you. I can't stand the fact everything has to be made in China.
  • 10 Hide
    husker , March 30, 2012 2:12 AM
    And what is anyone else doing to help the conditions of workers in China? < sound of crickets chirping>
  • 5 Hide
    xerroz , March 30, 2012 2:50 AM
    Will eagerly wait to see a $100 price increase on all of Apple's products
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 30, 2012 3:15 AM
    This just in. Apple stocks finally start falling.
  • 2 Hide
    freggo , March 30, 2012 3:45 AM
    PlasmidHow about bringing them jobs back to America. Do that and I'll consider buying something from you. I can't stand the fact everything has to be made in China.



    How much extra are you willing to pay for 'Made in USA' ?

    100%...200%... ?

    It's easy to talk tough as long as you do not have to back it up with your own wallet !!
  • 1 Hide
    Cons29 , March 30, 2012 4:56 AM
    i dont know much about foxconn, but what is apple's relationship to them? i mean are they from the same group of companies?
    because if not, then why would foxconn need apple here, can't they do it themselves?

    Quote:
    Apple and Foxconn have agreed to "clamp down on illegal overtime.."

    isn't it that Foxconn is responsible for these illegal overtime?
  • 2 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , March 30, 2012 7:17 AM
    freggoHow much extra are you willing to pay for 'Made in USA' ?100%...200%... ?It's easy to talk tough as long as you do not have to back it up with your own wallet !!

    Exactly.

    There is a reason why it is made overseas. Cheaper labor = cheaper production cost = cheaper product = more customers.

    The cost of an iPad if built in the US would be around $620, cost in China is around $260. Most electronics these days have anywhere from a 35%-50% profit margin, with 40% being about average. I believe the profit margin currently on the iPad 3 is 50%, but assuming Apple moves to a more average 40%, the "Made in the USA" sticker would drive the cost of an iPad up to $870.

    Would you buy an $870 iPad? I wouldn't.

    Anyway, Apple isn't the only one. The Kinect addon to the XBox 360 costs Microsoft $60 to make in China, yet they sell it for $130. If Microsoft keeps the same profit margins, it would cost the customer $310 to buy it if it was made in the US. Yeah.... no.
  • 0 Hide
    SpadeM , March 30, 2012 8:45 AM
    Ragnar-KonExactly.There is a reason why it is made overseas. Cheaper labor = cheaper production cost = cheaper product = more customers.The cost of an iPad if built in the US would be around $620, cost in China is around $260. Most electronics these days have anywhere from a 35%-50% profit margin, with 40% being about average. I believe the profit margin currently on the iPad 3 is 50%, but assuming Apple moves to a more average 40%, the "Made in the USA" sticker would drive the cost of an iPad up to $870.Would you buy an $870 iPad? I wouldn't.Anyway, Apple isn't the only one. The Kinect addon to the XBox 360 costs Microsoft $60 to make in China, yet they sell it for $130. If Microsoft keeps the same profit margins, it would cost the customer $310 to buy it if it was made in the US. Yeah.... no.


    Not quite, I wouldn't count it as a total loss in revenue. It's like BMW and Mercedes, they're expensive cars but I don't see them complain about that fact they might be going broke. Apple as a brand has always been expensive and emphasized on "quality" products. If they were to spend some of that 80$ billion on a fab or 2 in the USA that only assembles devices, you wouldn't see a huge price hike .. and even when the price goes up, apple fan boys will still buy and also ppl that value "Made in America" will do that also.
    And .. at the end of the day, it's a great publicity stunt, giving Americans 1500 jobs or so and paying a decent salary will get you more in the long run as a company, then a smaller annual revenue.
  • 1 Hide
    monsta , March 30, 2012 9:17 AM
    Profit before people...
  • 0 Hide
    fuzznarf , March 30, 2012 10:58 AM
    chumlyI think it would be an amazing thing if the greedy people started being responsible for the people that make them their money. In the long run, I think people would be happier to buy products from companies that they know are a benefit to their planet and community.


    Not really. People value what benefits them and their family. If I ever wanted to buy an iPad, for whatever awful reason, I want the cheapest iPad possible, so that I have more money for food and clothes and other things to improve the quality of life for me and my family. Not to mention, that all the feel good hippies who care about the planet, don't seem to care about the people who would be eating dirt for dinner every night if that company wasn't there in China making our inexpensive products.
  • 2 Hide
    lamorpa , March 30, 2012 12:50 PM
    Condition to improve for who? Apple?
  • 0 Hide
    wiyosaya , March 30, 2012 2:08 PM
    According to a report on NPR, crApple and foxCON have been promising improvement in working conditions for six years, and have basically done nothing to actually improve worker conditions during those six years.

    From that record, it only stands to reason this is another empty promise from both crApple and foxCON.

    $100 B US in the bank for crApple is not enough.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 30, 2012 2:11 PM
    Some people continue talking about bringing jobs back to America, but here's the question: do you want to buy a $5000 tablet?
  • -1 Hide
    golfdk , March 30, 2012 3:40 PM
    How is the the leather seats in your new G650 jet mr cook.... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    booseek , March 31, 2012 1:41 PM
    freggoHow much extra are you willing to pay for 'Made in USA' ?100%...200%... ?It's easy to talk tough as long as you do not have to back it up with your own wallet !!


    People that say this really haven't thought through the situation. Why does everyone just accept that the cosumers should eat the cost? Why can't the most profitable company in the world eat the cost instead?
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