Maybe it’s because I’m finishing up Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson. Or maybe it’s because I’m constantly listening to iTunes on my iPhone while I travel. More likely I have Apple on my mind because of the onslaught of news that’s covered the company and its relationship with China over the past weeks. In case you’ve missed the coverage, here’s some of what I'm reading...on my iPad.
At the outset of the controversy regarding working conitions in Foxconn's China factories, Apple's manufacturing partner, CNN covered the story. The video and article following it, Apple manufacturing plant workers complain of long hours, militant culture, show the situation through one workers' perspective.
Yet the Huffington Post reported that in fact, Foxconn's factories were above average: Foxconn Working Conditions: iPad plant better than the Norm, says Fair Labor Association. This report does not make clear, however, whether that assessment is positive for Apple or a condemnation of China's factory standards.
When a one-man performance by Mike Daisey extolling horrors of China's factories first premiered, Dan Harris of China Law Blog wrote this account: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Laugh Out Loud Insight on China's Factories. His response to learning that Daisey fabricated aspects of his account of Shenzhen Foxconn factories? Mike Daisey is a Liar-Asshole.
Stan Abrams then posted on China Hearsay a clever guide to reading between the lines on China's press coverage of Apple's CEO meeting with China's Vice Premier.
And that brings us to just yesterday: Apple's Tim Cook Visits Foxconn iPhone Plant in China.