Apple Audits: China Labor Unsafe

    Employees of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. work along a production line in the Longhua Science and Technology Park, also known as Foxconn City, in Shenzhen, China, on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010. Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou cut his long-term growth target for the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics by 50 percent as demand for Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads fails to offset slowing computer sales. Photographer: Thomas Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Thomas Lee, Bloomberg News / Getty Images

    As speculation about the iPhone 5 kicks into gear, The New York Times looks into the often brutal factory conditions that make such rapid improvement possible. Apple's own audits found that hundreds of its supply factories in China require employees—some as young as 15—to work more than 60 hours a week, or more than 6 days a week, sometimes in deadly conditions. Yet fewer than 15 suppliers have been terminated for transgressions since 2007, according to former Apple executives. “You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories, or you can reinvent the product every year, and make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards,” a current Apple executive told the Times. “And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.”

    Read it at The New York Times