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Apple Discloses Component Suppliers of iPad, iPhone, iPod

By - Source: Associated Pres | B 31 comments

Apple has released both a list of its suppliers, and a full report regarding audits on working conditions, underage workers and other details about its suppliers.

For the first time ever, Apple has disclosed a list of its major suppliers that produce popular iOS gadgets like the iPad, the iPhone and iPod Touch. The big reveal, part of its 2012 "Supplier Responsibility" progress report released on Friday, is Apple's response to criticism over labor and environmental practices, especially in China.

"Apple is committed to driving the highest standards for social responsibility throughout our supply base," the company states. "We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct as a condition of doing business with us."

The document reveals that Apple conducted 229 audits throughout its supply chain in 2011, up 80-percent from the 127 audits Apple conducted in 2010. Surprisingly, the document states that Apple actually found labor, health and environmental violations. There were even instances of underage labor.

"We discovered a total of 6 active and 13 historical cases of underage labor at 5 facilities," the document states. "In each case, the facility had insufficient controls to verify age or detect false documentation. We found no instances of intentional hiring of underage labor."

Apple adds that it required the suppliers to support the young workers’ return to school and to improve their management systems "such as labor recruitment practices and age verification procedures to prevent recurrences."

In the report Apple outlines the measures it took to rectify all the violations listed in the document. It even confirms that explosions which took place last year at Chinese plants of two of its parts suppliers were caused by excessive aluminum dust.

"We were deeply saddened by events at two of our suppliers in 2011," Apple states. "An explosion at Foxconn’s Chengdu factory tragically took the lives of four employees and injured 18 others. An explosion at the Ri-Teng (a subsidiary of Pegatron) factory in Shanghai injured 59."

The full 2012 Apple Supplier Responsibility report can be downloaded here in PDF format along with the Apple Suppliers 2011 list which can be downloaded in PDF format here.

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  • 21 Hide
    kinggraves , January 14, 2012 6:48 AM
    Apple's commitment:

    We regularly commit audits to make it seem like we're concerned about our employee working conditions to maintain our spotless public image. If these facilities are found to be unethical, we will wave our finger at them and tell them not to do it again, then walk off with no further sanction. We will however continue to use these facilities...cause I mean, what do you expect us to do...hire american? Those guys have UNIONS.
  • 14 Hide
    tanjo , January 14, 2012 6:34 AM
    Issue: Loss of lives in one or more facilities.

    Apple response: We required facilities to train their employees to properly keep themselves alive to reduce attrition rates due to death to acceptable levels.

    ... some people on the report do look underage.
  • 13 Hide
    EDVINASM , January 14, 2012 6:20 AM
    Good on marketing and legal side since their image was starting to get affected by suicides and explosions in factories.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    Usersname , January 14, 2012 6:14 AM
    Good on 'em.
  • 11 Hide
    Travis Beane , January 14, 2012 6:19 AM
    That's... actually really cool. Good job.
  • 13 Hide
    EDVINASM , January 14, 2012 6:20 AM
    Good on marketing and legal side since their image was starting to get affected by suicides and explosions in factories.
  • 14 Hide
    tanjo , January 14, 2012 6:34 AM
    Issue: Loss of lives in one or more facilities.

    Apple response: We required facilities to train their employees to properly keep themselves alive to reduce attrition rates due to death to acceptable levels.

    ... some people on the report do look underage.
  • 3 Hide
    freggo , January 14, 2012 6:41 AM
    I'm not exactly an Apple fan, but that at least seems to show a little corporate responsibility. Let's just hope some Wikileaks undercover thing does not dig up some dirt to disgrace the applaudable effort.

    Yeah, it's me; Glass Half Empty Boy :-)

  • 21 Hide
    kinggraves , January 14, 2012 6:48 AM
    Apple's commitment:

    We regularly commit audits to make it seem like we're concerned about our employee working conditions to maintain our spotless public image. If these facilities are found to be unethical, we will wave our finger at them and tell them not to do it again, then walk off with no further sanction. We will however continue to use these facilities...cause I mean, what do you expect us to do...hire american? Those guys have UNIONS.
  • 8 Hide
    alidan , January 14, 2012 8:58 AM
    child labor in a large portion of the world isnt there because its cheap labor, but its really the only way those people eat, or have any quality of life.

    i know one area, forgot the country, one of the child laborers said that it was either that or prostitution.

    lets also not forget that the "sweat shops" usually pay better than other jobs in that area/country.

    you cant force first world views on impoverished third world countries.
  • 4 Hide
    EDVINASM , January 14, 2012 9:13 AM
    alidanchild labor in a large portion of the world isnt there because its cheap labor, but its really the only way those people eat, or have any quality of life. i know one area, forgot the country, one of the child laborers said that it was either that or prostitution.lets also not forget that the "sweat shops" usually pay better than other jobs in that area/country. you cant force first world views on impoverished third world countries.


    Agree. Although might sound bad to us with different view and system, it's the way of life there. And it's not factories or corporate giants to blame, it's the local government.
  • 9 Hide
    beayn , January 14, 2012 11:29 AM
    What age is considered child labour and what are they doing? I had a job when I was 12 picking berries at a farm. There are jobs kids can do and enjoy doing, and it's a harmless way to make money. As others have pointed out, sometimes the only way some families can survive over there.
  • 0 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , January 14, 2012 1:04 PM
    The same rationale people here and abroad provide for child labour are the same arguments people were giving a century ago to lobby against Child Labour laws.

    It's not just "local" governments to blame. It's the people demanding (ie. hiring) and labour regulators at fault here. I'm not blaming a company who wrongfully was duped into hiring someone underaged but companies knowingly and intentionally hire some underage since they tend to work for less money, hence increase their profits.

    It's quite basic and general knowledge to know that the strict enforcement of child labour laws is a net positive for society and the economy over time.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 14, 2012 1:46 PM
    Basically almost everything you import is made in places where underage labor is used or the Government treats it people like crap or the average person lives on $3 a day, etc. That's the harsh truth.

    The other harsh truth is that as long as you can get cheap cheesburgers, cable TV and have internet to post pictures on Facebook the average American couldn't give a monkeys if those foreign factories were powered by furnaces running on dead babies.
  • -1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , January 14, 2012 2:07 PM
    back_by_demand: When products / brands are known to use child labour or sweetshops the negative publicity is immense. Clothing makers found to have used child labour (knowingly and even unknowingly) have had sales fall.

    I still remember the "scandal" regarding Kathie Lee Gifford in 1996. And there are examples throughout the years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathie_Lee_Gifford#1996_sweatshop_scandal

    People do give a crap, not always and not for all injustices but there are many examples in the past and present where deplorable working conditions have led to changes.
  • -4 Hide
    bejabbers , January 14, 2012 2:16 PM
    Apple products are made by foxconn.... enough said.

    I wouldn't touch a foxconn component with a 10 foot pole.
  • 3 Hide
    del35 , January 14, 2012 2:20 PM
    More Apple propaganda. Companies concerned about environmental issues make products that can be serviced, not ones that require replacement when their battery fails.
  • 7 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , January 14, 2012 2:29 PM
    bejabbersApple products are made by foxconn.... enough said.I wouldn't touch a foxconn component with a 10 foot pole.


    So you don't use any Apple, Microsoft, Acer, Asus, Barnes & Noble, Dell, Cisco, HP, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, MSI, Motorola, Netgear, Nintendo, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio.

    Foxcomm may not make all the products from the above companies, but the above companies do use Foxconn.

    So how do you verify what you buy does not have a Foxconn component? Do you know who manufacturers all the components in what you buy?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 14, 2012 3:04 PM
    China's authoritarian regime has a terrible human rights record. During apartheid, American universities were at the forefront of the movement to boycott South Africa. Where is that moral high ground when these same universities make deal after deal with China? There was very little cost for those universities to divest from South Africa but now they are deeply dependent on these investments and deals with China. The American economy and national security are endangered by these deals. Read more at www.china-threat.com
  • -2 Hide
    darkrydr3 , January 14, 2012 3:40 PM
    Do you really trust Apple, a company that drives its business practices on profit margin, to fully disclose everything? Some of the information might not be the worst case stories out there.
  • 0 Hide
    pnorman , January 14, 2012 5:13 PM
    Foxconn components are used by everyone these days. As problematic as they are, I think they're better than the small Chinese companies with no QC or oversight of any kind.
  • 1 Hide
    silver565 , January 14, 2012 6:50 PM
    Part of me wonders why the released the information. Perhaps something bad is coming?
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , January 14, 2012 7:15 PM
    Good move by Apple.
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