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Final Project Topic Desription

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Final Project Topic Description
September 18, 2012
Christine Erwin

Final Project Topic Description
“Apple, Inc is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers” (Wikipedia, 2012). Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Cusumano, 2008) founded this multibillion-dollar company in 1976. Apple is the world’s third largest mobile phone device maker and the world’s second largest Smartphone maker (Gartner, 2012). It is the largest technology company in the worth with a net worth more than Microsoft and Google combined (Hughes, 2012). Apple contracts with Chinese Foxconn to manufacture it’s iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Despite difficulties with, few stores, piracy and low app sales, Apple sales in China are only second to those in the US (iPhones make Chinese eyes light up: Apple doesn't just make stuff in China; its sales there are booming, too, 2012). Couple high sales with low labor cost and it is easy to see why Apple chose China as the location of it manufacturing headquarters.
Fair labor practice advocates have accused Foxconn of sweatshop-like labor practices. In June of 2012, Foxconn experienced the suicide death of the 18th Foxconn employee in less than two years (Qiang, 2012). While suicide is the most heinous effect of a sweatshop, many advocates are not so quick to denounce sweatshops. According to Porter (2012) , China’s poverty rate has decreased since gaining more industrial jobs. While the average wages is still a pittance by Western standards, the focus of most Foxconn workers is staying employed by Foxconn despite the low wage. However, Apple is a Western company and has very specific demands for the product that Foxconn puts out as well as a bit of leverage in how it practices business. Apple voluntarily joined and asked the Fair Labor Association to review working…...

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