iPhone Work Conditions

Today I read this article detailing poor work conditions at Apple suppliers. Since I own an iPhone myself, I share some sliver of responsibility for the pretty horrible conditions experienced by (at least) hundreds of thousands of workers. Rather than stewing in the self-satisfaction of my moral judgment, I decided to try something new and actually do something (very very very small) to live the change I wish to see in the world.

As a good capitalist, I believe that corporations don’t change their practices (good or bad) without economic incentive to do so. Thus, I sent Apple a comment indicating that as a customer, I was disturbed by this behavior and would not be purchasing a new iPhone if the conditions were not ameliorated. The form this comment took was an entry under the iPhone feedback form, which I doubt Tim Cook reads personally and might very well be simply discarded by whatever customer service representative happens upon it: As social protest goes, it’s not exactly chaining myself to a tree. On the other hand, it might not be thrown out, it might live on as an entry in a spreadsheet ticking off how many Apple users have complained about factory conditions. Maybe if that number’s high enough it will provide an incentive to change. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I figured it was better than my usual judgmental silence.

If you also own Apple products and are interested in registering your disapproval in an unobtrusive, low-energy, and low-effort way, here’re the feedback forms for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook (depending on which products you own). Below is what I wrote in case you’re interested in using the basic structure and changing the details as appropriate (or in just chuckling at my self-righteous delusionality):

I am a loyal Apple customer who has purchased two iPhones, including the 4S this past August. I’ve greatly enjoyed these using these products and appreciate the perfectionism, excellent craftsmanship, and attention to detail that clearly has gone into them.
I recently read this article –http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?hp=&pagewanted=all — which details labor conditions along the supply chain used to create the iPhone that are both shockingly brutal and easily solvable. When I am next in the market for a smartphone, iPad, or laptop, I will not be buying from Apple unless these conditions have been ameliorated. Thank you for your time.
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