Your next phone might be a little costlier. Why would that be? You might ask. To save a life. To avoid another Chinese worker at the Foxconn factory from committing suicide.That’s the price you have to pay to get a decent working conditions and decent working wage for more than 920,000 workers at Foxconn. Foxconn especially has received quite a bad press after 11 of its workers committed suicides by jumping from its high-rise buildings. Foxconn placed a 3 million square meter wide net to catch them and offered a 60% rise in wages. And that hurts the revenues which has to be passed on. The cost of treating the employees nicely and providing better wages is being passed on to Foxconn’s clients.
Foxconn is the manufacturer of iPhone for Apple. Foxconn also manufactures phones and other devices for Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Microsoft, IBM and HP. Foxconn churns out 137,000 iPhones per day or 1.5 iPhones every second. Nokia which is already bleeding worldwide and in India, would be partially effected. Only a few models of Nokia – not sure which – will incur the costs. Nokia has 9 manufacturing facilities one of which is in Sriperumbudur, India. And not all Nokia phones are made by Foxconn. Sony Ericsson is wiped off the charts for quite sometime now and no body wants Sony Ericsson’s phones anymore.
Apple or any of the Foxconn’s clients doesn’t seem to have a choice. If they have to shift base, then they have to shift to a similar low-cost manufacturer in the same region and the conditions there would be no different. Whatever cost Foxconn puts on the new devices would be the real cost of making them. And the people who buy these expensive bananas don’t care much about the price anyway. How can an additional $20 make an $620 device expensive? Not much. People wouldn’t care. Especially if it would help save some lives elsewhere in the world.
When you buy your next iPhone, be content from the fact that the phone is manufactured by workers who were being treated nicely.