February 20, 2012

[vodpod id=Video.16115602&w=650&h=420&fv=allowFullScreen%3Dtrue%26bgcolor%3D%23000000%26autoPlay%3Dfalse%26screensLayer.startScreenOverId%3DstartScreen%26screensLayer.startScreenId%3DstartScreen%26] Note: A YouTube version should be up soon

As promised, ABC aired its documentary about Foxconn factories producing Apple products. In an unprecedented move, Apple decided to grant the network’s “Nightline” program full access to its Chinese supply chain, so correspondent Bill Weir traveled to Shenzhen, China to look at “iFactories,” as ABC dubbed them.

Full disclosure: Disney Corporation owns the ABC News network. The fact that the Steve Jobs Trust is Disney’s largest individual shareholder, coupled with Disney CEO Bob Iger now having a seat on Apple’s board of directors, certainly helped win the official approval from Apple. It also raises questions on a possible conflict of interest with this report.

The full “iFactory: Inside Apple” report is scheduled to air on a special edition of “Nightline” due tomorrow, Feb. 21, at 11:35pm ET/PT. A preview will air on “Good Morning America” and “World News with Diane Sawyer.” A long article that accompanies a video teaser, included above for your convenience, offers a grim description of working conditions inside Foxconn plants:

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February 21, 2012

Update: ABC has the full video up here (Flash, US only).  Also available on the ABC App.

As a preview: It does not look like ABC found anything too damaging. You can hear anchor Bill Weir say at 3:40:

“Although we didn’t find any egregious violations, if the Fair Labor Association finds any violations, we’ll report those going forward.”

Another set of YouTube videos and some factoids from the show are below:

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Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat

February 17, 2012

The most mainstream technology company-related controversy within the past few weeks is most likely the issue of Chinese supplier-working conditions. In January, the New York Times published a lengthy and controversial report about the supposed conditions in these supplier factories. The report claimed to source its information from former Apple executives, and it paints Apple and its suppliers in a horrible light. As we exclusively revealed, Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to the Times’ report and said, “We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern.”

Apple and Cook went even further and opened Apple’s supply chain to a full review by the Fair Labor AssociationCook recently spoke about Apple’s supply chain safety efforts at the Goldman Sach’s conference earlier this week. Now, in an unprecedented move, Apple granted ABC Nightline full access to its Chinese supply chain. ABC’s Bill Weir traveled to Shenzhen, China for an exclusive look inside Apple’s supply chain, and ABC provided the following quote from Weir about his trip:

For years, Apple and Foxconn have been synonymous with monster profits and total secrecy so it was fascinating to wander the iphone and iPod production lines, meet the people who build them and see how they live. Our cameras were rolling when thousands of hopeful applicants rushed the Foxconn gates and I spoke with dozens of line workers and a top executive about everything from hours and pay to the controversies over suicides at the plant and the infamous “jumper nets” that line the factories in Shenzhen. After this trip, I’ll never see an Apple product the same way again.

ABC decided to spread its coverage across Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “ABCNews.com,” “ABC News Radio,” and ABC Newsone.” The first look inside Apple’s factories will show on “ABC Nightline” Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 11:35 p.m. EST.

ABC’s parent is Disney Corporation whose CEO, Bob Iger, sits on Apple’s Board. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and now his family are the biggest individual shareholders of Disney.

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