The Atrocities of Apple, Inc

You are 15 hours into your 18 hour shift. Only a few hours left. The air is thick with chemicals and the coughing of fellow employees. One exhausted coworker stumbles and knocks a cart of materials into a window. It shatters. This is your chance. You run to the window; your opportunity to escape an enslaved life. You jump, and begin to plummet the six stories to your death.  The daily pain and torture is finally going to be over. The city’s thick smog rushes by your face as you fall to the ground. You close your eyes and prepare for death to deliver you from this horror . . . but no impact comes. You are stopped…by a net. The safety net set up to stop exactly what you were doing has done its job. No death, no release from the pain.  Guess what? It’s back to work for you.

This may seem like a hellish scenario, but it is reality for Chinese employees of FoxConn, one of the largest suppliers of electronic products used by Apple in its products.  Abuses of workers at FoxConn companies have been well documented by the New York Times.  A simple search at the Times site will turn up a number of related articles. The Times’s work was so thorough it prompted Apple to release a statement saying it was looking into and trying to correct these conditions.

But these employees — FoxConn employs over one million Chinese—suffer daily from exceedingly long shifts, horrid working conditions, and suicidal moods; but for what purpose?

So you can update your Twitter on the go, of course.

The fact that Apple allows its products to be made in places where the company puts safety nets around their factories should really say something to Americans.  It is actually expected that these workers may try to kill themselves.

You may ask, why does this happen? The answer is simple: because Americans want smart phones. Why do Americans want smart phones? Because Apple told them they need them. It is quite obvious that most people have no actual need for smart phones or tablets, but for some reason, more than half of American mobile users have smart phones. A smart phone is like a pocket computer and many people use them just for the purpose of time consuming apps and social networking.

People became so obsessed with such insignificant things because Steve Jobs and Apple told people that their products are what they need. Apple is the type of corporation that tells the consumers that their products are so important that everyone needs one. In reality, not many people (save for multitasking managers and other business people) truly need a smartphone or tablet. Apple is also the type of company to overcharge people for over 1000% profit. It does not cost a lot to make an iPhone, and Chinese factory workers are paid at sub-poverty levels. So, you may ask, why do iPhones cost over $200? Because consumers will pay that much for them, and Apple loves making money off of its loyal customers.

“iPad is our most advanced technology.  It is a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said Steve Jobs at the release of the iPad in 2010. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.” But is an iPad really that important? Is a tablet THAT important for the average person? In 2002, Bill Gates released a tablet created by Microsoft, and by 2006, Nokia was releasing much more advanced tablets. But the majority of people didn’t start buying tablet computers until 2010. This was because Steve Jobs, and Apple, told people that they NEED to buy tablets, and people mindlessly obeyed.

Besides the enormous number of human rights violations, exploitation of American consumers, and generating an overall negative effect on human society, Apple has an adverse impact on the American economy. Apple’s manufacturing is done in China, which means jobs are directly going to another country. But since Apple pays its Chinese factory workers so poorly, Apple profits tremendously, and the money goes to corporate executives instead of its workers, directly hurting the American economy. This unfair system is simple: consumers pay for expensive products, but then the profits from those products go out of the American economy and into China, or tucked into the pockets of a terrible corporation.

When Steve Jobs died, all the news was reporting was “Our generation has lost a great creative, and technological genius”. But did Steve Jobs actually invent his products? The answer is surprisingly no. Since he started Apple, Steve Jobs would exploit his employees and take credit for their inventions. The real creators behind Apple computers were engineers like Stephen Wozniak. Steve Jobs merely used these hard-working engineers for their products and sell them to people that didn’t need them.

For one moment, overlook the fact that Apple hurts the American economy, treats people inhumanely, dramatically overcharges American consumers, and had a CEO that exploited people and technology for huge profits  which were not, according to the record, used for any good causes  (Forbes Magazine has estimated that Steve Jobs had a worth of $8.3 billion, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy – a publication of philanthropic service – has never published articles about money donated by Steve Jobs.)  Even despite these facts, there is still something wrong with the company: i-products are terrible. The “marvelous pieces of technology” Apple has been creating since the 1970’s have always been far inferior to most other computing systems. Even today, an iPhone doesn’t have the same functionality as a Droid. Starting with Mac computers, Apple products have always been extremely simple and not very functionally useful. Today, iPhones can’t use javascript or flash programs, which are the basic foundation of the modern internet. Ever wonder “Why can’t I change this setting on my iPhone?” You can’t change it because Apple doesn’t want you to be able to change it. iPhones are purposely simple and easy to use because Apple knows people will buy something that doesn’t make them have to think for themselves.

Apple is extremely difficult to deal with, on top of it. Ever suddenly get a computer notification to update your Apple software, even though you don’t have iTunes open? Apple constantly harasses its buyers with updates for their products because they don’t want people to ignore them. Ever try to get an Apple product fixed? Most of the time, you’ll just be told to buy a new one. Ever wonder why your Mac can’t play any games? Macs are so basic they aren’t built with adequate RAM or graphics cards; they can’t run normal computer programs. Ever wonder why you need to call Apple to get any of these products fixed when there is a problem? It is because Apple doesn’t want you to have control over what they give you. They decide what you want and what you get, so that in the end, you’re just a way for them to make money.

The fact that Apple takes advantage of mental laziness is probably their biggest crime. Instead of using technology to advance people and get them to think independently, Apple decided it was a better idea to make simple products and to profit off of people. It really is a travesty that American people are being used by a corporation as mindless pawns and no one is doing anything about it, or more accurately, even seem to care.