Is It Ethical to Own an iPhone?
Recent media reports and ongoing protests over the reportedly abhorrent working conditions at factories where Apple’s iPhones are produced have left socially conscious Americans with a dilemma: Is it ethical to own an iPhone? For many Americans, even those who support socially responsible manufacturing and business practices, their iPhones and iPads have become must-have devices for both work and personal use. Now they’re being forced to ask themselves whether they are willing to ignore strong evidence that their beloved devices are being made by mistreated and underpaid employees.
The charges of mistreatment of the workers who create Apple’s products are not new. They have, however, gained mainstream momentum during the last months. The contradiction of Apple’s $13 billion in profits in the fourth quarter of 2011 juxtaposed against images and stories of worker rights violations have painted a less than shining portrait of the tech giant.