A kid, little—maybe 9 years old, told me the other day that his friend had his own cell phone. “What kind?” I asked. “The best one in the whole wide world,” he replied, “iPhone 7.”
In our lifetime(s) I am not sure any other company has had consumers on the edge of their seats for the next version of the next thing for as long, producing as much of a financial windfall, as Apple has. Consumers gladly hand over their paychecks, but how much do we actually know about Apple?
Most of the research, development, and marketing genius goes down on Apple campus in Cupertino California. The new Apple ring looks more like a mega-church, airport, or UFO than a company headquarters–
–and is a far cry from the garage that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs tinkered in during the 1970’s.
Though Apple was founded in 1976 we all know that the fairy tale took off when Steve Jobs returned to the company he long ago founded, then soon after settled into CEO role. With products from the iMac to the iPad that the two-year-old to ninety-two-year-old now cannot live without—Steve Jobs managed to make sure that the world was fully equipped to continue its ride through the Information Age before he passed away in 2011.
For being revolutionary, it may be humbling, or more like disappointing to watch Apple use the failing bottom-line business model. Since Jobs return in the late 1990s, Apple has moved manufacturing out of the US, skyrocketing profits, while letting smartphone-bearing netizens report on Foxconn and other Apple contract manufacturing companies on going human rights violations.
Since 2007 Apple has released their Supplier Responsibility Reports, but instead of these being a beacon of true transparency they come across as pretty portraits created by, Apple’s advertising staff? Just a guess, because you have to dig SO DEEP to find what Apple is not doing well and deeper for any indication that Apple is really working on improvement. When searching for videos or articles on poor working conditions in Apple factories, not much comes up more recently than 2014. It is hard to say if this is a result of improvement or more corporate secrecy.
It is understandable that Apple needs to protect its trade secrets, but at what cost? Descriptions of Apple employees are strikingly similar to CIA operatives portrayed in movies who can’t say a word about their secret life to friends or family. Apple, what exactly do you have new recruits sign when they are hired? What was that? Ask Legal or the Business Conduct Helpline? I would be so happy for any friend landing a job at Apple, what an opportunity! After “congrats” though, I might not be able to bite my tongue before throwing in, “don’t drink the Kool-Aid!” -Nicole Mateo; Rachel Morreale; and Susanna Jones
Roberts, Matthew. “Apple Park April 2017 Drone Tour 4K.” YouTube 30 Mar. 2017
Rawlinson, Nik. “History of Apple 1976-2016.” Macworld 1 Apr. 2016
BBC News. “Apple Accused of Failing to Protect Workers.” YouTube. 18 Dec. 2014
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Human Robotics – Technology. “Inside Chinese Factories The Truth About Working Conditions
at Foxconn, Apple, HP Factories.” YouTube. 8 Feb. 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb0rU8Nq2GI>.
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Technobuffalo. 2 Dec. 2011 <https://www.technobuffalo.com/2011/12/02/apple-handbook-shushes-employees-from-talking-about-the-company/>.