by Graham Pierrepoint
Apple’s iPhone X has been hailed as something of a game-changer, and despite issues that befell its production and eventual release, the premium $999 handset seems to have gone down a treat with tech critics and Apple fanatics alike. Regardless of the price tag and just how well the smartphone performs, however, recent news seems to suggest that its production and manufacture may not be as clean nor as cut-and-dried as many have believed it to be. The company in focus is the manufacturer Foxconn, who have been partnered with Apple for some time, and it appears that some of their working practices are coming under scrutiny.
Exposes claim that illegal labor practices carried out by Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision, were still in place in their Chinese factories – despite several reports and concerns having been flagged over the years with regard to worker treatment already having come to light. The Financial Times has raised a report that alleges six students (aged no younger than 17) were employed for 11 hours a day for over 40 hours a week – rates which directly contravene laws set regarding student intern labor outlined by the Chinese state.
Watch: Report: Apple's iPhone X assembled with illegal student labor ▶
The six workers identified were reportedly working on the premium iPhone X device, which is of course available at a heightened cost for those Apple fanatics wanting to get their hands on the future of smartphone design. It’s thought the students in question were dispatched to Foxconn as a result of a work experience programme – and the news that they may have worked over hours deemed healthy by the Chinese state is, of course, providing international concern.
China has been looking into revamping their labor laws in light of workers finding themselves over-employed – with some cases of suicide having been reported as a result. At the time of writing, both Apple and Foxconn have been approached for comment – though they have yet to be forwarded to the press.
Apple’s relationship with Foxconn and their labor practices is a controversial one – and this expose comes at a time when the iPhone X is in particularly high demand and is still retailing for that full, unprecedented cost. With the press waiting to hear back from those reportedly responsible, it is worth keeping your ear to the ground for any more news as and when it arises. Stay tuned!