Would Jesus have an iPhone?
OK, I’m not really going to answer that question. Way too many people have spent way too much time pondering and debating the WWJD question. In the end, a bunch of unknown writers made some money and poor Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons got the brunt of it.
Apple is under growing criticism for repeated problems with the manufacturers it employs overseas. The NY Times has reported in great detail incidents with FoxConn who manufacturers the iPad. Recent deaths, a rapid increase in suicide rates and deplorable worker conditions haven’t gone unnoticed. Now several organizations are calling for an ‘ethical iPhone 5’ and several petitions have been started to that end. CNN jumped in this morning helping us ponder our guilt.
I can’t help but wonder if we as the consumers have a role to play. Do we just move on and figure there is nothing we can do? Do I get rid of the MacBook I’m currently writing on and the iPhone in my pocket? I know, I’ll feel better if I don’t buy a new iPhone until the press dies down. Wait…wait…I’ll sign the petitions and Tweet about my disgust (on my iPhone 4S ironically).
What’s a girl to do?
The reality is that Apple is not alone. I can remember in my lifetime the deplorable conditions with Nike and Gap manufacturers and we’re all aware of the poverty still plaguing China. Anyone remember Kathie Lee? So, let’s stop pointing the finger at Apple. That said, I fully agree when you have $100 billion in cash, you are more than equipped to lead the way in this discussion…does Apple have the guts?
Do we as the consumers have the guts? Are we willing to pay more for our ridiculously cheap electronics? What about clothes? Honestly, you can buy a shirt at Old Navy for 99 cents? Somebody is being kept in poverty if we continue to expect more for less.
We’re so wickedly imbalanced as human beings. We want 99 cent T-shirts and pay $4 for our lattes. We buy $150 jeans (called True Religion ironically) and complain that factory workers in China are dying as we walk into the Apple Store to whine about the $499 price tag on an iPad (which by the way has more computing power than a room full of IBM’s ten years ago for a fraction of the price).
I don’t know what we can do – but let’s start by acknowledging there is problem that exists on both sides. I commit to do more as I make my purchases going forward. I hope and pray companies like Apple will do the same.