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Foxconn warns phones prices will rise

Decent working conditions cost more. Sorry

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Mobile phone prices are set to rise, warns the owner of the Foxconn factories.

The Hon Hai Precision Industry Co has suggested customers of Apple, Nokia and others should expect a hike given the amount Foxconn has been spending on improving conditions for workers, and the fact that it has employed a PR agency for the first time.

Local Citibank analyst Chang Kaiwei has been telling the Commercial Times newspaper that price rises are imminent, as Reuters reports.

Foxconn's new PR efforts are evident, with the company recently getting in touch to tell us about how much it doesn't abuse its employees or visiting students. But all that touchy-feely stuff costs money, which is going to have to come from the pockets of customers.

It's easy to say that one would be happy to pay an extra tenner for something made by workers who aren't paid in rice; but the electronics business is very price-sensitive, and Hon Hai will have to take care not to improve workers' conditions to the point where the brands take their business elsewhere. ®

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