Foxconn staffers cuffed for leaking iPad 2 design in 2010
Don’t mess with Apple’s IP
It has emerged that Chinese contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn, famous for suicidal employees, authoritarian control over its workers, and contracts for Apple, last year handed three employees over to police for leaking the design of the iPad 2.
The news, only now emerging from China, comes a month after Chinese police formally laid charges against the former Foxconn employees.
They are alleged to have leaked the iPad 2’s design to third-party accessory builders, allowing them to prep knick-knacks like iPad cases before the Apple product hit the streets.
The design leak allowed the third party manufacturers to build iPad 2 cases that were the right thickness and accommodate the location of the camera on the rear of the device.
Foxconn has had a torrid couple of years in the media. The Apple gadget factory was criticized over working conditions when news started emerging of staff suicides. Its responses included hanging nets around staff accommodation, moving staff to factories with less press exposure than its now-notorious Shenzen facility, and trumpeted new staff deals.
In 2009, a Foxconn engineer committed suicide after he lost an iPhone 4 prototype. ®
"...Chinese contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn..."
"...The Apple gadget factory was criticized over working conditions..."
The suggestion being that Foxconn are somehow purely working for/run by/influenced by Apple?
You know as well as I do that Foxconn labels are found in virtually ALL PCs, Laptops and bits & bobs...
It's a bit like slating Citroën (and Citroën alone) for the employment or operational practices of Michelin or Pirelli.
This is all getting about as "impartial" as the Beeb...
Apple warmth and fuzziness
I love Apple.
Apple makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Apple products complement my organic food and locavore lifestyle.
I love Apple.
Foxconn make stuff for loads of people. Just because the arrest in question was about the iPad 2 (for which there is a lot of money to be made in accessories) doesn't mean this has anything to do with Apple. They've been quite tough on Foxconn and other contractors and have even terminated contracts due to health and safety violations.
Here's a list of Foxconn customers, I'm willing to bet that you have some of their products:
Apple, Acer, Amazon.com, Asus, Intel, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Nintendo, Nokia, Microsoft, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Vizio
Locked up for a reason
They forgot to pay the appropriate bribes. Entrepreneurship is good, as long as all the correct wheels are "greased".
Foxconn & not really
There's really two stories. 1) Foxconn 2) PRC managers and workers and union etc. Foxconn follows "when in Rome do as the Romans do", so a lot of the ongoings are PRC management - culture. Very big factories like Foxconn's ops are very hard to create in outside-culture patterns. Toyota successfully instills it's kata in PRC, with a swack of provisos because the prevailing culture still tends to bonk things.
Foxconn is Taiwanese. Check the local Taiwanese businessman's school in that area of China. You'll find PRC schooling problems in a school offering a Taiwanese program. Same pattern of problems - and problems to do with the kids. A very sensitive area. When the sky fell and all the money first dribbled away, the PRC Chinese boss of the Dongguan Taiwanese businessman's school decided to cut back. His budget and available money was actually unchanged, he just followed the local crash norms. So he skewered the living arrangements for the higher-paid-than-everybody-else white-face english-second-language teachers, and they left. Bonkering the school program and saving money that the businessmen employing him were happy to spend on their kids. That's the place where Foxconn operates.