I used to like Steve Jobs and truth be told- I still do.
The problem over in China is that eventually disposable workers begin to realize that nobody gives a shit about their welfare. Especially when there is a couple billion of you.
Sometimes, shitty working conditions and low pay result in unions. Maybe Apple should avoid all of that potential margin erosion and start looking for new labor pools to exploit. Maybe something on the African continent before those Foxconn workers do something really nasty. Like burn the place down and demand a decent wage.
Steve Jobs was emblematic of the extreme greed in America. Given the opportunity to employ American workers at a decent wage- or exploit Chinese workers at starvation wages- he did what all greedy capitalists have done throughout the life span of this country. Capitalists and the aristocracy exploit cheap labor pools where ever they can find them. It's just as natural as breathing air.
Why settle for 50% profit margins when you can make 200%? That's the big sucking sound that Ross Perot predicted oh so long ago.
Foxconn employes 80,000 people who put together Iphones. They had a big riot over the weekend and so far it's difficult to figure out what happened given how China censors every adverse news piece originating there. Foxconn's the place where workers make a buck an hour and swan dive off the buildings. Workers are often forced to live on the property as commute times are terrible and impractical when you are working twelve hour days- or too expensive to make given the big bucks Apple is shelling out.
I own an Apple computer and an Ipod. They will be my last Apple products. I am no longer supporting the Chinese WalMart nor any American corporation assembling shit overseas or in Mexico if I can help it. And I have to tell you- it is nearly impossible to avoid buying Chinese junk. I bought this Toro leaf blower the other day and I'll be damned if it wasn't made in Mexico.
So here's a piece on how Apple spends 170 bucks to build a phone and the sells it for 650. I arrived at the 200% profit by allowing for labor and building costs, along with transportation and shipping back to the U.S. It's also kind of hard to sort out how much cell phone companies/carriers subsidize Apple. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57512904-37/iphone-5-may-cost-apple-$167.50-to-build-says-one-estimate/
Of course, all of those costs are passed on to the consumer in the form of 100 dollar a mo. phone bills with contracts. Instead of 40 dollar bills with no contracts. But no matter you've all got money to burn...
Get your Iphone 5. Every mutual fund, hedge fund, indexed fund, Apple and it's shareholders, and 80,000 Chinese workers are counting on you.