Two Evils: iPhone 5 Foxconn Suicides; Galaxy S3 Child Abuse

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A report from a Chinese Labor Watchdog is set to make Apple’s problems with Foxconn and reported suicide attempts seem minor. Dangerous workplace, untreated injuries, hitting children and making them stand up. Could it get any worse?

iPhone 5 linked to Foxconn suicides however Galaxy S3 may soon get tainted with child abuse claims

The report is talking about HEG Electronics, a manufacturer who makes gadgets for Samsung, where children under 16 years of age have to work and are treated like dogs reports Gizmodo. China Labor Watch said that they were stunned when they made contact with some of the children working there. Their findings included 80% of the workforce in the factory being made up of student laborers; this meant around 50 to 100 children. The children had to work in the same conditions as the adults, in harsh conditions and were paid only 70% of the adults. They also had to undertake dangerous jobs, which in some cases resulted in injuries.

Most of the children found employment during the summer, which is common practice at Foxconn. One 14 year old said that she had fallen on the stairs on her way to the factory from the dormitory and was unable to work. The company would not take her to hospital and they also refused her sick leave and they deducted 6 days from her pay due to her being absent. Following this she was too sick to work and asked to be able to rest, her request was denied and when she went to the dormitory for rest the company deducted 3 days’ pay. In June she was sacked for no reason and expelled in July.

There were also reports that the management abuse workers, even hitting them for slow movement and late completion of orders. Employees were often fined and made to stand up all day.

Samsung have said that they will make a field survey at the earliest chance they get to check for violations of labour. Will this make any difference and prevent children being abused while making smartphones?

The 2012 smartphone battle will involve the Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5. The Galaxy S3 is already out and selling in record number with Samsung having to kick production up drastically. As for the iPhone 5, analysts predict Apple may sell close to 150 million units. So both companies are expected to place tall orders with their respective manufacturers.


Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.