Apple is known for creating state-of-the-art electronic products that become the most wanted items of the day. Products such as the iPhone, iPod, iPad, and MacBook have revolutionized the electronics industry and made Apple one of the most successful companies in the world.
However, recent incidents have exposed the unfair labor practices at Foxconn and Wintek, Apple’s suppliers in China. The mental and physical health of workers at their facilities are overlooked as they are constantly under great pressure and overworked. Many workers live in crowded dorms and work longer hours than what Apple has suggested – Apple claims there is a maximum 60-hour workweek except in unusual circumstances.
Photo: "Phone Story"
Last week Italian developer Molleindustria released a new iPhone app called “Phone Story”.
Why was this app different than the other 425,000 apps?
This app was a satirical game that allowed you to play through the entire supply chain of an iPhone.
Why did Apple ban this app?
Likely because it exposes the nastiest parts of what it takes to make our electronics.
The game starts in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here you are in charge of mining for coltan, a critical element in smart phones. The kicker is, that many coltan mines in the eastern DRC have horrific histories of child labor, military and rebel violence, human rights abuses, and disastrous environmental impacts.
The game’s point is to highlight all the above, and judging by Apple’s reaction it highlighted it well. Within hours of the game’s release Apple had banned the app and removed it from its store.