Essay on Apple Inc: The History of The Biggest Company
Apple Inc, a leading multinational corporation in the technology industry has its flaws that people are not even aware of the situation. Did you ever think about morals or ethics when it comes to a successful business? Probably not because the company wants us to know about the product rather than addressing their morals. Morality is the principles concerning the good or bad behavior. Ethics are moral principles concerning conduct. Apple is the first American company to reach $1,000,000,000 US dollars; however, with all the success, the company suffers from some unethical situations. In my opinion, Apple is a business that is immoral because of the poor working conditions leading to health problems, low-wages from the long working hours, and unusually large transaction fees.
Apple is known for successful products such as the iPhone, but these products are getting built in poor working conditions. Apple’s products get assembled in workshops at the Chinese industrial city of Suqian. Workers are exposed to chemicals and sometimes are without gloves or any other safety equipment. Earplugs and goggles are not always available, and this can be a problem when some factory machines are noisy and spray tiny metallic particles or coolant (chicagotribune.com). Workers have damaged their hearing because of the amount of noise at the workshop.
However, the workers wear a paper mask for protection, but the oil used for iPhone casings can splash on their eyes and can even cause them to grow bloodshot (theverge.com). Bloodshot refers to when the eyes get inflamed with blood due to tiredness or a liquid. The gloves are made from cotton, which gets soaked easily because of the fluids that end up leading to skin irritation. Also, due to the soaked gloves, when workers ate food at the cafeteria, it led to diarrhea. Poor working conditions at Apple have led to various health problems for the employees. It is shocking to hear about people suffering through these conditions for a company that is so successful.
Another problem that shows the immorality of Apple is the low-wages the workers receive. On a typical day, workers may stand for up to 10 hours to cut and blast iPhone casings (theverge.com). The factory policy for Apple states that the workers receive double pay for working on weekends. However, this policy is not ideally accurate. Employees work Monday through Friday, with one of these days off that they must make up later on in the week (theverge.com). The weekends are usually when the workers make up the day, and they do not receive overtime pay. Wages average for just $2 an hour.
An average worker makes about 4,000 yuan a month which is in the range of $650 to $850. The iPhone 7 costs $700, which is shocking when you compare it to the worker’s salary in China. An average iPhone assembly worker would have to spend their month’s pay to afford the phone they were assembling. Also, Apple uses students for labor because of the low-cost and their flexible schedule (Wikipedia). When you think about this situation, it feels so unethical for a company to be running like this. Workers are exhausted from their 12-hour shifts suffering from the conditions.
The third problem that shows the unethicality of Apple is the transaction fee. Apple charges unusual large transaction fees for using their system. Systems such as the iTunes or the App Store charge you extra fees for every transaction. Apple takes 30% of the cut from all purchases. This percentage is significantly high because a credit card company only makes 1-5% of the cut. Other online marketplaces take around 1-10% of the cut. So why does Apple charge so much for each transaction? People have complained and criticized Apple for this issue. For example, in July 2015, Spotify sent an email to its iOS (Apple) subscribers, urging them to cancel their App Store subscriptions, wait for expiration, and then sign up for paid membership through Spotify's website, bypassing the 30% App Store transaction fee and in result, making the service more affordable (Wikipedia). Apple stopped doing updates for Spotify because of the email that got sent. Consumers should know why they are being charged with such a hefty transaction fee when compared to other marketplaces. In my opinion, Apple’s way of not explaining this situation makes the consumer feel like the company simply doesn’t care.
Apple is one of the biggest electronic companies in the world. People love their products such as the iPhone, iPad, or Macbook, but did anyone think about how these products get built? Workers are suffering due to this company’s immoral situations. They are working in poor working conditions, and it causes health problems for individuals. They are getting paid low-wages for working exhausting long hours. Another unethical problem for Apple is charging the consumer unusually large transaction fees with no explanation or reason. In my opinion, this type of behavior is immoral for such a successful company. Apple has revolutionized the technology company, but these types of unethical behavior have to come to an end.