Comment: Apple is better by design, but does little for western workers

Apple employs 25,000 people in the US but the Chinese company that make its products has 800,000 employees. Time to rethink the model, says John NaughtonAs is well known in these quarters, Apple makes beautiful kit. Actually, that’s not quite true. Apple designs beautiful kit, but the stuff is made by Foxconn, a huge oriental company. That’s why, on the back of my iPad, it says: “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” And therein lie a number of tales.The standard narrative is the ironic one about rich westerners with more money than sense enjoying luxury gadgets manufactured by poorly paid Chinese workers under commercial security so paranoid that it has allegedly led to suicides. But there are other narratives which receive less attention. The one that concerns me just now is what all this “designed in California, made somewhere else” syndrome means for us.

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