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Apple and Foxconn broke a Chinese labor law to build the latest iPhones (bloomberg.com)
210 points by freewizard 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 141 comments

A more accurate title is: suppliers break chinese labor law and apple's internal standards in order to meet deadlines.

Apple does occasional audits, but what more can you do when the people you audit lie to you because they _want_ to work?

> While overtime is allegedly often required, most workers want to work overtime to make more money, according to an anonymous diary written by a CLW investigator in the factory.

Apple can do math. Apple can look at what they're getting and what they're paying for it and run the figures and see what that comes to in terms of pay for hours worked. At a certain point, asking for X and putting down rules that make X impossible or highly improbable isn't getting conned, it's trying to get to plausible deniability.

The complaints here don't seem to be that the workers were underpaid for hours worked. It's hard to imagine what kind of math could let Apple look at "what they're getting and what they're paying for it" and deduce the amount of overtime or percentage of temps.

There's no question, they're definitely accountable for violations like this. I think they know that, which is why they have the monitoring and interview processes in place.

The question for me is, what's the mechanism for enforcing accountability down the chain.

Foxconn operates the plants, so what is the mechanism for incentivising them to comply? What penalties or sanctions do they face for violations? That's really the only way to get to the root of this, but it can't be financial penalties to Apple. That would create perverse incentives and moral hazard.

> Foxconn operates the plants, so what is the mechanism for incentivising them to comply?

Presumably the rule of law, and penalties under Chinese law. The issue here is that the rule of law and punishment are both fairly lax in China.

It isn't clear to me that they're "definitely accountable". The monitoring could be in place for reputation reasons. Apple probably doesn't want negative headlines across the western press about how their phones are made with slave labour, or what ever.

> The monitoring could be in place for reputation reasons

Which again, comes down to accountability.

What accountability are we talking about? As written it seems like we were talking about legal accountability.

There's lots of discussion on the accountability question from the last Bloomberg expose of Apple's subcontracting practices-


> That's really the only way to get to the root of this, but it can't be financial penalties to Apple. That would create perverse incentives and moral hazard.

I don't follow. What perverse incentives and moral hazard?

Apple would financially benefit from the abuse of Chinese workers.

People are eager to work overtime when they're not making enough money working for their regular hours.

That'll just have Foxconn now begin to "overcharge" Apple and keep the difference to themselves. None will reach to the employees.

This is exactly why Steve Jobs hired Tim Cook.

His whole job was to lean on suppliers and get them to do the most work for the least amount of pay. He basically trimmed all the fat from their Chinese suppliers, streamlined their production and essentially blackmailed suppliers to meet their insane production quotas and deadlines.

I'm never surprised when I hear this stuff now considering it was Cook who started all of this and now he's the guy running the company.

Wouldn't it be the opposite? They overpaid because these people were working all of this overtime?

"It all centers on Zhengzhou, a city of six million people in an impoverished region of China. Running at full tilt, the factory here, owned and operated by Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn, can produce 500,000 iPhones a day. Locals now refer to Zhengzhou as “iPhone City.” ... Foxconn is Apple’s largest supplier. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer." https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/technology/apple-iphone-c...

> While overtime is allegedly often required, most workers want to work overtime to make more money, according to an anonymous diary written by a CLW investigator in the factory.

So it is ok to force me to do overtime if my colleagues want to stay? Does not matter if I am overstressed, have children or any other circumstance?


They want the overtime because they have families. These are often itinerant workers who want to come to a factory, work hard for a while, send their wages back to their home town, and then return. There are many who resent efforts to “save” them.

You're attributing a singular desire to everyone to justify a crime. Given 10 people, if 9 want to work overtime that doesn't make it ok to force the 10th person to work overtime.

The same argument works in the other direction, except then it’s 9 to 1.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a friend of the working person. I’m just aware that people are projecting their own values onto this situation in ways that are unfortunately not helpful to many workers who want long shifts. Whether or not they should be allowed to work as long as they want is a big, thorny question.

> The same argument works in the other direction, except then it’s 9 to 1.

Will not be better to let them choose? (For real without pressures).

> I’m just aware that people are projecting their own values onto this situation in ways that are unfortunately not helpful to many workers who want long shifts.

Long shifts are profitable only if everybody else is not doing them. Otherwise, everybody has more money and prices go up causing inflation. "Extra shifts" should - by definition - be the exception, not the rule.

> Whether or not they should be allowed to work as long as they want is a big, thorny question.

Higher accident rate, worse health, more stress, etc. are not good. If money really will solve their problems, it will be better to reduce Apple/Foxconn profits in exchange for better lives for their employees.

> Long shifts are profitable only if everybody else is not doing them. Otherwise, everybody has more money and prices go up causing inflation. "Extra shifts" should - by definition - be the exception, not the rule.

That’s assuming the money stays in that region and doesn’t get sent to other places. People might come to this area to work but send money back to their families in other places.

Who knows, really? This is as close as I come to a reliable source: https://mobile.twitter.com/i/status/1171140556472442880

> The same argument works in the other direction, except then it’s 9 to 1.

The alternative to compulsory overtime doesn't have to be mandatory non-overtime.

Few people want long shifts. Most people want more money. The companies should pay enough that overtime isn't so attractive.

The overtime is to get more work done, not less work for more money.

Hire more people and pay more. The interests of the workers and employers are opposite.

I was surprised by the figure of 500K iPhone per day... then I checked total sales per year. In 2018 [1], Apple sold 217M iPhone. So even 500K is a low estimate, as that would not be enough production (0.5M * 365 < 217M...) So the figure is closer to 600K iPhones per day, or almopst 7 phones per second, all year round.

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/263401/global-apple-ipho...

Across all final assembly lines.

This is just one assembly line.

In China yes it is, it is against the law to do it and China is not a place where rule of law exists

Rule of law is not a binary absolute. It is a spectrum. So, yes, it exists in China, to a greater extent than some countries, to a lesser extent than others.

I understand it makes for a nice meme to claim that it is completely absent, though.

Apple does a lot more than occasional audits. If they didn't the next iPhone would be posted all over blogs and twitter. Yet they are able to keep quite a tight grip and leaks. This only works if you have control of the entire chain.

It was, we know basically everything there is to know about the next iPhones for quite a while.

Wasn't the exterior design of the next iPhone leaked months ago?

> A more accurate title is: suppliers break chinese labor law and apple's internal standards in order to meet deadlines.

Ah yes, of course Apple is not to blame here...

Apple going in bed with Foxconn is their choice. Apple can opt for a more fair supplier who pays their employees fair wage, and give them more fair rights (not up to Western standards but nonetheless a substantional improvement). If a small company like Fairphone can do it [1], so can Apple.

[1] https://www.fairphone.com/en/our-goals/social-work-values/

Many things are harder, not easier, for large companies than for small.

And many things are easier, not harder, for large companies than for small.

This is a non sequitur.

It has taken Fairphone considerable effort to arrange these working conditions. It effectively makes their device more expensive, and gives them far less choice on suppliers.

Apple is such a powerful company with deep pockets that they could easily arrange better working conditions for employees of Foxconn if they wanted.

Then they lose business to phone makers that don’t choose to arrange for better conditions for employees.

This is a problem that needs to be solved by governments.

Apple doesn't compete on price point; they make luxury products. I would argue this means they would be more in a position to improve the conditions for their employees than other companies.

Government intervention would help, but I assume not before labour organises to put pressure on the government in the first place.

Exactly - they're even in the position to force this change, and then use it in their marketing since they're one of only a few companies with the economies of scale to support this (outside of those tailored to it like Fairphone).

Apple is already charging a premium for their stuff. Selling a more-expensive-than-the-competition product by pushing hard on style and branding is what they do.

For those that haven't worked in a more traditional engineering /factory setting.

This "overtime is where workers make extra $" is the rule in the west as well.

> they lie to you because they _want_ to work?

They lie to you because they _want to exploit their workers_, which is exactly why the audits were in place.

Which is one of many reasons to outsource, so you can't be held accountable...

Nobody is surprised about Foxconn breaking any kind of law. I worked with them directly at a customs agency's software department. During our 6 month integration project, Foxconn caused the resignation of one senior developer and one software specialist. They basically wanted to use our systems to store their private data and gradually demanded that we act like their entire ERP "OR NO DEAL". We ended up finally standing our ground and only did customs integrations and they built an actual IT team instead of using us as their own IT team.

It's not just Foxconn, I have friends in China that work with Chinese tech companies and they're pretty much all the same. They'll squeeze every last inch of advantage they can get out of any business deal and push things right up to, or beyond the brink of a breakdown in relations. It's utterly cutthroat.

I have family over there as well, my wife is Chinese, but those connections are up north. She has an uncle who was a mining company executive, I can't talk about him it's too dangerous. Really.

She has an uncle who was a mining company executive, I can't talk about him it's too dangerous. Really.

Then why talk about him?

Probably just using the past tense is enough to hint that he is dead or no longer in that line of work

Here in Australia I've heard people complain about selling houses to the Chinese (I believe mainlanders), where they would buy the property but before handing over the money they would drag their feet and demand repairs, additions etc to the house.

Most people would give in since they would be in the middle of purchasing a new house and needed the money right then, and going through court or whatever would take too long.

Um, how is that odd? Demanding various repairs prior to closing on a house is very common in the US as well. Anyone handing over $100's of thousands or millions for a house would want any problems repaired prior to closing the deal. And to rely on the promises to fix it as soon as the buyer pays for the house is simply laughable.

Read closer.

> they would buy the property but before handing over the money they would drag their feet and demand repairs

The deals were already closed when the demands were made.

I find it hard to believe, to be honest. Aren't there any ways in Australia to make selling of a house "atomic", with ownership transferred the same moment the money are transferred? Or they just move there without having ownership?

I have no comment on the prevalence of this behavior, but I don't think it would be impossible. There's multiple levels of agreement (offer, purchase and sale, closing), many of which are conditional, and if a buyer backs out late in the process it can put your property back on the market for a long time and lower its price due to real estate magic, plus you could lose the new property. Selling my home to buy another while holding a full time job while my real furniture was in storage and replaced by staged furniture was one of the most exhausting things I've ever done in my life.

>if a buyer backs out late in the process it can put your property back on the market for a long time and lower its price due to real estate magic, plus you could lose the new property

Sounds like something covered by tort law.

Hopefully one would be able to sue and reclaim the costs of the renovations afterwards. But I have little knowledge in that area, especially in Australia. I was only commenting on how the situation was not atomic and how such a scam could happen in the first place.

How would you make it "atomic", unless you have a cash deal; which is rare and likely nets you a worse price (at least in the US).

In NY, the standard is roughly that after signing a contract the buyer writes a check for 10% of the purchase price to the seller's attorney in escrow. This is typically done after a home inspection, but you still have mortgage and potentially other contingencies. If the buyer backs out for a reason not stipulated in the contract, the seller is entitled to the 10% escrow as damages - but that is not going to happen without litigation. If the seller tries to back out, the buyer will have a lien on the property.

Every state and every transaction can be different, but once you get far enough along, it is generally in your interest to have the deal close. If not, you're going to start a months long process pretty much from scratch.

Someone asking for an addition though would be well beyond what is reasonable; and I can't imagine any seller actually agreeing to that.

In Europe we have laws that make it atomic in effect. The money the contract is signed, the deal is closed, the ownership transfer is made and the money is owed and can be demanded through the justice system if the other party doesn't pay up. Having evidence of the state of the house during the signing of the contract (ideally attached to the contract itself) is enough.

You realize that Foxconn is a Taiwanese company, right? In fact, the owner/ founder is currently running for president in Taiwan...

Doesn't sound like breaking laws if you agreed

>Nobody is surprised about Foxconn breaking any kind of law.

I don't think anyone is surprised about Apple breaking labour laws, either.

FWIW I heard that Apple FTEs are also expected to be reachable all kinds of hours. Those who try to have some sense of life outside work get dinged in ratings. If this is how Apple treats its employees why would they care about some overtime at Foxconn?

While it's possible that there are specific positions where this is a requirement, it is absolutely not a general requirement in SWE (Apple's Software Engineering group).

The labor law in question is having more temporary workers than the law allows. I don't see much issue with this because the article highlights the cause - seasonal fluctuations.

If they overhire, the excess staff would be stuck with nothing to do. And consider the negative press any time companies announce layoffs.

Excess staff aren't like machines you can just turn off and turn back on during peak seasons. Can't just create an API and invent AWS with them.

There are some companies that don't fire excess staff during slow periods. Staff come in half the month for half pay. And then when things pick up, back to normal. I don't know how they'll handle health benefits though.

> I don't know how they'll handle health benefits though.

Are health benefits in China provided by employers? I always understood that (anti) pattern to be mostly unique to the US, due to salary caps during WWII.

>Are health benefits in China provided by employers?

I got this from the article. It's not a clear answer though

Dispatch workers don’t receive benefits that full-time employees get, such as paid sick leave, paid vacations and social insurance, which provides medical, unemployment and pension coverage, according to CLW.

Base wages CAN be higher for dispatch workers, and are paid by third-party firms on a short-term basis and are not employed directly by Foxconn


Social insurance is the keyword there. Might be an amount paid by company on behalf of the employee. Looks like a 401k-ish scheme.

South African expat in Norway here. In South Africa health care is technically provided by state but if you don't want to die or lose a limb when you go in for something minor you need private insurance which is normally provided by employer.

In Norway my employer also providers supplemental insurance that provides lower wait times.

So no, not unique to US really. What countries have you lived in?

Many countries have some sort of premium health insurance as a benefit from the employer, but that's generally a benefit in 'good jobs' that's not relevant for low-paid factory or call center workers - I mean, if someone's getting paid the legal minimum wage or close to that, they're also getting the legal minimum of benefits, not extras.

I had BUPA in the UK at a previous employer - its not actually worth it as you have to pay tax on the benefit, and if you do have a serious problem you don't get anything for it.

Sounds like you had a low end plan. The BUPA plan my employer provides covers everything, from GP visits and dental care, to major surgery in private hospitals (tried and tested this range between myself and various colleagues).

Significantly better than dealing with the NHS these days, as I'm able to get a GP appointment with a few hours notice, and I've witnessed someone go in with a slip disk in their back and be in surgery 30 days later (minimum period of time required to be eligible for surgery to give the disk a chance to slip back in on its own).

They even give you a menu with a choice of meals during surgical recovery. The contrast is stark.

Oh, and zero deductible. Everything was free, completely covered. Effectively getting the policy at a significant discount (by only paying income tax on the cost of the plan), and corporate policies are significantly better value than individual policies anyway, as the likelihood of claims (on aggregate across the entire corporation) are lower.

What does it cost you on your tax coding though, its not free

In Poland it's not for major problems like cancer - which are decently covered by normal healthcare, but for regular specialist doctor visits. If I want to visit allergist, dentist or psychiatrist I can wait few months or a year for national healthcare or go next week private.

> they're also getting the legal minimum of benefits, not extras.

Yes... In US that is "no care" (not actually the case as there is Medicare and Medicaid and emergency treatment) while in South Africa it is care with low efficiency and high likelihood of secondary infections and complications.

China doesn't have rule of law in general, so any answer you get will always be qualified as things vary drastically.

China has something approaching universal healthcare, so those are already covered by payroll taxes. Employers can provide benefits above that, which is often necessary since Chinese health benefits aren’t that great (they are capped rather than having a deductible), however I doubt factory workers would get much extra.

> I don't see much issue with this

It's not your judgement to make - there is already a law. Besides, it's the job of the management to deal with ups and downs of supply and stocks. They are equipped to deal with it. Why should it fall on the shoulders of the worker? They have families to feed.

With this endless watering down of all worker protection, we will soon be bringing Victorian workhouses.

>It's not your judgement to make

You'd be right if I'd said, "This is no issue. Or there's nothing wrong with it."

I prefaced the statement with, "I Don't see..." In other words, it's my own opinion on the matter - not a blanket statement on behalf of everyone, just mine.

I want to believe you'd have come to the same, on your own when well rested.

Although the article also said 20% of the workforce was college students who had to go back to school anyway - that sounds like a win-win situation

> Can't just create an API and invent AWS with them.


That sounds surprisingly doable.

And that's how the temp agency was invented

Just some of the other violations...

- During peak production periods, resignations are not approved.

- Some dispatch workers have not received promised bonuses.

- Student workers do overtime during peak production season, even though regulations on student internships prohibit this.

- Some workers put in at least 100 overtime hours each month, during busy production periods. Chinese labor law limits monthly overtime to 36 hours.

- Workers must get approval to not do overtime. If requests are denied and staff still choose not to work overtime, they are admonished by managers and miss out on future overtime opportunities.

- Workers sometimes have to stay at the factory for unpaid meetings at night.

- The factory doesn’t provide adequate protective equipment for staff.

- Work injuries are not reported by the factory, and verbal abuse is common there.

> - During peak production periods, resignations are not approved.

How the hell do they enforce this?

Easy: you have to get a written release from your employer before you start your new job. They simply withhold that release (HR gets really confused when hiring from foreign countries that have no such concept).

This feels like being the property of someone..

I have had experienced this also in India. We call it No objection certificate (NOC).

Does that mean your old employer has no objections that you work for any new employer or could they object depending on who the new employer is?

Welcome to China

I have a tiny anecdote about China.

Long ago I spent days on Omegle (the random chat website). I talked to a chinese woman. Most chinese people I met there were pretty sensitive and slow to type (english is not their favorite language maybe). Rapidly I told her how much China has influenced me as a kid. Food, silk clothing, martial art, architecture, philosophy (that's a bit broader than China but you get it). She was happy for a second then said "well not everything is good here". Vaguely hinting at the idea that government was too strict. Nothing revolutionary but she then went silent all of a sudden. She apologized a few times for saying such things about her country with some "oh my god" and then left.

I since know a bit more what freedom of speech means.

Well, you know, communism.

Probably by not paying?

This is what happens when incentives are not aligned with regulations. The companies say "we'll follow these regulations" but then turn around and tell the managers "meet this deadline". If you want people to follow regulations, you tell them "follow the regulations" and then if you happen to meet your deadlines, that's a bonus (and if the regulations get in the way of your deadlines, then add more capacity or change your deadlines).

> This is what happens when incentives are not aligned with regulations.

No, this is what happens when one leaves the fox guarding the hen house.

If incentives were aligned with regulations, there would be no need for regulations to begin with.

Lacking an incentive to stay away from the hen house, foxes will naturally move to "guard" them.

Same thing with managers. Lacking an incentive to follow regulations, they will naturally focus on instinctual outcomes; working harder, producing more, building quicker, etc. You need to provide incentives to stop them from doing the obvious, instinctual thing. Just like Foxes!

Bloomberg is so full of bias it's preposterous: Apple themselves detected the violation in a contracted factory, and reported promptly. But that doesn't make a clickbaity title.

It would be fascinating to know why Forbes and Bloomberg seem funded to deride Apple.

Quote from another discussion about a Bloomberg claim:

> Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” last October — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.


I wonder how rich people even come up with the idea that they are above normal human beings. The idea feels completely unnatural to me, and I strongly believe that one would have to be educated into the idea. Something like school for racists or upbringing for racists. Racist is not the right word but it is the closest matching the description I can think of.

A lot of research seems to indicate that this is a curious facet of biology: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/power-c...

Anecdotally people with power have been doing terrible things for probably most of human history.

Humans have an incredible capacity for rationalizing that which benefits them. There is no special upbringing or education needed, it’s been happening since the dawn of time.

>The idea feels completely unnatural to me

The idea of skydiving feels completely unnatural to me.

But like with many other things - this is mostly because I haven't been there even once.

What does that even mean?

I haven't been skydiving, and I haven't been rich.

It sadly seems to be a social norm to the point where others /not benefitting/ in any way expect it and hold others to a lower standard.

I suspect it is because speaking out against abuse of power would have historically gotten you and possibly your family executed.

Lots of research has shown connections between power and judgement.

I.e. power corrupts, because when you gain power, you judge more harshly those with less of it.

Humans have a lot of natural tendencies that are counterproductive to a peaceful society.

Here you are commenting on how you are better than rich people. Did you go to school to be educated into this idea or did it come naturally?

Actually I was going for equality. Not equality of outcome, but equality of basic human rights. Let's take a recent example. Nobody deserves to be a sex slave trapped in an Epstein's island. Wouldn't you agree? But yet a bunch of rich people thought it was fine. As long as it is not their daughter. I would argue this is not natural and initial human instinct. You would have to corrupt your sense of meaning pretty badly to come to this point. Like take some lessons in lack of empathy and sadism. And please don't try to draw fake symmetry between me and people like this.

Why do you think they're called elites?

I bet the answer is delusion. Maybe it arises from insecurity?

Have you considered that a society with hierarchy provides some advantage that creates an evolutionary equilibrium? It’s seen in many, many species of animals, especially mammals and primates.

"some" rich people please.

Pretty much highlighting slavery outsourced. We all hate to fill those workers' shoes, but love the fruits of their hard labour.

OT: American Factory (2019) documentary was a good watch too.

Edit: Vote with your wallet in capitalism; what goes around comes around to bite ...

What's worse is it's not like that the fruits of their hard labor would be more expensive if they were treated better.

Companies like Apple would just need to cut into their ginormous profit margins instead of being able to sit on literally (edit: hundreds of) billions of dollars in cash.

Relevant to that, there's a good talk by Herman Mark Schwartz [0], in which he reports that total offshore holdings of top 15 US firms exceeds $1 T (more than Obama's ARRA stimulus of $830 B). Excludes onshore cash, and Apple's is a significant fraction of this pile. He argues that monopoly IP rights (originally public goods) held by cash-rich firms leads to lack of real investment.

[0] Wealth and Secular Stagnation: The Role of Industrial Organization and Intellectual Property Rights. https://t.co/ZQ5RgHGdFo

I wonder if the additional cost would even be significant to pay workers better and provide reasonable work hours. How much total, time is spent by actual people working on each iPhone in these factories? Is that even a full hour? I understand the hourly rate is less than $10. So how much difference could paying them well possibly make?

The issue on the article seems to be about too many contact workers during rush time which honestly seems reasonable if not inevitable.

“Literally billions” is a severe understatement, it’s $245 billion.

Until fines of 10+ billion dollars are enforced on violating companies along with multi-month jail-time for executives, nothing will change.

The use of dispatch workers doesn't happen by magic. It had to be an explicit decision by senior executives. It required several executives in Foxconn to knowingly and deliberately break labour laws and Apple to close their eyes and look the other way.

You know it has to be pretty damn bad if they're breaking chinese labor laws...

Does that mean Apple is building an exceptionally high number of devices for the Sept 10 keynote, anticipating high demand?

Not sure why these phones are still large phones without Touch ID.

I hear they will releasing a new iPhone SE the size of an iPhone 8 in April that I'm interested in. Though probably no Touch ID in that which stinks.

Touch ID is a way better UX ..grab phone with thumb and boom phone is open. One quick/seamless step vs. Face ID...grab phone, look at it and swipe up. Three steps vs. one ..no thanks Apple! Bad UX ..making the user do more then before!

> Not sure why these phones are still large phones without Touch ID

Because people like them and people pay for them?

Your opinion of preference for TouchID seems to not be shared by the majority who prefers FaceID. it just works

Hmmm go outside of HN land and you will get/see a different set of consumer metrics.

Well, generally, when you grab your phone, you’re going to be looking at it anyway...

Well, generally, when you grab your phone, you're going to have your thumb/finger close to the TouchID button anyway.

Furthermore, having your phone flat on the table and just wanting to peak at it is a major and common use case I'm anybody can relate to. I'm fine with FaceID but definitely regard it as a step back and the cases where I can't use FaceID or it has failed easily outnumber situations where I couldn't use TouchID.

Removes the use case where I activate Siri while driving by reaching in my pocket.

Exactly Face ID makes things even more dangerous in this use case that millions and millions do each day yet shouldn't.

As you say, your thumb is on the front of the phone already. You just slide it up on the screen as you look at it. So it's just a change from holding the thump on one particular spot, to sliding it up a little anywhere.

But some people find it easier to swipe up with another finger and not have to hold their thumb anywhere in particular at all. That's fine too.

Personally I grab my iPhone 8 with my thumb right on the home button and before phone lines up to my face it's unlocked/ready to use.

That's comparing to Face ID ..grab phone..look at phone and push up. That's three steps vs. one.

You can also go the route of the pixel which has the sensor on the back with perfect placement. And it's faster then any apple unlock ive used.

last 2 phones I've had have had a fingerprint sensor on the back. Every time I pick it up, the phone is unlocked before my eyes hit the screen. Any kind of face unlocking just seems clunky in comparison

Touch ID never worked well for me, Face ID is way better. I keep getting confused on my Mac when things don't magically unlock like they do on the phone and then I have to remember I have to hit the Touch ID sensor.

And rumors are the new phones will have a wider-angle lens and IR projector to make it work better at more awkward angles (e.g. on a table)

I use both an XR and 7 daily. I have no desire for Touch ID on my XR, it is much simpler than the 7.

It’s not just the unlocking, it’s the ease of entering saved passwords and logging into apps.

Also, you’ve counted grab phone as a step in one of your examples not the other, really it’s 1 step vs 1.

The only downside of Face ID is, I can’t easily unlock my phone when it’s flat on my desk.

For the "flat on my desk" thing, I picked up an upright wireless charging dock. Just set my phone on it, it's angled upright so I can see and use it, and it charges, while also being able to "grab-and-go"


Maybe remove “Apple” too in that case?

I know it's not Apple itself but their (biggest ?) supplier, but isn't that the 'Apple DNA' to don't give a f* for their employees? Anyone here with experience working in multiple big tech companies (including Apple) to compare ?

Strangely I think this is the rare case where public's goal is more aligned with Apple's goal than one might think: no more labour violations, no more headlines. But... be careful what you wish for. Robots. When all iPhones are assembled by robots there will not be any labour violations anymore. But exactly what problem will we have solved in the end?

> But exactly what problem will we have solved in the end?

I see what you are saying but sooner or later robots will be used. If you don't agree that they should be used if they are more efficient, then by the same token we shouldn't use computers when it's putting people holding calculators out of work.

Have you considered the ethical concerns regarding allowing humans to work doing menial tasks which can be automated to the scale you are saying?

Are you convinced that no other work would become available for these people that would justify their cessation of manual labor?

You should be careful about how you distribute the benefits of you automation, not the automation itself.

I know America is really bad at redistributing wealth, but society doesn’t actually have to be that way.

Inequality is measured by the Gini coefficient, and the US isn’t that bad.

Not as bad as what? For which other countries is wealth inequality more important to Americans than the US? It sounds like you think the priority for solving wealth inequality should be elsewhere. Where?

Societies with robots tend to be wealthier than those without. The big problem with robots is wealth inequality.

I have to say that let the market play out the rules. When people don't want to work overtime, they can leave the job to those who need to work overtime, and once those people who need to work overtime finally at a stage that he doesn't need to work overtime, the job will either increase its standard or go to another place where people need these jobs.

We should have let the market sold out child labour too. Why have laws at all?

Actually, I think so. poverty is a problem should be solved, not child labour. If there is a place where children has to work, children has to work. They will need money to survive, or have something for their future generation. And yes, their lives are fked, not because there is not law for that, it is because of poverty. If all standards are the same across the globe, does developing world stand any chance of stealing those unwanted jobs and make their life better?

Many young people in China don't want to work overtime, and many do not work in factories, and many demand higher salary, that's how jobs are shifting to Vietnam, Africa and so on. Things will just work out.

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