05 February 2012

Do I Buy An IPad?

So I've been thinking about getting an iPad, but I'm also thinking about the reports of labor abuse in the Chinese factories where iPads are manufactured.

It looks as though lousy labor practices are widespread in the computer, tablet, and phone industries.  Plus the use of rare minerals whose purchase funds violence.  In other words, Apple isn't alone in using suppliers with lousy labor records; much of the stuff we consume is (comparatively) inexpensive precisely because manufacturing is outsourced to places where laws to protect workers are weak or nonexistent. 

Do I hope that the increased attention to Apple, and their publicized audits of the practices of manufacturers in their supply chain, will improve labor practices not only in places that manufacture for Apple, but also more broadly in China? 

Or am I just rationalizing my own desire for a piece of hardware that I hope will make it easier for me to get stuff done, but also looks really cool?