Mr. Daisy and Apple Podcast Reaction

I listened to the “Mr. Daisy and Apple” podcast on a Macbook Pro (while periodically checking my iPhone) and could not help but feel utterly powerless in the fight that Mike Daisy and Ira Glass are picking with Apple. Although I was appalled by some of Daisy’s reports, I am not going to get rid of my Macbook Pro or my iPhone. How has Apple won my unwavering loyalty while at the same time dodged highly public reports of their manufacturing negligence? Does the fact that I now know of the atrocities in Shenzhen and would still buy the iPhone 6 mean that I support unacceptable labor conditions? If I were to hold true to my values, I would stand against things like forcing workers into 34 hour shifts or exposing them to harmful neurotoxins. Yet, as I sit in Lewisburg, PA, very much disconnected from Shenzhen, I do not feel that I can combat the problem.

Daisy’s monologue is delivered powerfully, allowing the listener to feel present at these factories. I can picture the lifeless dorm rooms, the workers standing on the production line, speechless, and I can imagine the stoic guards at the gates. Daisy’s descriptions painted a picture of an absolutely unacceptable working environment. And who is going to be the one to fix it? Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this whole situation is that the people who are “trying” to fix the problem aren’t doing anything at all. Their efforts are merely a facade. Towards the end of the podcast, Glass and Daisy discuss the reports that independent auditors and Apple produce on the state of the various manufacturing companies in Shenzhen. While both Apple and these independent auditors have “standards” that they aim to enforce, they are seldom adopted. Apple’s own report states that only 32% of companies audited actually follow the standards.

This problem will undoubtedly persist. Until consumers like me take a stand against Apple’s products, the company will continue to go about business as usual. And I do not see myself taking a stand any time soon.


5 responses to “Mr. Daisy and Apple Podcast Reaction

  1. In your post, you make a startling yet accurate point that nothing will change until Apple’s customers take a stand. The consumer base that has enjoyed Apple’s innovative products since the iPod has too much to lose by highly criticizing Apple. Do I want workers to experience better worker conditions? Yes, of course. But in our western society which is incredibly tech savvy, we cannot go one day without checking our emails on our iPhones. Alas, I do not see myself taking a stand anytime soon, either.


  2. I also listened to this podcast while using three different apple products. I also think that it is unlikely for me to change my consumption patterns and preferences even now knowing this harsh reality. Do you think consumer changes are the only way to enforce these standards? I also thought that statistic of 32% compliance was very interesting and wondered why Apple would bother posting such a concerning number.


    • I think consumer changes are just the tip of the iceberg, but are nonetheless a huge piece of the puzzle. The reputation for being “cool” that Apple has built up over the past decade has a lot more mileage left in the tank and will bolster Apple’s sales for years to come. However, further down the road, I think Apple will lose steam. More and more, our society is becoming interested in this notion of ethical business practices, which I think will eventually trickle down to affect our purchasing decisions.


      • I think one of the reasons people don’t take a stand right now is because of the fact that people think that Apple is the best product on the market when that is false. While this topic is somewhat subjective you cannot deny that iPhone is currently years behind the Samsung Galaxy S5 and other android phones. While I do realize that some of the Apple appeal is the simplicity, we are reaching a point where as a whole, the general american consumer is very tech savvy and can learn how to use these better products even if they aren’t as simple. Because there are better products on the market and companies like Samsung are starting to regain some market share, I have faith that the american consumer will soon realize that they have being shammed into spending more money on a lower quality product by a company who turns a blind eye to their manufacturer’s inhumane working conditions.


  3. I agree with what you said about how nothing will change until people begin to take a stand against Apple. I too was using my Apple products while listening to the podcast. Even though I was listening to Daisey talk about how poorly treated workers are who create the iPhone I was using, I was not going to stop use it and do not see myself stopping anytime soon. People are constantly using their Apple products in their daily lives and would find it too much of a hassle to take a stand and eliminate them out of their lives.


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