HolyCoast: Just How Much Do You Want to Pay for An iPhone?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Just How Much Do You Want to Pay for An iPhone?

Another story on CBS Sunday Morning caught my attention today.  They did a piece on online activism and how some folks have been able to affect decisions by major companies because of support they rallied online.

One scene showed some activists delivering what was supposed to represent 250,000 online signatures demanding that Apple treat their Chinese workers better.  The delivery was made to the Apple Store in Manhattan and was in response to some stories of suicides, long working hours, and low pay at the assembly plant in China where Apple products are assembled.

Granted, working for Apple in China is no dream job...to an American, but it is in high demand in China.  Hundreds of thousands of people work there, and there are thousands waiting to get a job.  I'm pretty sure I'd make a lousy Apple Store manager because I can envision such a delivery of petitions going something like this if I were running that store:
Activist:  I'd like to deliver these petitions demanding that Apple treat its Chinese workers better.

Me: Okay, but let me ask you a couple of questions. What kind of phone do you have?

Activist: Uh...iPhone 4gs.

Me: Nice phone, huh?

Activist: Yes, but you treat your workers badly...

Me: No, actually my workers like me a lot. What did you pay for your phone?

Activist: About $500

Me: That's a pretty good price for all the features you get, isn't it?

Activist: Yes, but those Chinese workers!!

Me: Do you think we should build them in the U.S.?

Activist: YES! We need jobs and those poor Chinese people!

Me: Would you be willing to pay $5-$10,000 for the exact same phone you have in your pocket?

Activist: No, that's too much!

Me: Well, if we build those phones in the United States that's what they'll cost. The Chinese want those jobs and are willing to do them at a price that allows us to sell you a phone for $500 instead of $10,000.

Activist: *stammer* *stutter*

Me: That's what I thought. Now go away.
Lesson learned.

No comments: