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Apple Inc Creating Plenty of Buzz Without CES

Due to heavy criticism about working conditions in factories, Apple Inc. disclosed a massive report  detailing categories such as working hours, hazardous waste and overtime pay.  The results were less than stellar to say the least.  The WSJ reports, “The report found 108 facilities didn’t pay proper overtime wages and 93 facilities had records that indicated more than 50% of their workers exceeded the 60-hour work week. The audits also found 5 facilities had incidents of underage labor.”

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The list also revealed Apple’s major suppliers for the first time in company history.  While it is unknown exactly how much each supplier contributes to Apple, the list contains 156 companies.  Companies such as Intel , Advanced Micro Devices , Sony , Qualcomm , TriQuint Semiconductor , Broadcom and Emerson Electric all made the list.  Hard-drive companies such as Western Digital and Seagate Technology also supply Apple.

  • Although Apple is currently in the spotlight for factory conditions, it is hardly the first.  On Wednesday, reports surfaced that Microsoft is investigating worker conditions a Foxconn manufacturing plant.  Due to a pay dispute, workers at the Chinese plant have threatened to commit mass suicide.  In a statement, Microsoft said, “Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue.”  Foxconn also manufactures electronic products for Dell and Hewlett-Packard .
  • Due to the popularity of its iPads and iPhones, Apple was named one of the biggest buzz improvers for 2011 by BrandIndex.  The company tracks public perception of thousands of brands across the world every day.  BrandIndex contributes Apple’s new voice technology in the iPhone 4S as a major driving force behind public perception.  BrandIndex also wrote, “iPhone scores were also lifted in a sweeping halo effect for Apple (which cracked the Top 10 for the first time in the last 3 years) after the passing of Steve Jobs.”
  • Even though Apple skips out on CES, it still manages to create plenty of buzz.  Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty expects that Apple will launch a slimmer iPhone later this year, and could include a quad-mode chip from Qualcomm that would allow for 3G and LTE across all “network flavors.”  Furthermore, she expects the iPad 3 to have a higher resolution display.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com