Do Apple Users Care Enough to Protest Chinese Working Conditions Today?

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Since it came to light how bad working conditions are in Chinese factories that make iPhones and iPads, many have muttered about boycotting Apple. If that's you, you should join a globally coordinated protest against it, which is happening today. But do you care enough?

Organised by and, the protests will see petitions, with over 250,000 signatures, delivered to Apple stores in order to convince the company to develop "a worker protection strategy". So far, protests in London, Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, Sydney and Bangalore have been planned, reports Gigaom. Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, SumOfUs' executive director, says:

"Apple's attention to detail is famous, and the only way they could fail to be aware of dozens of worker deaths, of child labor, of exposure to neurotoxins is through willful ignorance. That's why our members are asking Apple to clean up its supply chains in time to make the iPhone 5 its first ethically produced product."

This is, of course, a great initiative, and I think it's fair to say that we would all like conditions in Chinese factories to improve. If you 're free, you should go along and add to the voice.

But here's the thing: I don't think most Apple users who claim to be deeply upset and shocked by the reports from China really mean it. Sure, I suspect they mean it in a I'll-bitch-to-my-friends-at-length-about-how-disgusting-Apple-is kind of way. But they don't mean it mean it. They won't be willing to stand outside an Apple store for hours on a bitterly cold February afternoon, waving a placard. They won't want to give up their iPad. They won't want to stop buying into the Apple lifestyle.

Which is sad, because if most Apple users did really meant it, they could carry some clout. But what do I know? Prove me wrong. [Gigaom]