Make no mistake: Apple will end up eating the higher costs that supplier Foxconn will incur to end excessive overtime and improve working conditions at its plants. But, as we suggested earlier this year, it will be Apple’s rivals that will end up suffering most. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
Chrome, Google’s web browser, is on the brink of replacing Firefox as the second-most-popular browser after Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, ComputerWorld reports. Chrome’s global average user share for September was 23.6%, while Firefox’s stood at 26.8%. IE, meanwhile, was at 41.7%, according to data from StatCounter, which predicts that Chrome will overtake Firefox by December. Read more
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Tuesday night that personal computers running rival Microsoft’s Windows operating system are in a permanent decline and that only a fraction of current users will still rely on them in the future.
In a rare onstage interview at the D: All Things Digital conference, Mr Jobs compared the fate of the PC to trucks in agrarian America. The dominant vehicle when farming was the way most people earned a living, they were vastly outnumbered by cars when the country became more urbanised. Read more
As the spate of suicides continues at Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures electronics for the likes of Apple and Dell, David Pilling examines the darker crevices of China’s factory system.
Many factories treat their employees as fodder, refusing to employ people because they are too short, too ugly, too old – 30 is over-the-hill – or simply come from the “wrong” province. They rush through orders, even if that means workers are not properly trained on machines that can – and sometimes do – slice off a finger. They demand employees work long hours, though most are only too happy to do so because of the overtime pay they receive. They often keep back a month of pay, lest their workers find a boyfriend, or a better job, in another factory. Read more