Last year it was Wired magazine, reporting on allegedly inhumane working conditions at Foxconn, which makes iPads and iPhones for Apple at two factories in China. But it was two stories last month in the New York Times, and a broadcast on public radio's This American Life that apparently led 250,000 customers to turn in complaints last week to the world's most valuable company. Today, Apple stock reached an all-time high of more than $500 a share as the company announced an independent audit of working conditions at Chinese subcontractors that make 90 percent of its products. How bad are working conditions? Do consumers care enough to change their buying habits?
NOTE: After this To the Point discussion aired, This American Life discovered that its program, Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory, was partially fabricated, and has since dedicated an entire program to detailing the errors Daisey's story about visiting Foxconn. You can listen to TAL's program Retraction to learn more.