It would take a junior Foxconn worker about half a year to save up for one of the phones he or she makes.
ABC Nightline footage; screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)
The workers who produce iPhones have the ability to pay for one just like anyone else, so long as they don't have even the slightest interest in buying anything else over a six-month period.
Recent reporting from ABC's Nightline revealed some of the basic numbers that define the simple and monotonous existence of the Foxconn factory line workers who assemble Apple's iPhones and iPads, Amazon's Kindles, and a slew of other devices from all sorts of recognizable brand names. Here's the number that sticks in my head, though: $1.78--that's how much one of those workers makes every hour he or she is on the line.
New workers at Foxconn plants used to start off making as little as $214 a month, but all the recent media attention and pressure led Foxconn to give its workers a raise, so many junior employees in the factories are now starting at $290 a month. Remarkably--especially when we consider that the cost of living in Shanghai and Beijing is on par with New York City--this amount is in compliance with China's minimum wage laws.
That amount is low enough that the worker won't have to worry about paying income tax... [Read more]