Apple sold millions of iPads over the weekend, and that would presumably mean that hundreds of thousands of workers slaved extra-long hours to produce them all, right? Not so, according to Apple's latest Supplier Responsibility report. The issue of Apple's use of Chinese labour is, it seems, one that will never truly die, although (as has been pointed out many times before), Apple's not Foxconn's only customer, and the issues are complex. It's kind of refreshing then, to see a figure that's positively happy in all of this.
According to Apple's Supplier Responsibility report, workers in February — when you could reasonably expect iPad production to be at its peak — worked an average of 48 hours per week, well under the 60-hour maximum that Apple's supplier code provides for. There is some variance in this — the report notes that this figure was achieved by 84 per cent of workers, which makes me wonder how many hours the other 16 per cent worked — but it's still a step in the right direction.
That doesn't mean the work is pleasant or easy, although Foxconn employees have stated that iPad production specifically is a lot easier than iPhone 4S production.