On company’s dependency on cheap labour in Asia.

On 21 September 2012, queues formed overnight at Apple Storesthroughout the world in order for Apple devotees to acquire the iPhone5. Its launch attracted fever-pitch interest, bearing a strong resemblanceto movie premieres or record releases in the recent past. It is hardlysurprising as Apple products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad haveattained iconic status and have come to symbolize media convergencein an age of media globalization.

They have radically altered therelationship between audiences and content in terms of the consumptionand production of media content. Perceived by many as having acounter-cultural or an alternative image, the advertising strategies usedto sell the aforementioned media products to the ‘net generation’celebrate the values of individuality and networked individualism.However, behind the glitz and appeal of these clever technologicaldevices lie some more problematic questions about their production andmanufacture. Setting aside the ingenuity of the devices and their manyapplications, the hegemonic position achieved by Apple in a verycompetitive marketplace has arisen in no small measure from thecompany’s dependency on cheap labour in Asia. Mulrennan (2010)demonstrates how Apple (and other global firms like Dell, Sony andHewlett Packard) is directly implicated in the more exploitative aspectsof digital capitalism.

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