On 21 September 2012

On 21 September 2012, queues formed overnight at Apple Stores
throughout the world in order for Apple devotees to acquire the iPhone
5. Its launch attracted fever-pitch interest, bearing a strong resemblance

to movie premieres or record releases in the recent past. It is hardly
surprising as Apple products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad have
attained iconic status and have come to symbolize media convergence
in an age of media globalization. They have radically altered the
relationship between audiences and content in terms of the consumption
and production of media content. Perceived by many as having a
counter-cultural or an alternative image, the advertising strategies used
to 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 technological
devices lie some more problematic questions about their production and
manufacture. Setting aside the ingenuity of the devices and their many
applications, the hegemonic position achieved by Apple in a very
competitive marketplace has arisen in no small measure from the
company’s dependency on cheap labour in Asia. Mulrennan (2010)
demonstrates how Apple (and other global firms like Dell, Sony and
Hewlett Packard) is directly implicated in the more exploitative aspects
of digital capitalism.