MarketWatch’s Poletti: Apple Inc. shareholders are a pretty smug and happy bunch

Therese Poletti writes for MarketWatch, “Apple Inc.’s shareholders are a pretty smug and happy bunch.”

“Upon entering the company’s campus to get to the annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, they had to drive past a small protest, where some people carried signs asking Apple AAPL +0.09% to make ‘ethical iPhones,'” Poletti writes. “But not a question was asked by a single shareholder about what Apple has been doing with its contract manufacturers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Likely because shareholders know that Apple is already making iPhones ethically.

Poletti writes, “Just last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told investors at a technology conference that the company was doing more to improve working conditions than any other manufacturer and the company will not tolerate use of underage labor. The company has also published a more detailed audit of its recent findings on its website. Read more about supplier responsibility at Apple.

“Shareholders didn’t seem too disappointed that the company had no news about what it will be doing with its growing cash pile,” Poletti writes. “The first shareholder reminded the group that co-founder Steve Jobs was not a proponent of paying dividends, and he recommended the company pay a special, preferred stock dividend.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I was there and didn’t see the protest.

    I take the middle ground regarding the workers in China. It is a very hard life. Because of App,e they are treated as well or better than any other workers in the area. Things are gradually improving. We should keep the pressure on Apple, HP, and the rest to keep improving benefits for workers, but we don’t need to condemn them for the way things are now. I spent a little time on business traveling in China in the 80s. Those were much harder times. And the Cultural Revolution before that was incalculably worse.

    The funniest point was when a guy said he had bought a large screen TV to watch the super bowl. He said he has 60 days in which to return it and asked Tim Cook for advice. Everyone laughed about that. Tim suggested he get an Apple TV as an accessory for his TV.

  2. Chinese workers only??

    Apple’s suppliers only??

    Of course we all want better conditions for workers but not only in China; and singling out Apple on this matter reflects ignorance and bias. Remember some of those suppliers are also suppliers for other companies…, beleaguered ones though.

  3. the protesters are referring to the planned obsolescence.
    you know the way the phones are designed to break after 2 years and the battery wears out and the phone costs more to repair then replace.

    and yes you can use the $99 battery replacement program if you like

    1. the phones are designed to break after 2 years

      Nonsense. My original iPhone still works fine, as do my iPhone 3Gs and my iPhone 4. I keep them around for testing software.

      the phone costs more to repair then replace.

      I can get a new battery for my 3Gs for $5. If I want it installed by Apple, that would run me $79. If I want it installed by any other service vendor, the prices start at $30.

      Got anything else you want to make up?


      1. Now that is a reasonable evaluation of the real state of affairs, TheMacAdvocate. Apple does a very good job of maintaining the value of its products over time. No one else provides as much software upgradability as Apple.

        I have a Samsung phone that is just over a year old. It was ready for the trash about three months after I bought it. Never again.

  4. Ok I’m not a player in the stock market but what is a prefered stock dividen? Does that mean only shareholders with prefered stock get a dividend? If that is the case, why is it the little guy always get the shit while the rich guys who have access to the prefered stocks should take money out of the company.

    1. Your anger is misplaced. Only the common stock holders own the company. Preferred stock has a first cut at agreed payments; it is not the road to riches.

      As to “the little guy,” buy whatever you want, go for the (modest) preferred dividends, or for the increase in value of the corporation. For most of us, preferred stock is stupid.

    2. Preferred stock is publicly traded. It is not only for “rich guys.” There are different classes of stock with different voting rights and priorities with respect to dividends, etc.
      The way I understand it, preferred stocks are sort of a cross between stocks and bonds. The have some ability to appreciate, like common stock, but more limited.

      Per Investopedia:

      A class of ownership in a corporation that has a higher claim on the assets and earnings than common stock. Preferred stock generally has a dividend that must be paid out before dividends to common stockholders and the shares usually do not have voting rights.

      The precise details as to the structure of preferred stock is specific to each corporation. However, the best way to think of preferred stock is as a financial instrument that has characteristics of both debt (fixed dividends) and equity (potential appreciation).

      Preferred stocks are often included in a retirement investment mix to provide income while also maintaining an exposure to stocks as an inflation hedge. You can find a lot more, if you care to Yahoo or Bing (Mac users don’t let fellow Mac users Google).

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