BBC to air something called ‘Apple’s Broken Promises’ on Thursday

“Today the BBC has announced that a new TV programme called ‘Apple’s Broken Promises’ will be airing shortly on the net after it’s been broadcast on BBC TV,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“It’s not going to be a very Apple friendly programme to be sure,” Purcher reports. “Whether any part of the BBC’s special programme will borrow from China Labor Watch’s report titled ‘Two Years of Broken Promises,’ is unknown at this time.”

Purcher reports, “The BBC is scheduled to air this special programme this coming Thursday.”

Full article here.

The BBC’s blurb:

Apple is the most valuable brand on the planet, making products that everyone wants – but how are its workers treated when the world isn’t looking? Panorama goes undercover in China to show what life is like for the workers making the iPhone 6. And it’s not just the factories. Reporter Richard Bilton travels to Indonesia to find children working in some of the most dangerous mines in the world. But is the tin they dig out by hand finding its way into Apple’s products?

MacDailyNews Take: Wonderful.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. If they called out Apple by showing that other companies were doing better, I’d be OK with a show like that. Doubt it’ll be anything other than headline viewer grabbing 1-sided crap. Call out all the companies using their suppliers, or call out China for not having worker protections in place. But just calling out Apple is just tripe journalism.

    1. In reality workers that make products for Apple are the best cared for among anyone else.

      Of course, “honest journalism” and “journalistic principles” will never let those tabloidish “respectable media” to report that.

      Obviously, Apple still has a work to do, but considering how much better it does than, say, Samsung (BBC’s biggest advertisement sponsor for every on-line or off-line market besides the UK, where advertisement is prohibited by-laws)…

    2. How they can blame Apple for issues that far down the value chain is beyond me.

      Indonesian tin mines?!?

      Almost every other manufacturer of anything uses that same tin. You can blame them all, or better yet, you can blame the company that owns the mine.

  2. Funny that a British program is doing an “expose” on Apple when Britain doesn’t even have a tech company half as good as even Google. Ubuntu is British, and how many people even use that? Is this jealousy on their part. Maybe the CBC should make a program on how Apple ripped off BlackBerry and killed them off.

    1. Wayne, you are, I take it, familiar with ARM, the people who’s chip architecture Apple uses for their entire iOS range?
      Where do you think ARM are based?
      I’ll give you a clue; it isn’t America, or the Far East.

  3. Good, will be a good watch….the BBC tend to be as accurate as you can hope. Just because something is unfriendly does not mean it is not true. Sorry Apple fans but sometimes the truth hurts.

        1. It’s the iPhone 6, today. But before it was an iPhone 5, and 4 etc. This is an ongoing debate. It seems it’s only point is to bruise Apple and slow down sales, for altruistic reasons. However, in a post Ann Rand society, nobody cares.

          Look, people do care, but Apple is not your tree to bark up. Frankly China will do to it’s workers, whatever they want, and they would rather screw you, on the backs of their citizens, by providing cheap labor, so that the Western economy can’t live without them.

    1. I’ve noticed that even the “good” news organizations tend to have at least one weird biases (and this usually a financial cause). With the BBC, that bias is pro-Microsoft and anti-Apple. BBC News is great overall, particularly on foreign policy issues. But whenever they cover anything Apple or Microsoft, this reputable news organization transforms into biased bag of peanuts and turds. I’ve seen this happen many times over the years.

    2. Which begs the question: If a restaurant chain purchases bread from a bakery that allegedly mistreats its bakers, does this mean that the restaurant chain should also be accused? If my brother beats his children, am I guilty by extension? If an ancestor from 200 years ago kept slaves, does this make me guilty of slavery?

      This in a nutshell is the accusation against Apple.

      At what point is Apple directly to blame for working conditions of its suppliers? It is known that Apple has worked hard to enforce proper working standards of its suppliers in foreign countries. But I would argue that there are limits to a company’s liability.

      In many cases, a company like Apple has limited options for the suppliers and contract manufacturers it can choose, given the scale of demand for its products. If Apple chose to place all manufacturing and sourcing directly under its control, e.g., making all contract suppliers’ employees Apple employees, perhaps the accusations would have greater merit. But it is simply impractical to do so, economically and realistically.

      TV shows like the one produced by BBC can make easy potshots at a company like Apple. But the reality is much different. Until the Chinese government enforces appropriate working standards for its citizens, there is little that can be done. I am sure the BBC knows this, but their aim is the cut down low-hanging fruit, and in this case, the TV show will aim the smear a profitable company.

      Nobody likes to see humans being exploited. But if Apple were to decide not to use Pegatron or other large Asian suppliers for contract manufacturing, where could Apple turn? I doubt that this is a question being raised by the BBC, nor answered.

      At a previous software company at which I worked, I had to respond to RFPs from the Counties of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Both RFPs had extensive sections mandating the my former employer, a five-year old company, requiring proof that the company had never engaged in Civil War-era slavery. We had to go to extreme lengths to answer detailed questions and provide evidence. I did so knowing the exercise was simply absurd.

      When I see TV shows like the one the BBC is producing, I have similar feelings. We decry human exploitation. Yet, we expect our products, our clothing and our food to be cheap. To do so, companies around the world have to produce goods in impoverished countries and pay extremely low wages. So the same activists who demand social justice often contradict themselves by having the same expectations for prices and availability as everyone else. You can pay workers a fair wage. Or you can have affordable products. But you cannot have both.

      Until the Chinese government stops corruption and institutionalized maltreatment of its people, this problem will continue. It started long before Apple began sending manufacturing abroad, and it will continue long afterward.

    3. Years ago BBC was one of my go to news channels. They’ve simply turned into a tabloid journalistic channel many times filled with unreliable reporting. More like a cross between MSNBC and HLN.Yes, they still have a couple of good journalists but not like the good old days.

    4. The name of the damned thing is , “Apple’s Broken Promises” Exactly what promises were made that were broken?

      Apple promised to continue to audit and look into unfair working conditions, they never made promises that they would be able to eradicate 100% of these issues. This story is obviously a biased attack on Apple.

      This is what happens when you take a stand – alone – on an issue, everyone and their brother tries to tear apart what you’re doing. All the while the companies that aren’t doing ANYTHING get a pass. For christ’s sake, Samsung is KILLING their workers. THEIR workers.

      These aren’t even Apple’s factories OR employees.

    1. @Jubei…See my comments above. The program has yet to be aired you div so why say sue them when you have no idea what is to be said! What is the problem with investigating? The BBC has no anti-apple agenda and in fact reports openly about all the good things that go on…a bit of truth always helps to balance things a little.

      1. No, a bit of truth can be twisted to say anything you want it to say. It remains to be seen if the *whole* truth will be revealed, where Apple is better than most any other big tech company. Still work to be done? Of course. Worth singling out Apple? No way.

        1. Definitely not…Apple are a secretive company who detest talking to the media unless it us on its own terns so definitely good to shake things a little to put in the spotlight as they have done with many other companies in the past.

          1. Thank you Feather brain. It’s fairly obvious you harbor ill will towards Apple. You’re not fooling anyone.

            EVERY company is secretive to a certain extent to protect it’s legal interests. Apple has every right to keep it’s R&D and product information secret to prevent others from copying them. In PARTICULAR Apple more than most companies having more at stake and being an industry leader. You imply it’s something criminal.

            1. Pete Pete Pete….Its fairly obvious you do not get my point and are just being a tad over-sensitive. Of course every company has to be secret to keep their R&D away from everyone else. What I am talking about is that Apple craft and stage media events and any notion that you dare challenge Apple is the open could mean you get cut off…

      2. “The BBC has no anti-apple agenda”

        Sure, they MAY not have an anti-Apple agenda, but they certainly have a get-as-many-viewers-as-possible agenda. And the best way to do that seems to be to single out Apple on a specific issue – unfairly. Why is it unfair? Because Apple has been transparent on this issue. They have actually done something about it. You can go to their website and see their audit reports. Anyone can and scrutinize those reports FAIRLY. Yet what we’re fed are these stupid stories that single out Apple – even though Apple makes a small fraction of consumer electronics around the world, it seems that everyone wants to hold them responsible for ALL the poor working conditions around the world. Where the hell are the reports on those companies that employ these workers? How about the governments those workers live in? Etc.

        While the story may in fact be factual, it is EXTREMELY biased at pointing a single finger in Apple’s direction saying they weren’t doing enough.

  4. maybe they feel unpaid taxes are owed the crown. except that they’re not. come to think of it, i didn’t much care that time they came over and burned down the white house.

  5. I agree that they won’t mention other companies that use the same Chinese suppliers and builders. I’m sure HP and Dell are paying their Chinese suppliers’ workers $30/hr.

  6. Most likely finding a way into Google’s and Samsung’s phone’s first. Sad, such BS over a company that sets standards for suppliers under there control. Nothing on the countries or governments? China and India, wow – shocker.

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