A bad day for Apple, they get sued and people kill themselves

13 May 2010

htc-desireOh dear. Apple aren't having the best time of it at the moment. They're getting their arses sued and people keep committing suicide at one of the plants who supply them.

First, the legal junk. Taiwanese phone makers, HTC (who currently make the 'Desire' phone which many are getting all foamy about as a genuine alternative to the iPhone) have gone and filed a patent complaint against Apple, asking for the US sale of iPhones, iPads and iPods to be halted.

This looks like a reaction to the story in March which saw Apple suing HTC when they alleged that the company had infringed 20 patents relating to the iPhone. Of course, Apple don't need this headache because they're still involved in a patent suit with Nokia as well.

HTC are arguing that Apple have infringed on five of their patents and as such, are asking for a ban on the importation of Apple's products, which are manufactured overseas.

"We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industrial partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones," said Jason Mackenzie, HTC's vice president for North America told the Beeb.

However, that's nothing compared to actual death. The world's largest electronics assembler - Foxconn - who provide for Apple, has seen another one of its staff members killing themselves. The Reg reports that the  24 year-old woman's death brings the total of suicidal Foxconn workers to eight for the year. Apparently, two other Foxconn employees tried to take their own lives this year, but failed.

This news comes on the back of a notorious story where Sun Danyong was (allegedly) being shoved around and beaten up by Foxconn's security after a prototype Apple iPhone 4G went walkies.

The most recent suicide, a worker identified only by her surname of Chu by the Associated Press, like Sun Danyong, leapt from her apartment block to her death. Rumour has it that Apple have previously sent an audit team to Foxconn to investigate allegations of employee abuse.

In response to all this, a Foxconn spokesperson issued a statement saying that the company's treatment of its workers is "world class" and their website states that they have been named "Best Company to Make Employee Feel Blessed" in 2006 and was judged to be among the "Best Employers in China" in 2006 and 2005. Alas, it isn't the first time they've been featured on these pages.

Still, this kind of press is something that Apple could really do without.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Consumer Advice

10 comments

  • M4RKM
    Foxconn ≠ Apple
  • CompactDistance
    He never said they were. And good on HTC. Apple might not like a taste of their own medicine.
  • Jambo
    This is less than shocking, Foxconn has several thousand employees working and living there. 8 people in the company committing suicide is actually below the national average.
  • tits
    no-one cares though :(
  • kully
    What is the national average?
  • The B.
    HTC having been making PDA's for 15 years odd haven't they? What's the betting they've got a fair few patents racked up that they can yank out and bugger Apple with?
  • Basil B.
    Did someone say ffffox? Pls don't tell wonky henry
  • Android B.
    [...] almost all over for Apple. Missing prototype iPhones, worker suicides, a deranged ‘no nipples’ rule and now they’re about to be battered by [...]
  • Mr G.
    2006? Gosh, that's almost yesterday...
  • dunfyboy
    So Apple are saying that just because HTC's can't bluetooth files to other devices either, that's an infringement of 20 patents?

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