It takes 5 days and over 300 hands to assemble an iPad

It takes 5 days and over 300 hands to assemble an iPad
ABC’s Nightline report focused on working conditions at Apple factories overseas, but apart from that it revealed some interesting facts about how iPhones and iPads are made. There were no groundbreaking news, but even the opportunity to take a look inside at Foxconn and see the real workers on the assembly line was fascinating. We could also see why people opt to work long hours at the Chinese company where pay is above average. With employment hard to find in China, Foxconn factories employ young people, most under 30, that live in rooms of 6 or 8 for long periods of time.

The documentary shows huge lines of people waiting to get hired with only one requirement - a valid Chinese ID card. Training is on site as the demand is so huge that the company often has to virtually hire people overnight. But it’s not too long - three days of intense coaching and team building exercises and the new workers are sent to the frontlines of Foxconn assembly.

But overall there was nothing too shocking - working conditions didn’t strike as horrific if you overlook the 12-hour shift. Those interviewed complained about things you’d normally hear in other factories as well - the hours, the food and wage. Interestingly, there are two one-hour breaks for food which many workers used to take a nap.

The biggest surprise that came with the iFactory: Inside Apple report, though, seemed to be the revelation that iPhones and iPads are manufactured largely by hand. For instance, it takes 141 distinct steps to make an iPhone. The iPad on the other hand is manufactured over 5 days and it goes through 325 people until the final product is ready. Other curious fact is that Foxconn makes 300,000 iPad camera modules each day. 

The actual video is not yet available online, but we’ll make sure to update you when it comes out. Did you catch yesterday’s ABC special? What caught your attention in the documentary? Share with us in the comments below.

Update: And the full video is out on ABC. Hit the source link below to watch it.

source: ABCTUAW



1. goflet

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

look at what the world has become..born on the wrong country and you are a slave worker..born in another one you use the products that slave workers produce..make ques outside of stores to buy the product. very successfull system indeed

2. Mozarrt

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

All because you wanted your fancy house, car and electronics. Before blaming the world, blame yourself first.

3. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

All this seems to much of a desperate and staged cover up by apple who look like they have spent some big bucks on this for a change instead of lawyers. did the abc investigaters also visit the roof of the building to see the anti-suicide fences or maybe try out the fenses personnally to see if they work. did the abc reporters visit the families of all those who commited suicide there to get there actual inside story? False stories and reports can be made to cover things up,in ww2 it was called propoganda

4. ivanko34

Posts: 617; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

i worked for a big company some years ago they use china to assemble for the cost and chinese factories use people and not robots because people are cheaper than robots

11. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

people are so much easier to replace/repair than robots as well.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

And, iRoniCally, it only takes me less than 15 minutes to take apart that piece of iGarbage. Too much time and too many hands and still no flash. "Siri, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?" "Please repeat and hold me upside down, iDoNot understand what you are saying...."

9. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011


12. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Even Adobe themselves are moving away from the flash development and shifting focus to HTML5. I love apple and currently the proud of owner of a Galaxy Note. Flash is great but is no longer as efficient as it used to be. Just a little tid bit, the iPhones do have the capability of running flash as well, just not incorporated into their software. iCab Mobile, for example, can run flash.

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

"We could also see why people opt to work long hours" yea.. umm, sorry, but those employees are forced to work those long "voluntary" overtime hours without a pay bump, or they get fired. They are not volunteering for 24+ hr shifts, its being forced on them.

8. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

That's the communist system that they have! No unions at all. It's the opposite extreme than here in US. Did you see the lines to apply for a job at Foxconn? They're allowed by the government to do that, you work at our conditions please! It sucks but again, that's their system. I doubt in other Chinese factories, is much different and everybody is exploiting it.

15. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its country wide.. no doubt. the biggest purpetrators are american companies looking for a quick buck though, and the biggest of them all (and among the worst) is Apple. No point in going after 20 small companies in hopes that the bigger ones will change. change the bigger companies and then the smaller ones have to change as well to stay competitive.

19. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

Remixfa, I follow your posts with interest, you're a smart guy but you need to understand that the way things can change is by working the system at the core, meaning changing the rules of the game. If Apple changes direction, starts to pay the workers what ever you think is fair for Chinese markets, what makes you believe that other big or small companies will do the same? Corporations have no soul, no emotions, its all about numbers but they have to follow the rules if there are rules. OK they always find loopholes to turn it around to their own interest but with limits. Over there rules allow to do that and Corps have fun. Did you know that the Chinese government manipulate their own currency to keep their money value down and make the exchange with dollar more in favor of American companies? And what do we do? We allow that to happen, we're screwing ourself, I call that masochism.

14. Giggity

Posts: 147; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I remembered reading an article somewhere saying a female worker at Foxconn wasn't satisfied with the pay, so she ask for a raise and got denied by Foxconn. She then appeal to one of the so call Labor Association of the Chinese government, but ended up got BLACKLISTED as "troublemaker" on her employment profile. She was eventually got fired by Foxconn and was rejected by other employers as well.

16. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

thats probably true. those people that protested at the Xbox factory were promised severances and good marks to just quit, and when they did they were all promptly arrested and locked away instead.

25. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i dont know if you have read the grapes of wrath, but what your saying is quite similar-- the whole situation is quite similar… but by and large the times got better from 1930's… eventually china will figure itself out-- America and europe managed to (well, some parts of europe)

7. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

300 hands but very bad hands

10. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

"three days of intense coaching and team building exercises" i wonder if the team building exercises include synchronized bridge jumping. too soon?

13. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

so I guess all those people forming a line to get hired.. are forced...right?... is their decisions to work their under their rules... we do that here in the States.. in the California fields.. they don't pay more for overtime and overtime is "voluntary"... please visits the factories were the meat for burgers is made, so before we tried to fix Foxxconn please fix here in the States... but I guess remix doesn't care.. because he likes his whoppers with lettuce and flame broiled

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

uhh.. i dont eat a lot of whoppers there gallito. Migrant workers in america get treated 100x better than chinese slave labor. Your an idiot to even suggest otherwise.

18. galaxyisking

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

i like how in the doc it says "jobs was a major stock holder of disney (which owns abc) but does not affect this documentary" complete and utter bulls**t!

21. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

I agree.

20. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

As most of US Media,I am sorry to say,ABC is just another prostitute for Corporate America. Pay them enough money,and they will broadcast or print whatever you want.

22. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

This is so true, if you don't believe this you live in your own world.

23. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

thats why the only news i consume comes from the BBC, NPR, or Al-Jazeera

24. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

Ouch, you're a dreamer, with all due respect. If there is something that I would correct in 'jmoita2' post is rephrase the beginning 'As all Media'. Come on, NPR? They take gigantic donations from George Soros, a well known far left billionaire, how nice of him to do that with no return. I'm sorry, I will stop it here, I promise, this forum is not political.

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