ABC offers glimpse at 'Nightline' special 'iFactory: Inside Apple'
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The peek inside Foxconn's factories, where devices like the iPhone and iPad are built, will air as part of a special episode of the news program Nightline Tuesday night. To promote the program, ABC has released a minute-and-a-half preview of the special.
Reporter Bill Weir was on location at Foxconn's mega-plant in Chengdu, China, reporting on the company that assembles components not only for Apple, but a number of other electronics makers as well. But it's Apple, which is now worth more than Microsoft and Google combined, that has come under fire recently for its partnership with Foxconn.
In particular, a story from The New York Times suggested that Apple has ignored alleged labor abuses at Foxconn because the current system is favorable to the company. Those claims prompted Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to send an e-mail to employees declaring the anonymous criticisms to be "patently false."
In ABC's video preview (included below), Weir revealed that it was Apple itself who invited Nightline to take a closer look inside its supply chain and Foxconn's facilities.
"We will show you how your iPad, your iPhone, your MacBook is made, and we will meet the people who made them," he said. "We'll show you how these folks come on buses, sometimes for days, to travel to the Foxconn gates, desperate for a chance to wipe a screen or solder a chip for 10 hours a day at less than $1.50 an hour."
The special will also feature an interview with a "top Foxconn executive," in which Weir asks about employee suicides at the company's facilities. It will also feature details on Apple's independent audit of its supply chain by the Fair Labor Association.
"It's a fascinating look into a hidden corner of our world," Weir said.
That the special is airing on ABC is noteworthy because the broadcast network is owned by Disney, and Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger serves on Apple's board of directors. In addition, the late Steve Jobs was the largest individual shareholder of Disney, and those shares are now controlled by his family.
Nightline's "iFactory: Inside Apple" will air Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 11:35 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on ABC.