First, we all need to shut up because we don’t know the facts. When (if) more is revealed, then we can talk about it with confidence, anything less is sensationalism — not that we’re any strangers to that. But argument from ignorance is an insult to everyone involved.
Second, we need to shut up because it has nothing to do with Apple, or Foxconn for that matter. It has to do with big business, big money, and big pressure. It could have been any product and any company. The iPhone is big, sure, but what if it were a new, secret Xbox? Or a car? Or a weapon? Billion-dollar Company X gives out 16 protoype Y’s to a few of its trusted employees. One disappears, corporate espionage is very much a possibility. The person is pressured, interrogated, perhaps beaten — and in the end, perhaps is killed or perhaps chooses to commit suicide. Did you think this hasn’t happened before? Did you think this doesn’t happen all the goddamn time?
Bad news, children! Big business has blood on its hands. Has for hundreds of years! Like someone said in a movie I can’t remember, several million dollars “isn’t money, it’s a motive with a universal adapter.” And we’re talking about hundreds of millions here, people. You think it’s out of the ordinary for a company dealing with those kinds of money to resort to violence and intimidation? Let me get some of that crack! Apple’s not the only one that takes measures to protect its secrets.
Last, if what it takes for you to be concerned is a suicide (or murder) having to do with the iPhone, you’re a hypocrite. “How can Apple do this? How can Foxconn do this?” Where was your concern last week, or the week before? You knew this sort of thing was happening, and you bought your devices anyway. It’s only when the death of a man and the iPhone got this close that you decided it was worth talking about.
The coverage of this event makes me sick. It’s a tragedy about which we know next to nothing, getting stories all over because it has to do with the darling gadget of the day. If someone died over a new Sony media player (and don’t think that’s such a stretch), would you be making the same stink? I doubt we’d even have heard of it, and those that did hear it wouldn’t cover it. That makes me sick.
Update: Apparently my phrasing was a little too subtle. I’m not defending Apple, far from it. My problem is that because it’s Apple, suddenly everybody is paying attention to it, when violence, intimidation, and law-breaking are the norm for big businesses, Apple included. I’m not saying Apple’s innocent. I’m saying Apple is no exception to the rule, but everyone is treating it like one, one way or the other. We don’t know enough to blame or not blame any particular party — other than the security guard who was harassing the guy, obviously.