It's a sad and tragic thing when anyone takes their own life. When a rash of suicides occurs in a single location, many start to wonder what the common link between those taking their own life is. The tragic saga of suicides at Hon Hai (Foxconn) first garnered headlines in July of 2009 when an engineer working on an iPhone prototype jumped to his death from his apartment after losing the prototype device.
Today was the middle of the week, but it didn't really feel like it until about half-way through. At least it wasn't the beginning of the week again, right? Not yet, anyway. Welcome to tonight's edition of the Daily Slash. Tonight, after the wake of the first keynote from Google's I/O, in the Best of R3, we've got a screenshot of the Motorola Cliq with a certain numbered update, and the Motorola i1 has finally launched. And then in the Dredge 'Net, LaCie has introduced a new net-connected RAID, MSI's revealed two new notebooks, and Foxconn's got a tablet that may actually rival another already on the market.
Another Foxconn employee has committed suicide, Chinese papers are reporting, though the fatality is believed to be unlinked to any prototype leaks. According to DigiTimes, the suicide was that of a female employee at the Shenzhen factory and was prompted by personal issues; however, they also claim that Terry Guo, chairman of the Foxconn Group, is bringing in an exorcist "in an attempt to put an end to the recent run of negative incidents at the plant." However, according to The Times, the company are in fact using "monks from Wutai Mountain, one of the most sacred Buddhist shrines, to pray for a positive working environment."
The working conditions of those all over the world has been a hot topic over the years, as reports are issued more often than they should be regarding underage, underpaid, and overworked employees. The trouble is, these employees are always tied to the things we buy here in the States, most notably the electronics, gadgets, and pieces of tech we employ every day (and love so much). In the case of KYE Factory, this latest report from the National Labor Committe is much like all the others: abysmal work conditions, and even worse payment plans for those that create the things that have become so integral to people's lives.
We were mildly surprised that it took so long for the first rumors of iPad shortages to circulate - as you may remember, reports flourished on Monday after Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek claimed to have heard of an "unspecified production problem" at the Hon Hai Precision (aka Foxconn) plant - and equally surprised at how quickly contrary reports have emerged. Foxconn aren't saying a thing, but component suppliers apparently reckon their parts orders are on schedule and the OEM should be on track for its original production estimates.
Bamboo is one of the materials that many businesses in all sorts of categories are turning to because it grows fast and is strong. Bamboo has become a more and more common material to cover computer cases and notebooks with as well. Foxconn has unveiled a couple new computer cases that are covered in Bamboo.
As tenuous, unsourced speculation goes, the only thing stopping us laughing today's iPhone fourth-gen rumor out of the building is the person spreading it. Mobile-Review's Eldar Murtazin is familiar to anybody who follows bleeding-edge smartphone news, and has his metaphorical fingers in a vast number of insider industry pies. When he tweets that Foxconn have secured the manufacturing deal for the next-gen iPhone, people stop and listen.
Now the SlashGear team love tech in all its myriad forms, but even we'd have trouble mustering too much enthusiasm for a SIM tray. However, we'll make a semi-exception for a tray tipped to slot into Apple's fourth-gen iPhone or "iTablet"; according to ChinaOnTrade, this part - which they claim to have directly sourced from Foxconn, already fingered as a potential Apple Tablet manufacturer - will go on sale October 23rd for $14.05.
Another day, another Apple Tablet rumor, and yet another tipped screen size. Contrasting from the previous leaky speculation that the upcoming media-centric device would have a 10.7-inch panel, comes DigiTimes' usual shadowy market sources suggesting a 10.6-inch display and putting Foxconn at the manufacturing helm. They're claiming that Foxconn will begin delivering the Apple Tablet to the Cupertino company in Q1 2010, with initial shipments expected to be in the region of 300,000 to 400,000 units.