Apple and its Asian supplier Pegatron, which manufactures the iPhone 5c, have come under heavy fire this week following the unexplained deaths of at least five factory workers. Even worse is that one of them, a boy, was just 15 years old.

It’s since been determined that the teenager used forged identity documents saying he was 20 years old to get the job. And today, Apple gave an official statement on the incident, saying it has sent independent medical experts to investigate…

Reuters has the statement from Apple:

“Last month, we sent independent medical experts from the U.S. and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory,” Apple said in a statement on Thursday. “While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones.

“Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards.”

Apple’s team of experts found that the boy died of pneumonia, and not because of something related to working conditions. The company did not comment, though, on the other [at least 4] deaths of workers employed at plants owned by Pegatron.

Pegatron also gave the outlet a statement:

Pegatron has strict measures in place to verify workers’ ages before and after they are hired, and we work with health and safety experts to provide a safe working environment for each and every worker.”

Apple has been the target of the China Labor Watch and several other labor rights groups over the past several years due to the working conditions inside the factories of its suppliers, which have been accused of child labor and other violations.

foxconn production

Pegatron in particular has been in the spotlight in recent months. Back in July, the New York-based China Labor Watch held an investigation and counted 86 labor rights violations in three manufacturing facilities operated by the manufacturer.

Apple, for its part, has begun monitoring its supply chain partners more closely in recent years—especially their working hours. Employees aren’t supposed to work more than 60 hours per week, and Apple says it has over a 90% compliance rate.

  • Jeff Karno

    Bring MFG back to the states and bring back the economy and keep AMERICA going.

    • Nate McKelvie

      Sadly that will never happen, and it’s mostly the consumers fault because the consumers want cheap products. People make a huge fuss when things like this happen, but honestly the majority don’t really care as long as the products they buy come at a cheap cost. I saw this documentary that showed this pillow company. They were the oldest pillow company in America and Walmart told them “you need to sell us your pillows cheaper because our customers don’t want to pay that high price for pillows” when the company said “we can’t possibly make them that cheap” Walmart showed them some Chinese manufactures that could make them for the cost needed to sell them that cheap and when the pillow company refused, Walmart stopped carrying them. Within two years they went bankrupt after being in business for 150 years because consumers weren’t willing to go to other stores and pay a higher price for American made pillows when they could go to walmart and get cheap Chinese made ones. It’s a sad truth but it’s the reality. Consumers don’t REALLY care who makes their products or how they are made as long as they are cheap and the consumer doesn’t have to see the travesty behind it

      • iGeniusGio .

        I agree with this.. the truth is the truth.

      • Guest


    • iGeniusGio .

      For what? So Americans can gripe and moan about not getting paid enough, too much work, no time to spend with the family and yada yada yada.. Lose / Lose situation.. bring jobs here, people complain ” Too much work and too little pay” .. Take it overseas and they complain how it’s being outsourced. Make up your minds on what you want first.. IJS

      • RarestName

        It’s the same for any first world country, really.

    • JulianZH

      You can’t make a living if you work in the factory. And who want to work on a minimum wages?

    • In addition to what Nate said, also that these companies do not want to lower their profit.

      I have read it somewhere that the increase of manufacturing cost would be nearly $10 if iPhone is assembled in US instead of China.

      Apple can do this very easily because it’s not manufacturing any of part but buying from other companies. All they need to do is assemble them in US but they want to save $10 on each phone. This could be a huge amount if you are selling 100-150 M phone.

      Companies also do not care.

      • Your Mother

        Not entirely true. Moto phones are made in the US.

      • only Moto X and that’s just for US edition. International version will be developed in China.

    • Your Mother

      until you see the price tag and complain about how much made in America costs.

  • Taf Khan