Most any Samsung Vibrant review gushes about the gadget. What helps the consumer to comparison-shop concurrently also glosses over the stark reality of the worst kept secrets in the consumer electronics industry: child labor and dangerous working conditions.
Samsung Vibrant Review
CNET(1) is ground zero for the consumer electronics shopper who wants the skinny on the latest IT toys on the market. Not surprisingly, the hot searches for a factual Samsung Vibrant review that highlights its pros (it is fast and sleek) and honestly mentions its flaws (no flash on the camera!) focuses primarily on the technological aspects of the phone.
It also helps discern if the Vibrant is truly competition to the initially touted (and later blasted) iPhone. What the consumer will not find out about are the somewhat unsavory bits and pieces that explain how – or by whom — consumer electronics are put together.
Samsung: Allegations of Chip Cancer
The EE Times(2) explains that Samsung Electronics is under pressure from a number of advocacy groups – most notably the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV) and the Korean Metal Workers’ Union (KMWU) – to review its semiconductor factories.
Reports of suspicious cancer illnesses and even deaths led to a lawsuit against a South Korean agency that alleged “incidences of leukemia and lymphoma were caused by exposure to radiation and benzene in Samsung wafer fabs.” Samsung denies any wrongdoing.
Microsoft and Apple Feature Front and Center in Child Labor Allegations
AOL Daily Finance(3) quotes from a National Labor Committee report that accuses Microsoft of relying on child labor in China for the manufacture of various consumer electronics goods, such as webcams and computer peripherals.
Referring to the 16 and 17 year old teens are work-study students, these youngsters worked 15-hour shifts. Some workers were as young as 14 or 15. Microsoft responded to the revelation by affirming that it will “take appropriate remedial measures” to fix the situation.
Sadly, iPhone 4 maker Apple, too, is in hot water over its use of child labor. The Telegraph(4) ran a story that revealed child labor offenses in the company’s factories. While the locations of the factories were not disclosed, it is noteworthy that Apple offers assurances that it is reviewing hiring practices at the offending locales to prevent a recurrence.
Of course, as the consumer electronics market becomes ever more competitive and a positive (or negative) Samsung Vibrant review can make a huge difference in the size of the lines made up of eager buyers ready to storm the store, it is questionable just who will be deterred from buying such gadgets based on child labor or safety violation allegations.
Do consumers worry more about which companies still perform animal testing than who engages illegal child labor or possibly contributes to the deaths of workers?
(1)”Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile)” on CNET
(2)”Samsung commissions chip cancer safety study” on EE Times
(3)”Child Laborers May Have Made That Microsoft Mouse You’re Using” on AOL Daily Finance
(4)”Apple admits using child labour” by the Telegraph