Word from the MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) Manufacturers conference in China is that not only is the Lightning connector waterproof (to everyone’s surprise), but if you want the MFi logo on your products you’re going to have to meet Apple’s standards for manufacturing.
After complaints about manufacturing processes at Foxconn (and other places), Apple has put into place a Supplier Code of Conduct/Responsibility that includes:
- Labor and human rights
- Worker health and safety
- Environmental impact
As TUAW notes, that while US-based manufacturers might have an easier time than their Chinese counterparts in this regard, and some suppliers might baulk Apple does have a big card to play:
Pushing it out to the larger accessory ecosystem would be a concrete example of Apple using its 800-pound-gorilla status in the consumer electronics space to influence more companies to behave ethically on worker rights, environmental issues and more.
When you’re Apple, and make some of the most popular gadgets in the world—and gadgets that are made for accessories—you have the clout to pull this off.
Is this a good idea?
Yes, of course.
Could it cause accessory costs go up?
Maybe so, but in the end I think that’s worth it.
What’s your take? Is Apple using the bully pulpit for the right reasons?