I want my free-range smartphone...

I linked to the piece about Apple's working conditions in Chinese factories on my Facebook a couple of days ago. Typically it invoked responses such as "it happens everywhere", "it's not just limited to Apple" and the like. Points which frustrate me to no end. To give some context:

Of course this is not limited to Apple, but Apple help make this point so perfectly. The justification typically comes down to an economic one - it's cheaper to make this stuff in China and ignore what goes on. Out of sight, out of mind. However, does any company need these crazy profits? Apple could spend a considerable amount more on the welfare of those in the supply chain and still close their books with insane amounts of money. Clearly Apple doesn't have to manufacture their devices with allegedly appalling working conditions because money is so tight that they would fail otherwise.

A plea to Joshua, Paul, The Verge, everybody...

There is an terribly large amount of money in consumer electronics right now. The kind of billions upon billions that can really help shape a new way of doing things. As was so rightly highlighted in the Vergecast this is just about basic capitalism - supply meeting demand. However, Joshua and Paul both made some terrific points about living within our means and making the morally right decision.

The Verge is first and foremost a consumer electronics site, I respect that. However, you have the power to help raise awareness of the human cost behind some of these devices. I truly hope you make the most of this and this isn't limited to a single feature.