Apple today said that auditors from a labor rights group have begun inspections at Chinese factories that manufacture its iPad and iPhone.
The audits were the first since Apple joined the Fair Labor Association (FLA) last month after acknowledging that aluminum dust was responsible for explosions at two of its Chinese suppliers last year that resulted in four deaths and injuries to another 77 workers.
Apple was the first technology company to join the FLA as a participating member, the organization said in mid-January.
The FLA investigations began Monday at Foxconn facilities in Shenzhen, China, a major center of electronics assembly in the southern part of the country that abuts Hong Kong. Read more...
China's biggest producer of rare earths is suspending production for one month in hopes of boosting slumping prices of the exotic minerals used in mobile phones and other high-tech products.
This week's move by Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech might fuel tensions with the United States and Europe. They have questioned Beijing's decision announced earlier to limit exports while it tries to develop its own manufacturers of magnets and other products made of rare earths.
In a statement through the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Baotou Steel said it wants to "balance supply and demand" after prices for rare earths fell amid uncertainty about the U.S. and European economic outlooks.
Rare earths are a group of 17 minerals used in manufacturing flat-screen TVs, mobile phones, batteries for electric cars, wind turbines and weaponry. Read more...
Hewlett-Packard said it will manufacture more TouchPads in response to "stunning" demand following the company's decision to discontinue the tablets.
"Despite announcing an end to manufacturing webOS hardware, we have decided to produce one last run of TouchPads to meet unfulfilled demand," Mark Budgell, an HP spokesman, wrote in a blog post. The site appears to be overloaded and is currently unavailable, but the post has been reposted elsewhere online.
The newly manufactured tablets will go on sale in a few weeks. He said a "limited" number would be made but couldn't say exactly how many. "We can't promise we'll have enough for everyone," he wrote.
The company will produce the tablets during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ends Oct. 31. Read more...