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The iPhone 5 could have changed everything

The iPhone 5 could have changed everything

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Questionable labor practices at Apple factories continue to be unveiled. Should consumers mobilize? Just imagine the power in numbers.

Protestors dressed up to represent Foxconn workers outside an Apple retail outlet in Hong Hong on May 7th, 2011.

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Is the release of a new iPhone the perfect time to mobilize around fair labor practices?

The sheer number of iPhone upgraders and users is astonishing. On the day the iPhone 5 is being released for pre-order, articles about Apple abound over the virtual waves.

Few mention questionable labor practices.

Imagine if today was a day of action? If the level of attention Apple is receiving was showered on the students "interning" involuntary at Foxconn, for example? If the people on hold at Verizon and AT&T were waiting to condemn support of unfair labor?

A fantasy yes, but calling Apple out while everyone perks up to the word "Apple" renders making demands so much easier.

Scouring the Internet for signs of protest in the United States and Europe has not yielded much. And by much I mean nothing.

Maybe the next generation will spark action? Boxes of the iPhone 6 (or even more iconically, the "iPhone" as Apple drops the numbering system), will wait listlessly on the shelf until demands are met.

Read more about the Foxconn scandal here.

Read more about the interning system at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China here.

And let SmartPlanet know your thoughts. Is it ludicrous to think co-opting the popularity of a product for protest is possible?

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Sonya James

Contributing Writer

Sonya James is a multimedia producer based in New York. With creativity and innovation in mind, she speaks to diverse voices on topics from racism in the art world to the patriotic nature of southern food. She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development. Disclosure