June 11, 2012 06:00 ET

New iGR Survey Finds 24 Percent of Respondents Less Likely to Buy Apple Due to Reports of Chinese Working Conditions

iGR's Latest Consumer Survey Gives Insight Into the Effects of Recent Press Coverage

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Jun 11, 2012) - During the early part of this year, concerns were raised in the press about the working conditions at Apple's manufacturing facilities in China. In May 2012, iGR surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers about their current use of mobile phones and wireless technologies, and specifically inquired about their perceptions of Apple, in view of these reports. It appears that respondents' perceptions varied according to their demographics and whether or not they are currently Apple users.

First, respondents were asked how these recent reports would likely affect their buying decisions. While 51 percent said that the stories made no change to their likelihood of buying Apple products, 3 percent said they were more likely to buy. These three percent were younger (twice as likely to be aged 18 - 24 years) and current Apple iPhone users (2.5 times as likely). These results demonstrate that the current Apple user experience and the ambivalence that sometimes comes with the young outweigh any concern that they have about how their products are being made.

24 percent said they were less likely to buy Apple products as a result of the reports. These respondents tended to be over 45 years old and not currently an Apple iPhone user. These respondents were half as likely to use Apple products, and much more likely to use Android and RIM. It is possible that these users might not actually buy an iPhone, regardless of the recent press coverage. 22 percent of respondents said, "What reports?"

Respondents in iGR's survey were also asked, "Do you think Apple is unique in its labor practices in China?"

  • 28 percent said, "No -- all electronics companies use the same practices." These respondents tended to be men, older than 55, higher educated and current Apple users.
  • 39 percent said, "No -- I think there are a few companies who use the same practices but not all." These folks were more likely to be women, younger (under 35) and not current Apple users.
  • Just 3.5 percent said, "Yes -- I think this is a problem unique to Apple. Other electronics manufacturers do not use the same practices." These respondents, who were older than 45 years and Android users, were not aware that Apple uses contract manufacturing like most other companies.
  • 29 percent said they had "No idea, I don't consider company labor practices." These respondents tended to be younger women.

"It does not seem that Apple has a major issue with its image as a result of the China working conditions reports," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "There are certainly some folks who say they are less likely to buy, but looking at the demographics, it is debatable whether they would buy an Apple iPhone or iPad anyway. The majority of consumers seem to be realistic or cynical, depending on your view, in realizing that Apple is not that different from almost every other electronics company out there."

More details can be found on iGR's website at Alternatively, contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or at for additional details.

About iGR

iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its twelfth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell architectures; DAS; LTE; WiMAX; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

Contact Information

  • Contact iGR
    Iain Gillott
    (512) 263-5682
    Email Contact