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App Depicting Unfair Labour Practices in Smartphone Manufacturing Banned by Apple

Apple has moved to ban a particular game from its iTunes App Store because it portrays the iPhone in a bad light.

The Phone Story game app describes the smartphone manufacturing process and includes references to child labor and worker suicides. Apple, it seems, instantly assumed that it was referring to iPhone manufacturing practices.

The game, developed by Italian app development company Molleindustria, features four mini-games that hope to educate people about how the smartphone is made. Revenues from the app will be donated to organisations that help workers combat corporate abuse.

The mini-games describe the coltan extraction in Congo, outsourced labour in China, electronic waste being dumped in Pakistan and the hunger to acquire the latest gadgets in western countries.

According to an article (opens in new tab) on The Guardian, one of the mini-games feature workers jumping off buildings, a clear reference to the recent suicides in Apple’s Chinese manufacturer Foxconn’s factories.

“We are currently considering two steps. Produce a new version of Phone Story that depicts the violence and abuse of children involved in the electronic manufacturing supply chain in a non-crude and non-objectionable way. [and] release a version for the Android market and jailbroken ios [sic] devices,” the game’s developers said in a blog post after the app was banned.