FORTUNE -- The Agence France Press headline that moved over the business wires Saturday morning seemed like deja vu all over again:
Citing only a statement issued by China Labor Watch in New York, the news agency reported that the deaths occurred at a Foxconn factory in the central city of Zhengzhou and included a 30-year-old married man who died on May 14, a 23-year-old woman (April 27) and a 24-year-old man (April 24).
And it wasn't until two days later, when the Wall Street Journal reported Foxconn's version of events, that we learned that two of the suicides occurred outside the company's property and were not, according to Foxconn, work-related.
As for the third victim -- the 24-year-old man who died on April 24 -- he didn't work for the company at all. He had, however, applied for a job at Foxconn. As if that makes a difference.
Although the Journal is to be commended for following up, we note that as far as it's concerned, Apple is the only company that matters -- or at least the only one worth mentioning -- when bad things happen in a Foxconn factory town.
As Macworld's Michael Kan once put it: "Foxconn builds products for many vendors, but its mud sticks to Apple."
A Reuters headline has some Apple watchers scratching their heads.
FORTUNE -- A Taipei-datelined Reuters story getting widely picked up Wednesday uses "disappointing" twice in six paragraphs to describe sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone.
"Disappointing demand" for the iPhone between January and March is blamed for the 19% drop in the first-quarter revenue of Hon Hai, which assembles iPhones in its Foxconn factories.
"Disappointing holiday sales" in the previous quarter are said to have "reinforced MORE
The company's first retail outlet in Shenzhen, China, employs 250, draws huge crowds
FORTUNE -- Three things struck me about Paco Wong's 18-minute YouTube video (pasted below) from the opening Saturday of Apple's (AAPL) first store in Shenzhen, China:
The number (reportedly 250) of retail staffers the company has employed
The size and enthusiasm of the crowd that showed up for free opening-day T-shirts
The number of iPhones and iPads the people in line already own.
In MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 4, 2012 7:33 AM ET
A plant that reportedly made parts for Apple's iPhone 5 is closed after 40 are injured
FORTUNE -- The footage posted late Sunday local time on China's YouKu video hosting service (and picked up on YouTube) shows a scene that will be familiar to anyone who lived through the student protests of the 1960s: Crowds of young people gravitating toward the center of the action. Excited laughter and giggling punctuated by MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 24, 2012 6:04 AM ET
The latest "confirmation" that Apple is building a TV set turns out to be another soufflé
FORTUNE -- It is perhaps a measure of how badly broken today's commercial TV viewing experience is -- the cookie-cutter sitcoms, the ridiculous reality shows, the ever-shifting channel line-ups, the relentless, merciless commercial breaks -- that the tech press is so desperate to believe even the slimmest rumor that Apple (AAPL) is getting ready to solve MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 14, 2012 8:16 AM ET
After four years of speculation there's still not a shred of hard evidence
A lot of analysts talk about Apple's (AAPL) plans to make a television -- an actual TV set, not just a set-top box -- but last week, Jefferies' Peter Misek did something most have been careful not to do.
Citing "increased confidence" that Apple's iTV is coming, he wrote into his published forecasts the revenue from its sales: 2 million MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 17, 2012 4:30 PM ET
Its investigative series about how our electronic gadgets are made could be a contender
When monologist Mike Daisey flew to China to find out why the workers who assemble electronic devices for Apple (AAPL) -- and every other major U.S. manufacturer -- were jumping from the roofs of their factory-city dormitories, he was shocked to discover that most of the American reporters writing about the suicides had never visited the plants MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 26, 2012 7:20 AM ET
CapEx spending is up 9 fold in 3 years, the bulk on equipment for a few key suppliers
When Apple (AAPL) reports an uptick in its cash and marketable securities holdings -- up $5.4 billion to $81.6 billion last quarter -- Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi can usually be counted on to call for the company to return some of that cash to the shareholders (70% of whom happen to be institutions like MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 15, 2011 8:12 AM ET
Broke ground Saturday on a robotics research facility in Taiwan
Here's one way to solve your labor problems.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, the company whose Foxconn division assembles most of the electronic products sold in the U.S. -- including Apple's (AAPL) iPhones and iPads -- broke ground Saturday on a new R&D unit in Taichung, central Taiwan.
"The investment marks the beginning of Hon Hai's bid to build an empire of robots," the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 31, 2011 8:36 AM ET
Three conspirators are fined and imprisoned for stealing Apple's secrets
In early December, when the original iPad was a hot-selling Christmas gift and the iPad 2 was still a rumor, there appeared on the Internet colorful images of silicone iPad cases that didn't fit the current model. For one thing, they each had a hole in the back that could accommodate a rear-facing camera.
Was it a hoax, a guess or an MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 16, 2011 7:48 AM ET
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