Apple factory workers strike in China, as loyalty rises among iPhone users

Positive and negative reactions to the world's most bipolar company

Loyalty among Apple users continues to rise with the popularity of iPhones, according to research firm GfK, which reported today that 84 percent of iPhone users said they would buy another iPhone when the time came to replace their current phone.

Only 60 percent of Android users said they would stick with Android when they replaced their phones; 48 percent of Blackberry users would stay the course.

Unfortunately for Apple and for China – which took over from the U.S. as the biggest market for smartphones this year according to a study from Strategy Analytics – not all Chinese are still enamored of iPhones or of Apple.

More than 1,000 workers declared a strike earier this week at Jingmo Electronics, the Shenzhen, China factory that makes keyboards for Apple, LG and IBM, among others.

About 10 percent of the company's 3,000 total workers are on the Apple assembly line, according to CultofMac.

The strike was called to protest as much as 120 hours of forced overtime per month, a lack of benefits, unsafe conditions and injuries among workers, the firing of older workers and verbal abuse of workers by managers.

The Chinese factory workers may not realize, but verbal abuse from managers is an Apple tradition going back to the early days of Steve Jobs' first tour as CEO of the company that makes the prettiest computers and, apparently, the ugliest working conditions.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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