It pops up every now and then. 10 years ago it was Nike Shoes. I think improved for them some when Duke students started protesting.
It would take a consumer boycott, but quite simply, for the social media crowd, Apple is a lower evil then social conservatives and extreme anti-competitive capitalism.
Also, it's a sign of economic recovery in a sense. People start caring about others more when they're less worried about themselves.
'It' follows the money. Ten years ago, Apple wasn't front and foremost on the consumers mind. Nike, however, was making the big bucks and it's multi-million dollar endorsement deals were all over the news. Have you noticed you don't hear as much about those deals anymore? They are still being made with kids not even half-way through college. It's part of the standard contract as they make the jump to pro-ball. Nike got smart. Advertising those endorsements was almost as good as the endorsement itself. Now they keep it on the down low and probably have these kids sign something saying they will keep it on the down low as well.
Boycotts by the consumer will never happen when it comes to items that elevate their status, self-esteem (for whatever it's worth), can be justified as a necessity in any way, and excused because it is what it is. This is going to sound horrific but....the consumer will tolerate child labor. They use children to mine for diamonds for crying out loud. There are things that some consumers just don't want to know about because they would have to do something about it and that would just be an inconvenience. The government knows this and participates in this otherwise they wouldn't pass laws that determine the exact amount of rodent hair that is permissible to pass a health inspection at your favorite chocolate plant. If consumers won't boycott something for their own safety, why would they do it for anyone elses?
I don't believe it's a sign of economic recovery at all. I watched a news item about a family struggling to make ends meet, about to lose their trailer, utilities shut off, etc., etc. They have been on a downward spiral for years with the economy and unemployment. Then I saw the mother holding the latest model iphone. I kept waiting for the reporter to ask her how she planned on paying for the wifi coverage and internet minutes, etc., etc.
I think a lot of these people become 'concerned' because it's trendy and because they need to justify their existence. If they gave a crap, they would research the product BEFORE they purchased it but they don't because they WANT it and if they knew everything behind it they couldn't play ignorant anymore. These stories about Foxconn have been going around for years on the news (television, internet, print, radio).
Ignorance is bliss and the new economy is based on deprive and demand.