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Apple's Jobs says company is probing Foxconn matters


LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg)—Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said his company is taking pains to understand the challenges facing Foxconn Technology Group, a maker of Apple products that has been plagued by suicides.

“It’s very troubling,” Mr. Jobs said during an on-stage interview at a technology conference in Los Angeles. “We’re all over this.”

At least 10 people have died this year at Foxconn’s Chinese operations. Apple said last week that it is investigating practices at the company, also known as Hon Hai Group, which makes iPhones and other electronics.

Mr. Jobs also defended the manufacturer. Foxconn “is not a sweatshop,” Mr. Jobs said. Apple “does one of the best jobs” inspecting suppliers, he said.

During the conference, Mr. Jobs took jabs at Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash online video software, saying the technology is on the wane.

Flash looks as though “it’s had its day,” Mr. Jobs said. “The way we’ve succeeded is by choosing which horses to ride, technically,” he said. Mr. Jobs added that “if you choose wisely, you can save yourself an enormous amount of work.”

Mr. Jobs is in the midst of a public dispute with Adobe over which software is best for making video run smoothly on his company’s mobile devices. Apple has faulted Flash as slow, power hungry and unsuitable for some of Apple’s products.

Apple recently overtook Microsoft Corp. to become the world’s most valuable technology company. The gain in Apple’s share price is “surreal,” Mr. Jobs said.

&Copy;2010 Bloomberg News