Not everyone at the Apple Store in Washington, D.C.’s posh Georgetown neighborhood will be there to buy a new iPad on Friday. Those protesting working conditions at Apple factories in China plan to demonstrate outside that retail location Friday in connection with the launch of the third-generation Apple tablet.
The effort stems from a petition launched by an Apple user on Change.org in January asking Apple to prevent workplace abuses attracted 250,000 supporters. The signatures were subsequently delivered to six Apple Stores around the world. Apple last month tapped an outside organization, the Fair Labor Association, to audit conditions at the plants where the majority of iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are made. The findings are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
According to a Change.org press release issud today, local consumers at the Georgetown Apple Store will join those waiting to buy iPads, “asking Apple to commit to implementing a worker protection strategy with a clear timeline.”
With pre-orders already sold out and a stream of glowing reviews rolling in, the new iPad is expected to sell briskly when it hits store shelves Friday. Analysts expect Apple will sell more than 55 million iPads this year.