>But would anybody in their right mind be disappointed with $16.5 billion in quarterly cash flow instead of $17.5 billion?
Yes, Wall Street. But then again you did qualify that with “right mind”.
This is an incredibly over simplified view of the problem — paying more for manufacturing doesn’t solve the core issue. The core issue is that such poor labor standards are acceptable in China.
Giving Foxconn more money just means that Foxconn makes more money.
Apple could demand that it be passed along to the employees, but let’s be honest because that is going to require a lot of double checks.
Back to the above quote — while $16.5 billion and $17.5 billion are still huge numbers, Wall Street tends to *not* reward declining numbers. So yeah, there would be disappointment — especially so if Wall Street were to find out that Cook just decided he would like to make *less* money.