Archive for apple

Bad Apple? Computer giant shows its not so lovely side.

Posted in business, Marketing, advertising, ethics, Uncategorized with tags , , on June 26, 2012 by marketingheart

The other day, lovely, shiny beloved Apple got into big trouble by misleading Australian consumers on the capabilities of its new iPad tablet. The Federal Court slapped Apple on the hand to the tune of  $2.25 million – or a little over a day’s profit.

Unfortunately when Apple implied the newest version of the iPad could connect with fourth generation cellular networks in Australia, they, ah, did a boo boo. It can’t.

Innocent mistake? Hmmm, well back in March Apple had been instructed to refund customers for the blunder and at that time, it agreed to display a statement saying the iPad is not compatible with current 4G networks. But somehow this subsequently slipped Apples mind, prompting Justice Bromberg in his ruling to note that “the most concerning aspect of Apple’s contravention… is the deliberate nature of its conduct”. Justice Bromberg pretty much accused Apple of deliberately ignoring the consumer watchdog, commenting that “global uniformity was given a greater priority than the need to ensure compliance”Image

The ACCC didn’t miss the opportunity to stick the knife in, chairman Rod Sims sounding just a little shrill “The $2.25 million penalty reflects the seriousness of a company the size of Apple refusing to change its advertising when it has been put on notice that it is likely to be misleading consumers.”

One is left wondering whether somebody at Apple made the decision to ‘stuff ’em, let’s see what we can get away with’. Lovely, shiny Apple with such friendly store staff.

What would Steve say?


your new christmas laptop – did you recycle? If it’s an Apple, you will next time.

Posted in sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 4, 2011 by marketingheart

What do you do with your instantly obsolete technology? How many of us think about that when we enter and are instantly seduced by the Apple store? What does Apple do about it? Well in the US they have a recycling program. They will give you a giftcard to the value of your old goods or charge $30 for straight recycle. Fantastic, I’d love to know how the economics of that worked. In Australia they simply offer to recycle free so long as you make another purchase.

Apple says it runs recycling programs in “95 percent of the countries where our products are sold, diverting more than 130.2 million pounds (287,042 tonnes) of equipment from landfills since 1994. Our original goal for 2010 was to achieve a worldwide recycling rate of 50 percent”. Their graph supporting these numbers looks good:

apple ewaste recycling

It also publishes a lot of information about its green credentials….explaining how it applies sustainable approaches to its facilities, materials, products as well as recycling. It has also published a statement regarding the removal of toxics from its products. I like so many others love apple – I admit it. But questions do remain….about what happens to Apple’s ewaste.

Courtesy greenpeace

As Jim Puckett, the founder of the Basel Action Network (BAN) recycling watchdog group puts it, “ the most benign part of a product’s lifecycle is when it’s sitting on your desk. That happens in rich countries. The ugly parts of the lifecycle, the dirtier parts, the production and the waste, happen in developing countries.”

Apple says it doesn’t ship e-waste overseas. Its policy reads, “No waste from Apple’s U.S. recycling program is shipped outside North America. All recovered materials are processed domestically, with the exception of some commodity materials that can be recycled for future use.”

But they have been questioned about the exception “commodity materials”. BAN is trying to pressure Apple and other tech companies into explicitly promising not to export hazardous e-waste to developing countries. Specifically, BAN wants these companies to sign its Manufacturer’s Commitment, a straightforward pledge not to export hazardous e-waste to developing nations, either directly or through third-party recyclers. So far, of the major tech companies BAN is targeting, only Sony had signed the Commitment; Apple, Dell and others, have not.

Apple says it audits its “recycling partners” closely and that it does not export hazardous tech trash. They aren’t saying who these “recycling partners” are. “Most companies have not been very straightforward about who’s in their recycling chain, and what they actually do with the material,” says Sheila Davis, the executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC), which has been tracking the electronics industry since 1982.

Bottom line is that it’s hard to independantly assess Apple’s e-waste operation. “If we knew which recyclers they use, if they could tell us that, then we could find out where the (e-waste) is going.”says BAN’s Puckett.