Apple products are world-renowned ever since the first iPhone arrived. But before you get the newest model of Apple tech, you should know what’s involved in the production and sale. You should know what is behind every Apple product to see if it’s still worth the hype.
From its Macbook, to iPads and iPhones, the way these products work is very handy. Apple is a company which values consistency, accessibility, and comfortability. With its massive success and popularity over the years and how they have proven their credibility, they dominate the consumer tech market.
Despite evolving and releasing new products with different features, their consistency is undeniable and it does not disrupt the message their brand entails. Whether it is an iPhone, iPad, their awesome smartwatch which keeps tabs on your activities, it never disappoints, except only for some of its awful repair services.
Moreover, their products can be quite expensive for some, but it definitely is a joy for the wealthy ones for they will not bat an eyelash despite its price. Furthermore, the more you want to upgrade your latest purchase, the more it gets expensive but people would care less.
The moment another product or the latest model of Apple products are released, people all over the world would rush towards the nearest store to purchase the newly released product and take turns updating social media about it. It is very overwhelming considering the amount of money they will pay just to get the latest product.
Amidst the flashy facade of Apple products, there are some downsides and dark truths behind this tech brand.
5 Things To Know About Apple
Here are some things you need to know before buying another Apple tech product.
Independent Repair Services
Yehey!! Apple’s very own repair service sounds like good news right? Finally, you can now get your stuff fixed seamlessly because it is Apple’s independent repair service and it can accommodate your needs and queries. Honey, sorry to burst your bubble but that is not likely to happen. In the past years, Apple almost made it impossible for local tech shops and even high-end ones to fix their products.
Trust me. I have been there and I ended up wasting a huge amount of money just to get my iPhone 6 fixed, but unfortunately to no avail. There are several restrictions and most of these shops do not have access to whatever required parts or program there is.
Consequently, their knowledge on fixing your broken Apple product is only limited to replacing batteries and display. If you choose to go on Apple’s Repair Services, you will have to show them a bit of your personal information more so you will have to pay more just for a single problem.
Based on experience, they did not put much effort into fixing my phone. Instead, they just told me how crucial the problem is and focused on persuading me to just purchase a new product.
In fact, Apple contributes a lot to the massive e-waste pollution that plaguing our environment.
Speaking of services and in relation to Apple having its ways in persuading their customers to purchase their products, it has been noted years ago that one of Apple’s products, the iPhone, has been slowly losing its utility, according to its users. Moreover, in layman’s terms, the iPhone’s capacity to provide ease and convenience to its users is deliberately slowing down. Claims were also presented by some users that prior to the release of another iPhone model, their phones begin to wear down; some even noticed their phones automatically shut down despite their good condition.
As a matter of fact, the European Government investigated this issue and accused Apple of “planned obsolescence”. This is the shortening of the life span of their older phones, to force users to upgrade even if the hardware is still working. According to a report in Forbes, the company decided to hide its flaws from the public instead of replacing the components needed in order to fix the phone.
Hence, in 2016 the company released a software update addressing the issue. Consequently, apart from the US and Israel complaining regarding this issue, France also made an effort calling out the company for its negligence and filed a legal complaint. So after some users testing and providing sufficient evidence about the alleged planned obsolescence, in December of 2016, Apple issued a public apology.
Ever since the world domination of Apple products, one of its most in demand product would be their iPhone products. It caused massive demand all over the world just to order its newly released models. Apart from the massive demands of iPhones themselves, the demands on building this product also grew high.
But amid the high demand for Apple products, there are also a lot of labor issues in this tech company.
Demands for rare earth elements also grew high such as aluminum and iron for the majority of its mass, and copper, cobalt, nickel, carbon, silicon, and lithium for the remaining significant masses are only a few other earth metals. Accordingly, the mining industry also exploded with demands on providing such elements needed to build the phone. But the dark side is not found in the rare earth metals but in the labor of those people who work to mine the aforementioned minerals.
Despite the increase in profit of these companies, the gains of their laborers were not considered. A Guardian report tells that most of these miners are being assisted by some children, even their own, starting the age of six, in hopes to mine faster and to gain a bigger amount of salary after their tiring labor. Consequently, miners that need to rappel below a hole were not provided with safety equipment.
Also, after their rigorous efforts of mining, the minerals mined are cleaned by some wives and children, using their local water supply despite its risk of contaminating their source of water, yet again the amount of salary they receive is not justifiable. Congo and Argentina are not the only countries affected by this. Many countries have suffered in order to provide the Western countries what they need. Regardless of its effects, the company remains in denial.
Child labor was also imminently rampant in their company. In China, teenagers below 16 were working. In fact, student interns are required to work in factories as much as the real workers do, despite the production work is not related to their field of studies. Wages aren’t met for as low as $1.30 and $1.50 is not enough to sustain their basic needs. Furthermore, day offs are allowed voluntarily, but a worker cannot ask for another day off as a form of punishment.
Apple isn’t Green as it claims to be
Apple promised to make its supply chain more sustainable over the next decade. Their pledge for a 100% carbon neutral by 2030 received many praises from both the public’s interest and most especially organizations that supports sustainability and environmental growth. Apple also said that by 2030, most likely their products such as iPhone, MacBook, and iPad “will have no climate impact”, following Microsoft who also pledged the same thing of January of 2020.
However, if Apple claims to focus more on sustainability, carbon emissions should not be the only factor they should look at. With their recent issue regarding planned obsolescence, slowing down their older models making their previous product less useful than it was, it is easy for consumers to just throw away an item that is no longer useful, especially if it can’t be fixed. Hence, it can still affect the environment by quickly disposing it and exposing its materials which helped built the phone itself.
If Apple is going to hit that mile, they must also improve the durability of their designs and stop locking their devices, disallowing local and independent repair services to fix the “bugs”. First, it reduces the probability of eliminating waste that can be harmful to the environment, and second, it allows its consumers to enjoy the worth of their products for years and not for months!
Sure Apple had promised about their paper packaging strategy but it’s not as eco-friendly as it sounds. Despite their efforts of publicizing going green and recycling such e-waste, the truth is more than half of these e-waste still ends up on landfills and only those can be recovered are being recycled. Consequently, even some products are being recycled few from these cannot be recovered anymore, which ends up to be useless.
Furthermore, their 100% claims of the energy use coming from renewable energy are not true. As Alex Epstein explains, Apple pays other energy users who derive a fraction of the energy usage from renewable energy to “credit” their renewable consumption to Apple.
Apple allegedly uses fear and intimidation to silence the press. Few episodes of the press getting intimidation from the company were reported such as filing a civil lawsuit against Nick Ciarelli providing leaks on his blog about Apple products which were not released yet. But the rift only ended after Ciarelli took down his blog for good.
Another issue released was when the legal team of Apple company raided Jason Chen’s home, editor of Gizmodo after their site allegedly posted a video of an iPhone prototype.
Furthermore, in 2011, the company reported having lost an important prototype of the iPhone in a Bay Area bar. The Apple security personnel reported to the San Francisco Police Department about the missing piece of software and claimed that they have tracked down its whereabouts, where Sergio Calderon lives.
Accordingly, police officers came into his residence and asked to search his house even his computer to see if the piece of software was there, only to realize that those people were not police officers but only Apple security personnel. He added that they even showed their ‘badges’ and tried bribing him after what they caused.
Again, where are their values? Another key point regarding these unethical actions, Steve Jobs has been known to be a tyrant during his time as the Chairman of the Board of Directors in Pixar. It was said that some employees complained and tried talking it through Jobs to give employees at least 2 weeks notice before firing them, but Jobs only replied with, “Okay but the notice is retroactive from two weeks ago.” Moreover, Jobs refuses to give stock options to one of Apple’s first employees.
It may have frustrated other people upon finding out several dark sides of their most loved tech company, but these hard facts are worth knowing.
Apple, may not be perfect and it definitely has flaws but its products are undeniably good. However, as buyers, we should always understand the sustainability of what we purchase. Everything we buy impacts on the environment. So remember this article before you get excited to buy another Mac or iPhone.
If you need a new phone or laptop, the most sustainable thing to buy is to go for refurbished, secondhand gadgets. Doing this helps save perfectly usable tech from going to the landfill.