By now many of us know that ‘Denial’ is NOT a river in Egypt – but don’t tell that to the folks in Cupertino. You see they seem to be living in denial of something known as ‘Corporate Responsibility’. The Financial Times defines Corporate responsibility as “being consistent with ethical principles and conduct such as honesty, integrity and respect for others. By voluntarily accepting responsibility for its actions corporations earn their licence to operate in society.”
This goes beyond any phone or OS, the actions of multinational corporations are a reflection on their ethical and moral conduct. Corporations either stand up and take ownership of their actions or they shirk them, rarely is there middle ground. So why single out Apple? Here are a few prime examples:
- Antennagate- when dropped calls and reception issues were identified with the iPhone 4, Apple labeled it as user error (you’re holding it wrong). They tried to update the OS to address this but failed. Eventually they offered free bumper cases and a redesigned antenna. Consumer Reports refused to endorse the product.
- The San Bernardino Terrorist. On December 2nd 2015 a terrorist plotted and killed 14 people in California and injured 21 others. The FBI believed the perpetrators’ iPhone may hold important information regarding the case and obtained a lawful search warrant and Court order, while Apple had complied with dozens of Court orders in the recent past, they refused to comply with this court order. The net result, Britian recently passed a law entitled “Investigatory Powers Bill” aka ‘The Snoopers Charter’. According to ZeroHedge this bill “establishes the legal framework authorizing the government to hack into devices, networks and services in bulk and to create vast databases of personal information on all UK citizens.” Brits should thank Apple for effectively ending their right to privacy.
- Corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to be as profitable as possible. This includes practices such as tax avoidance. By claiming their actual business headquarters are in Ireland Apple has paid rates as low as ~0.005% as opposed to 37-39% in the USA. While many corporations use this practice, when the most profitable corporation in history does it’s sure to get noticed. And it just so happens the European antitrust Commission noticed. To the extent they claim Apple owes £11 Billion in back taxes! Ireland has appealed and whether Apple pays back taxes (which is a business deduction), stays, or moves to the US under pressure from president-elect Trump, remains to be seen – Watch This Space!
- Finally we have exploding / incendiary phones. After Samsung experienced this disaster with the Galaxy Note 7 it was obvious the phone needed to be recalled to prevent future injuries, so Samsung took the PR and financial hit and issued a Recall. Apple on the other hand has been experiencing burning/exloding iPhones for years across various models, and you know what their response has been? To replace the iPhone with another potential hand grenade with no admission of guilt. Pictures of the bodily injury and property damage are simply appalling.
Apples response: according to Business Insider Apple is offering free battery replacements to a small number iPhone 6s models that randomly shut down! How many more people must be disfigured or lose their home before Apple owns up to their design flaws?
If a corporation could raise a child who would you prefer to be the parent? BlackBerry who values your privacy & security, does not shirk it’s responsibilities, complies with Court orders, and behaves in an ethical manner, or Apple……
Just another reason-