All of which brings me back to Apple the ‘Boycott Apple’ trend over at G+ and a conversation I had there based on an a brief article I wrote. A quick disclaimer before I go on. While Apple is being singled out here for criticism it is, by no means, the only offender. However it is the only offender which seems to be locked in full 20th century style “we will do what we want, regardless” mode, and as such is perhaps ripe for a somewhat uneasy awakening in the 21st century social media marketplace reality. I did a little digging in order to bring all of this together, so enjoy. #1
#6. Haters. Apple has become the number one litigious tech company on the planet filing suits against HTC, Samsung and Motorola and banning the sale of a long list of products including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy tab 10.1, the HTC One X, and even Google Voice from its iOS. The charge (and it is growing in volume) is that Apple is failing to innovate and has to now resort to banning competitor products in order to maintain its presence in the market place. #7. Anti-social. Not only is Apple anti-social in terms of ‘getting’ the social media revolution of our age but it is anti-social in terms of its corporate social responsibilities. The result is that its attitude then spills over in a whole lot of other activities including its relationship with App developers and online communities as well as its Chinese factory workers (again). #8. No conscience. Everything which I have detailed so far paints a gloomy picture of a company buttoned down in itself and afraid of everything beyond its walls. It should come as no surprise that it has yet to develop a social corporate responsibility, treats developers with impunity and behaves like a bully in the market place. Social responsibility expert, Richard Brubaker, has explained that the Foxconn incident was not an isolated one with Apple and it merely reflected a systemic approach taken by the company towards suppliers and their workers. #9. Environmentally unfriendly. A 2011 Guardian report showed that “Despite its claim to be a leading promoter of corporate ethics worldwide, the maker of iPads and iPhones came joint bottom among 29 major IT firms in a transparency study drawn up by a coalition of China's leading environmental groups.” As a matter of fact the company came under fire for environmentally unfriendly manufacturing practices in China, has tried to avoid sustainability reporting and, as this article was being written, pulled out of EPEAT green registration certification for its products. Its uneasy relationship with the environment is not entirely unexpected, given the host of issues faced so far. To be fair Apple is not the only company responsible for issues like the ones raised here. Amazon, Microsoft, HP and even Google can easily be added to the list. What makes Apple worth singling out however is that the company stands alone in being caught out on all nine counts. It thumbs its nose at consumers, turns a deaf ear to the social media outcry and continues to produce brilliant PR as far as its public image is concerned. Perhaps it’s time that the #boycottapple movement was listened to and Apple actually took a little more notice of the people who buy its products, before they decide that enough is enough and stop.