Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:13

Apple Intentionally Cutting Themselves Out Of Sales To Government Agencies By Pulling Products From EPEAT Testing

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With some of Apple’s latest products it seems as if they have built in some obsolescence into them or just made the cost of repair too high for most consumers and repair shops. They have done this in a number of ways including gluing the batteries to the cases, gluing the glass to the displays (and then gluing them to the case!) and more. This heavy shift towards disposable products (meaning that people are more likely to throw them out than try to get them fixed) has been noted by sites like iFixIt who recently called the Mac Book Pro Retina one of the least repairable laptops they have ever worked with.

Although only Apple knows the reasons they are doing this there is tons of speculation. One of our favorites was that Apple could be setting themselves up as a recycle point for their products. They could allow customers to trade in their broken devices for a small credit towards the purchase of a new disposable device. The internals would then be recycled back into usable products (one way or the other) and if it cannot be recycled disposed of properly. This would be the greenest thing ever… well one thing about this is that we highly doubt Apple has the facilities to do this type of recycling or that they would want to spend the money to do this.

What is more likely is that Apple wants to make sure they maintain a good revenue stream which means getting people to bring their products in to have batteries replaced, and also that they buy something new and shiny when their old product gets too slow or dies. An unfortunate side effect of this is that Apple would no longer be able to get their products certified by EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool). This certification says that the product is “green” based on 51 different criteria (23 required and 28 optional) depending on the number of criteria they meet the devices can get a gold, silver or bronze certification. Many of the requirements for EPEAT certification cover disassembly and recyclability; which is something that Apple’s products are heading away from rapidly. Apple has voluntarily pulled their products from testing so they will no longer even seek this level of green certification.

This move means that no US governmental agency (including the military and many government contractors) can use purchase Apple products per Executive Order 13423 which clearly states;

“ensure that the agency (i) when acquiring an electronic product to meet its requirements, meets at least 95 percent of those requirements with an Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered electronic product, unless there is no EPEAT standard for such product,”

Many state and city governments have similar rules and more than a few corporations use EPEAT certified hardware to show how green they are. In fact the City of San Francisco has already issued a memo stating that Apple hardware no longer qualifies for city funding.

It looks like Apple’s move to keep everything in house is going to impact their sales in some significant ways. We really do wonder what they are thinking with this move, but as with many things Apple we are sure that when they do tell us, it will be carefully spun to look like it is for the good of the consumer and, of course, the environment.

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Read 2923 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:32

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