Hot Take: Apple’s Virtue Signalling is Bad for Consumer Tech!

This stems from the recent Environment section skit that Apple did in their iPhone 15 Launch event!

The storytelling was exceptional, the casting showcased diversity, and the film production was of high definition. All these elements combined to create an extraordinary experience.

That’s why it’s not surprising that the segment on environmental sustainability from the recent Apple keynote became the most widely shared. However, it’s possible that the reason behind this popularity has more to do with Apple’s desire to increase their profits stashed away in offshore accounts, rather than a genuine concern for the environment.

If Apple has managed to establish itself as a virtuous company in your eyes, it’s worth considering a non-exhaustive list of actions that paint Apple as just another unethical corporation.

One such action was Apple’s intentional battery throttling of older iPhones through software updates, which significantly diminished the performance of these otherwise functional devices. In my opinion, this was done to maximize shareholder value by shortening the upgrade cycle of iPhones. The fact is that more unnecessary gadgets being sold results in more harm to the environment.

While the world transitioned to USB-C technology years ago, Apple has only recently started adopting it, and they were compelled to do so. This followed the passing of the single charger reform by the European Union, which mandated that Apple offer USB-C charging on all devices sold in the EU starting in 2024.

Had Apple continued to sell USB-C-friendly gadgets exclusively in the EU while selling proprietary accessories elsewhere, their unethical practices would have been too conspicuous to conceal. In 2022 alone, Apple raked in over $41 billion from the sale of wearables, home, and accessories, with accessories alone contributing around 10% of that revenue.

To put this into perspective, that’s roughly half the total revenue generated by all Indian startups combined. Apple’s profit is derived from selling more flimsy white wires and other disposable accessories, adding to the mounting environmental burden of disposable consumer goods. One lesser-known fact is that Apple takes a hefty 30% cut from all digital goods sold on Apple devices by other companies. This is precisely why popular platforms like Netflix and Spotify do not allow users to directly pay for their subscriptions on the iPhone.

Apple justifies this practice by claiming that its payment gateway protects customer privacy. However, this virtue signaling is easily debunked, as the reality is that e-commerce apps on iPhones gather detailed customer information, including purchase history and home addresses.

The power abuse of the Apple/Google duopoly has had far-reaching consequences. Countless startups could have been profitable and many others might have avoided shutting down if it weren’t for the arbitrary rules imposed by these tech giants.

Apple continues to create new rules on the fly, restricting brands from advertising offers outside of the Apple ecosystem or preventing users from paying via a browser link within an app. Their actions stifle competition and innovation, consolidating their control over the market. Therefore, when you watch an Apple film or witness their environmental initiatives, remember that many of the trees they proudly claim to have planted were actually sponsored by smaller brands.

It’s essential to recognize that Apple’s grand gestures and supposed philanthropy can often be overshadowed by the oppressive practices they employ. While Apple undoubtedly produces great products and employs well-intentioned individuals, it is crucial for more people to see beyond the façade of good behavior exhibited by these corporate giants.

The time has come to challenge the actions of evil corporations and demand genuine accountability for their impact on the environment and society as a whole.

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Love to experience and learn about new gadgets and technology. New technology is not good or evil by itself. It's all about how people choose to use it!

Hot Take: Apple’s Virtue Signalling is Bad for Consumer Tech!

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