Three Strikes against Apple

From Otherwords:

There’s too much blood on its phones, laptops, and tablets.

 By Peter Certo
June 27, 2011

In college, I considered my Apple laptop a faithful, effective, and occasionally even fun machine. A year past graduation, this constant companion to late nights spent studying, working, or wasting time has aged into a decrepit device. Like the old Windows hourglass, its colorful pinwheel cursor consistently heralds interminable delays.

Similarly, my prehistoric mobile phone frequently freezes, drops calls, or prematurely runs out of battery power. Even in those treasured moments when it operates at capacity, it lacks the touch screen, email, and Internet capabilities today’s savvy consumers supposedly demand. By all indications, I’m ripe for an upgrade to a new MacBook, iPhone, or iPad.

Here’s why I’m taking a pass.

Apple, like most other electronics companies, makes liberal use of an ore called columbite-tantalite — widely known as coltan — whose electrical retention properties improve the battery lives of electronic devices. While Australia is the world’s largest coltan producer, suppliers for Apple and its competitors often prefer to buy their coltan at lower cost from mining operations in war-ravaged eastern Congo.

The money from these transactions rarely reaches the miners themselves. Rather, it’s funneled to Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebel groups inside the Congo who control the mines and use the revenues to fund their operations in the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II. Promises by the Congolese government to shutter such mines and by Apple to scrutinize its supply chains have rung ineffectual and hollow.

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One Response to “Three Strikes against Apple”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    You will also find that in your computer and on most PDB boards, not just Apple products.

    Even though I consider Apple to be overpriced crap, I think it is unfair to single out Apple on this one as every electronic company of every description, is sourcing from those sources.

    A suggestion, buy a Nokia or Samsung mobile phone. The Nokia phones can take quite a beating and the batteries last longer.

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