Apple is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in Apr.1976 to develop and sell Wozniak's Apple I personal computer; it was incorporated as Apple Computer Inc in Jan.1977. Power struggles within the company caused Steve Wozniak to leave in 1985, while Steve Jobs resigned and founded NeXT.
Apple is the world's largest IT company by revenue, and the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei. Apple's worldwide annual revenue totaled $229 bn in 2017. In 2018, Apple became the first public US company to be valued at over $1 tn.
Climate Policy Rating: InfluenceMap A Led by CEO Tim Cook, the company advocates for strong renewables policy in the US and elsewhere. Apple has become involved in some business initiatives building momentum towards climate action. In 2009, the company left the US Chamber of Commerce. It supports US climate legislation via groups like Advanced Energy Economy.
Tax Policy: Apple holds $246bn offshore for tax purposes. Apple structured two Irish subsidiaries to be tax residents of neither the USA (where they are controlled), nor Ireland (where they are incorporated). The European Commission found that Apple used this tax haven structure to pay a tax rate of 0.005% on its European profits in 2014.ref
- Feb.05.2019: Apple to pay 10 years of back taxes to France. Apple has agreed to pay 10 years of back taxes to France, marking the latest victory for European govts pushing tech multinationals to pay their fair share in local markets. Chancellor Philip Hammond recently announced plans to introduce a special digital services tax by 2020 on online firms making more than £500m globally per year. France is also introducing its own “GAFA tax” – referring to Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. In 2016, Apple was ordered to pay €13bn in back taxes to Ireland by the European commission, which said the company paid a tax rate of just 0.005% on its European profits two years earlier. Kalyeena Makortoff, The Guardian.
Apple has a strong culture of corporate secrecy, and has an anti-leak Global Security team that recruits from the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service.
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- Dec.20.2018: iPhone owners have less than two weeks to replace battery for £25. Cost of out-of-warranty battery replacements is due to jump to as much as £65. Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian.
- Nov.21.2018: Apple supplier to slash expenses amid concern over iPhone sales. Foxconn Technology Group plans to cut costs by £2.3bn next year. Foxconn, which also supplies parts to other large technology companies such as Google and Amazon, made revenues of £3.7bn in 2017. However, it has faced criticism for its working practices, including an increasing reliance on a disposable workforce. Jas[er Jolly, The Guardian.
- Aug.03.2018: Apple becomes first US $trillion company. World Bank data shows there are only 16 countries with a gross domestic product, or GDP, equal to or greater than Apple’s current market valuation. The main focus for Apple, investors and Wall Street analysts is the iPhone, which accounts for nearly two thirds of the company’s money. The title of the world’s first $1 trillion company is claimed by PetroChina after its Shanghai stock exchange listing in 2007. However, the oil and gas group had a complicated structure and most of the shares were held by the state. Robert Miller, The Times.
- Jun.21.2018: The group’s success gave colleagues the confidence to protest in large numbers against an existing contract to develop drone technology, it is claimed. Irish tax structures may have enabled Apple to reduce its effective corporate tax rate across the EU to as low as 0.7%. Research by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament, which includes Sinn Féin, found that with the assistance of the Irish govt Apple has created a structure that has allowed it to gain a tax write-off against almost all its non-US sales profits. Apple is achieving this through a capital allowance for depreciation of intangible assets at a rate of 100 per cent, introduced by the Irish govt in 2014. John Wash, Michael Nienaber, The Times.
- Mar.08.2018: Apple’s Failure to Enforce Supplier Responsibility Standards in 2017. Apple released their annual supplier responsibility report earlier today. But the extent to which the company has enforced its supplier responsibility standards in 2017 remains dubious. Every year, the report cherry picks information that puts Apple in a good light, while intentionally overlooking its violations of Chinese labor laws and abuses of Chinese workers' rights and interests. In 2017, Apple did make improvements in some areas. However, Apple suppliers located in provinces other than Shanghai are still only contributing to workers’ social insurance based on the local minimum wage, which is much lower than their actual monthly income. A recent report by China Labor Watch has revealed a host of rights violations at Suqian Catcher. China Labor Watch.
- Jan.16.2018: Apple’s Failed CSR Audit ：A Report on Catcher Technology Polluting the Environment and Harming the Health of Workers. Catcher Technology (Suqian) Co Ltd. is a world leader in the light metal industry, specializing in notebook computers, digital cameras, and disc drives. Catcher manufactures products for Apple, IBM, Dell, HP, and Sony, amongst other well-known brand companies. In 2014, China Labor Watch released an investigation reporter at Catcher Technology, which outlined a string of rights violations including discriminatory hiring policies, lack of safety training, long work hours, and low wages. From Oct.2017—Jan.2018, China Labor Watch conducted another in-depth investigation into the working conditions of the Catcher factory based in Suqian. CLW identified major issues at Catcher regarding occupational health and safety, pollution and work schedules. On May.25.2017, there was an incident of toxic gas poisoning at Catcher’s A6 workshop, which resulted in the hospitalization of 90 workers, with five workers admitted to intensive care. ... China Labor Watch.
- Oct.18.2017: Workers protest at Apple’s supplier factory Green Point. The Wuxi Green Point factory is laying off workers and rearranging workers’ positions as iPhone 8 sales are not performing well. Some workers at the Green Point factory have been reassigned to the Green Magnesium factory, where the salary and benefits are not as good. ... China Labor Watch.
- May.14.2015: iForest: Apple gets into forest conservation in China and the US. The electronics giant is buying forests in the US and working with NGOs in China to improve forestry management in its supply chain and tackle deforestation. On Monday, Apple announced a plan to work with the World Wildlife Fund to improve the management of 1m acres of forests in China. This follows the iPhone maker’s announcement last month to donate money to Conservation Fund to buy and protect 36,000 acres of forests from commercial development other than forestry product production in Maine and North Carolina. In both the US and China projects, Apple is ponying up undisclosed sums to enable the nonprofit groups to improve the farming and logging practices of those forests that already have been producing raw materials for packaging. Those forests don’t have to be supplying products to Apple and its contract manufacturers, however. The company wants to protect enough forests that produce the equivalent amount of virgin fiber – tree or plant fibers that haven’t previously been used – that Apple needs. Ucilia Wang, The Guardian.
- Sept.18.2014: Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants. Apple has said that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in govt efforts to collect user information. The move amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers. Apple will still have the ability — and the legal responsibility — to turn over user data stored elsewhere, such as in its iCloud service. Craig Timberg, The Washington Post.
- The A-List of Climate Policy Engagement. Which global companies lead in strategic lobbying for the ambitions of Paris? Rankings measure how a corporation or trade association behaves towards 2°C aligned climate and energy policy. Influence Map, Apr.2018.
- Corporate Political Engagement Index 2018. The new index of 104 multi-national companies, many of whom regularly meet with govt, has found nearly 75% are failing to adequately disclose how they engage with politicians. Only one company received the highest grade, with the average grade being "E" – representing poor standards in transparency. Transparency International UK, Nov.2018.
- Report details Apple's efforts to increase product secrecy, more leaks from Apple campus than supply chain in 2016 Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac, Jun.20.2017.
- Leaked recording: Inside Apple's global war on leakers William Turton, The Outline, Jun.20.2017.
- Internal Apple presentation on how to handle leaks gets leaked Dani Deahl, The Verge, Jun.20.2017.