Computing giant Apple makes a big deal about its commitment to using recycled materials in its devices, and recycling those devices as well, but apparently the companies it relies on to meet that commitment aren’t as dedicated to the cause.
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According to the Apple-focused blog AppleInsider, the company has been attempting to move more of the recycling process in house, but still relies on partner companies, and since 2014 one of them was an electronics firm called Geep Canada.
Geep hasn’t denied the thefts alleged in Apple’s lawsuit but argues they were the work of three rogue employees without their knowledge.
According to Apple those three employees were senior managers at the firm.
Apple’s suit was filed in January and a suit targeting those three employees by Geep was filed in July, but the lawsuits were only revealed publicly for the first time last week.
Apple stated that it had sent 531,966 iPhones, 25,673 iPads, and 19,277 Watches to Geep between January 2015 and December 2017.
When the company audited Geep’s warehouse it allegedly found some of its products being stored out of view of security cameras, and when it checked the serial numbers it found approximately 18 per cent (a little over 100,000) of the devices it had sent to be recycled were still active on mobile phone networks.
Apple has also claimed the number of stolen devices is likely higher since some iPad and Watch models don’t connect to cell networks.
Apple is suing for the money the resellers made off the devices, plus an addition $31 million Canadian ($A32.5 million).
If Apple wins, Geep wants the three employees named in its lawsuit to pay the damages and costs, claiming it suffered “extensive business losses” due to the thefts and Apple terminating its contract.