Author Topic: Apple going to great lengths to prevent recycling of Mac parts by shredding them  (Read 5267 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
This article was posted to Reddit by user vze1lryy

Macbook repair guru Louis Rossman.

I thought this story was so outrageous that it deserved a thread by itself. I was a longtime mac user for decades - so many years that Ive lost count of how many Macs Ive owned, a lot. But my most recent experience - several years ago, made me make a conscious decision to wean myself away from them.

What was so outrageous is that the Macbook had a series of issues through its whole life.. Had I not spent extra to get Apple Care I would have been out a lot of money. And it seemed that that is what they were set up to do. I always tell people to only go to them for warantee repair.. Ive had friends who ended up losing their only computers, unable to ransom them back.

Anyway, I wonder if perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye. I suspect that the push towards newer hardware is not just about money. It may be much more Orwellian than that.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/apple-is-lobbying-against-your-right-to-repair-iphones-new-york-state-records-confirm

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/apple-recycling-iphones-macbooks

Ironic, given the history of the Apple computer.

These are Macbooks on their way to the shredder.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 04:41:05 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline Jeroen3

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3403
  • Country: nl
  • Embedded Engineer
    • jeroen3.nl
Working for the company, I would be against this bill too.
As a tech-savvy consumer, I would be in favor of this bill.

Meanwhile, what is wrong with shredding used parts? It's not like stocking them makes them worth more.
 

Offline janekm

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Country: gb
Those are absolutely ancient Macbook cases... what possible value could they have other than getting shredded for plastic recycling?

Seems a bit odd to single out Apple since they actually do make an effort at recycling, both by picking recyclable materials during manufacture (aluminium enclosures) and offering a take-back program in the stores...
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline P90

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 646
There seems to be a lot of Apple bashing going on around here lately...
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline Kjelt

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5779
  • Country: nl
HP did the same in the 70s-90s with spectrum analyzers, they gave huge discounts to companies buying a new one and turning in the old one and then destroy them.
The reason was to keep the market from saturation and small businesses would have to buy a new one since there was practically no second hand market.

Now with Apple, after 5 years you could claim the hardware is pretty useless and for them to recycle the old hardware would only be good for the environment.
I wish all manufacturers would have the duty/obligtion to recycle their old hardware when it is turned in by the consumer, I don't see the problem.

However to design hardware that is irreparable by design I personally find disgusting.
A consumer should think twice before buying something that is actually a luxury throw a way device.
 

Offline Jeroen3

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3403
  • Country: nl
  • Embedded Engineer
    • jeroen3.nl
The reason was to keep the market from saturation and small businesses would have to buy a new one since there was practically no second hand market.
When cars reach a certain age and are traded in, they either get exported or shredded. While still good and safe cars.

Now with Apple, after 5 years you could claim the hardware is pretty useless and for them to recycle the old hardware would only be good for the environment.
It's easy to point to apple for this. But any other high tech consumer stuff is useless after 5 years, except for maybe large household items such as ovens and washer. But their environment and functionality does not need to keep up with the world. Their purpose is limited.
This has to change though because we're approaching the end or moore's law.

I wish all manufacturers would have the duty/obligtion to recycle their old hardware when it is turned in by the consumer, I don't see the problem.
WEEE.
 

Offline X

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 184
  • Country: 00
    • This is where you end up when you die...
I think the issue here is that Apple are apparently forcing recyclers to shred the parts, and banning them from reselling them, harvesting parts, and reusing them. I can understand the outrage over this, especially given Apple's history of being control freaks.

There seems to be a lot of Apple bashing going on around here lately...
Any company which is demonstrably proven to do the following deserves to be bashed:
  • sell substandard services and products for elevated prices
  • employ questionable marketing tactics which promote unneeded consumerism (buying new devices and throwing the old ones out, instead of keeping them until they drop)
  • actively try to stop others from repairing their own devices
  • now (apparently) force recyclers to shred their products rather than send them off to repairers
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 10:19:01 am by X »
 

Offline CJay

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3547
  • Country: gb
Apple have always been an exceptionally unpleasant and protectionist company when it comes to repairs outside of their 'authorised' channel.

I ran an Apple repair department when Quadra was a current product and we were on the receiving end of various attempts by Apple's legal department that were intended to prevent us from component level repairing Apple equipment.

It's where I learned to love the products but hate the company.

 

Offline jonovid

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 824
  • Country: au
    • JONOVID
Apple have always been an exceptionally unpleasant and protectionist company when it comes to repairs outside of their 'authorised' channel.

I ran an Apple repair department when Quadra was a current product and we were on the receiving end of various attempts by Apple's legal department that were intended to prevent us from component level repairing Apple equipment.

It's where I learned to love the products but hate the company.


this is why counterfeiting works in many parts of the world. not all counterfeits are of poor quality, many are just as good or better. the original maybe overpriced , unrepairable or just made unavailable in your part of the world by a excessively protectionist company.
Hobby of evil genius      basic knowledge of electronics
 

Offline CJay

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3547
  • Country: gb
this is why counterfeiting works in many parts of the world. not all counterfeits are of poor quality, many are just as good or better. the original maybe overpriced , unrepairable or just made unavailable in your part of the world by a excessively protectionist company.

It's not a particularly new thing either, I can think of at least one mass market product that was allegedly counterfeited and sold via UK mail order catalogues back in the '80s and I'm sure there've been countless others prior to that too.
 

Offline ed_reardon

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 131
  • Country: gb
this is why counterfeiting works in many parts of the world. not all counterfeits are of poor quality, many are just as good or better. the original maybe overpriced , unrepairable or just made unavailable in your part of the world by a excessively protectionist company.

It's not a particularly new thing either, I can think of at least one mass market product that was allegedly counterfeited and sold via UK mail order catalogues back in the '80s and I'm sure there've been countless others prior to that too.
I'm a photography nut, a few years ago a Chinese outfit set up a production line of clones of a Canon flash product that was so good (and retailing for 20% of the Canon version) that they now hold a very large part of the market for the product and even the die-hard brand nuts are switching too them, as well as in professional circles.

Internally it's not 'the same' but as AvE says "it's good enough for the girls I go out with" and they've proven as robust and reliable as well as technically matched in practice there is little point buying the genuine Canon flash.
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4719
  • Country: ch
I wonder to what extent the shredding also might be to make sure larger pieces don't make it to China and Africa for "recycling".

There's no doubt that part of it is reducing the supply of used parts, whose reliability is unknown and which could damage the reputation the company has for reliability. I'm torn on this, cuz I do understand the rationale for keeping used parts (which I know from experience can be less reliable, since lots of folks don't take proper ESD measures when extracting them), but I'm also in favor of repair when possible.

I also fully agree that there's been a lot of Apple bashing here lately. It's heavily media driven, and often comes from a place of ignorance of the facts, and of profound lack of understanding of why Apple is successful and what things its customers place value on. But those people don't care, they'll just dismiss us as "sheeple", cult members, and blinded by marketing...
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 09:51:19 am by tooki »
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2735
  • Country: us
Those are absolutely ancient Macbook cases... what possible value could they have other than getting shredded for plastic recycling?

Seems a bit odd to single out Apple since they actually do make an effort at recycling, both by picking recyclable materials during manufacture (aluminium enclosures) and offering a take-back program in the stores...

With all these talk about helping "third world" countries improve that Apple and other big corporations engaged in, this would be a viable path:  Donate it to an NGO, they could redeploy these to students in poor countries (a) to be used, and (b) as learning platform for people to learn to how to fix/deploy such equipment.

Turn the talks into real action instead of photo-ops and feel-good empty talks.
 
The following users thanked this post: amyk

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
They would never do that because it would cut into sales. Plus, newer hardware probably is needed to comply with "regulatory requirements".

.


As far as cheap computers for the developing world, there is now the Raspberry Pi.Which I think makes a more practical learning machine than a Mac because you can get your hands dirty so to speak.

Apple hides a lot from users by design. It makes their uptime and utility to consumers who want to get things done very high. Even old ones.

So people should be given every opportunity to keep them working.  the way to get people to want newer hardware is b y developing applications that really use the power creatively (not bloatware)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 05:40:51 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline ed_reardon

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 131
  • Country: gb
Those are absolutely ancient Macbook cases... what possible value could they have other than getting shredded for plastic recycling?

Seems a bit odd to single out Apple since they actually do make an effort at recycling, both by picking recyclable materials during manufacture (aluminium enclosures) and offering a take-back program in the stores...
I believe under WEEE regulations any retailer that sells items covered under the legislation is obliged to accept back items for approved recycling.

Even when I worked for Woolies (ha!) as a teenager we had to accept back horrid £60 14" portable CRT TV's whenever we sold a new £50 14" portable TV.

They in no way what-so-ever just ended up in the general landfill waste skip out the back of the shop...  :-DD
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4719
  • Country: ch
With all these talk about helping "third world" countries improve that Apple and other big corporations engaged in, this would be a viable path:  Donate it to an NGO, they could redeploy these to students in poor countries (a) to be used, and (b) as learning platform for people to learn to how to fix/deploy such equipment.

Turn the talks into real action instead of photo-ops and feel-good empty talks.
I seem to recall reading some years ago that people in poor countries didn't actually want our old computers (at least, not to use as computers), because they need reasonably recent systems as much as we do, if their learning is to be of any use.
 

Offline Kevman

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 141
The reason was to keep the market from saturation and small businesses would have to buy a new one since there was practically no second hand market.
When cars reach a certain age and are traded in, they either get exported or shredded. While still good and safe cars.

Now with Apple, after 5 years you could claim the hardware is pretty useless and for them to recycle the old hardware would only be good for the environment.
It's easy to point to apple for this. But any other high tech consumer stuff is useless after 5 years, except for maybe large household items such as ovens and washer. But their environment and functionality does not need to keep up with the world. Their purpose is limited.

This is patently untrue today. The Core i7-2600, which is 4 3.6Ghz, extremely modern cores, is 6 years old at this point. One of these paired with a modern video card can run any game out there at maximum settings. Of course, a Mac of the same era would certainly not be able to since they all have non-replaceable GPUs, but that's Apple's point behind this quotation I guess?

Quote
There are over 600 million PCs in use today that are over five years old. This is really sad, it really is.

- Paul Shiller, a Vice President at Apple, a company selling a 3.5-year-old Trashcan-shaped PC for new-PC prices.

By the time they release the next Mac Pro, it'll be "Sad" by Apple's own standards. I bet it'll still cost a pretty penny, though.
 

Offline P90

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 646
I still use a 9 year old dell PC running linux. I don't require the latest and greatest for my personal use...  some third worlders have better computers than I...        lol  :)
 

Offline Jeroen3

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3403
  • Country: nl
  • Embedded Engineer
    • jeroen3.nl
This is patently untrue today. The Core i7-2600, which is 4 3.6Ghz, extremely modern cores, is 6 years old at this point.
For CPU's it has indeed stagnated. But there wasn't any competition.
Code: [Select]
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2920&cmp[]=1Forum can't handle brackets in urls!
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 06:12:06 pm by Jeroen3 »
 

Offline rustybronco

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
I'll put in my $.02 then run away.

Ford Motor Company does the same thing only in a different way. They put core charges on certain parts. Parts such as headlights, bumper covers, wheels, various electronic modules etc. The ONLY reason that makes sense to 'me' is the monetary need to remove them from the aftermarket so independent companies cannot repair them to resell them as a remaufactured product.

If a headlight has a minor scratch that can be polished out, a bumper cover that has small tear which can be repaired, it doesn't matter, you either swallow the core charge (which they get to keep ;)) or sent it back for a core refund. Some of those core charges aren't cheap either, they can be as much as $400 for an electronic module. And if you loose the box? tuff, you need that to return it. They have been doing this steadily over the years. No more caliper seal kits or pistons. Brushes or an armature for a starter? Nada. Need a bearing or a voltage reg for your alternator? Same gig.

Nope the real reason for it is the almighty buck plain and simple.

Quote
and which could damage the reputation the company has for reliability.
I think Mr Rossman and Ms. Burdett might beg to differ. I've heard them repeatedly say Apple does little to make their motherboards moisture resistant. Such a simple thing to do (??) and yet they refuse.

Follow the money...

« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 02:45:45 pm by rustybronco »
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4719
  • Country: ch
Follow the money, yes: for Rossman and co, it makes sense to complain about Apple's supposed lack of quality. Their money is in being contrary to Apple, which is fine. But don't pretend that they're impartial while Apple is evil. Each has its own motivations and biases. (Which is fine, we just need to recognize this.)

For Apple, it behooves them to keep marginal or unknown parts off the market.

Does any PC manufacturer conformally coat its motherboards?? As far as I have seen/read here on eevblog, it's anything but trivial to do. But hopefully people here with far more knowledge of this can chime in.

FYU, Apple unofficially added waterproofing to the iPhone 6S, and officially IP67 in the iPhone 7.
 

Offline rustybronco

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
I suspect for most consumer products, water repellency isn't a factor. Unfortunately for most personal devices, it is. It's not often you drop your stereo or PC into water, cell phones or tablets on the other hand have a greater likely hood of it happening. Even sweat while in a open shirt pocket can cause them to fail. Caught in the rain with one, I guess a waterproof case would take care of it but who want's to carry around a 4.5" Phablet.

This is just my opinion of course.
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2735
  • Country: us
With all these talk about helping "third world" countries improve that Apple and other big corporations engaged in, this would be a viable path:  Donate it to an NGO, they could redeploy these to students in poor countries (a) to be used, and (b) as learning platform for people to learn to how to fix/deploy such equipment.

Turn the talks into real action instead of photo-ops and feel-good empty talks.
I seem to recall reading some years ago that people in poor countries didn't actually want our old computers (at least, not to use as computers), because they need reasonably recent systems as much as we do, if their learning is to be of any use.

If that is their attitude, they don't need the help.  But, probably many others with different attitude may find it very useful.

I wrote equally well / equally bad with my 10 year old PC or 12 year old laptop.  So I suspect the students can learn how to do their spreadsheets just the same without the latest and greatest.

I cannot speak for others, but I suspect plenty of us in the USA are browsing the web or doing their spreadsheets with 10 year old computers like P90 in a few more months (quoted below, currently with his 9 year old computer).



I still use a 9 year old dell PC running linux. I don't require the latest and greatest for my personal use...  some third worlders have better computers than I...        lol  :)
 

Online GreyWoolfe

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3364
  • Country: us
  • NW0LF
<I cannot speak for others, but I suspect plenty of us in the USA are browsing the web or doing their spreadsheets with 10 year old computers like P90 in a few more months (quoted below, currently with his 9 year old computer).>

Not 10 years old but 7 year old computer with used off of eBay dual video card and does all that I need at a speed that I am satisfied with.  No plans to get rid of it any time soon.  Data stays backed up and one of these days, I will image the hard drive just in case.
"Heaven has been described as the place that once you get there all the dogs you ever loved run up to greet you."
 

Offline P90

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 646
<I cannot speak for others, but I suspect plenty of us in the USA are browsing the web or doing their spreadsheets with 10 year old computers like P90 in a few more months (quoted below, currently with his 9 year old computer).>

Not 10 years old but 7 year old computer with used off of eBay dual video card and does all that I need at a speed that I am satisfied with.  No plans to get rid of it any time soon.  Data stays backed up and one of these days, I will image the hard drive just in case.
one of these days... famous words... I said the same thing a day too late... garbage WD hard drive! :(

I just checked and my Dell desktop is actually from 2010, so it's very modern by my standards, and with a HUGE 24" monitor! LOL



 

Offline andtfoot

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 352
  • Country: au
Not sure if it's the same in this case but I've seen perfectly good, brand new AV gear get smashed up as a tax write-off. The distributor had to prove that the equipment couldn't be resold in order to get it written off (presumably to prevent someone just taking it back out of the bin and selling it off the books).
 

Offline Jeroen3

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3403
  • Country: nl
  • Embedded Engineer
    • jeroen3.nl
Yes, that is normal.
A local bakery has to dump all remaining product into the bin. Gifting them to a food bank, charity or just have workers take them home causes tax problems.
More raw materials coming in then product coming out, and you're under investigation for laundering.

This rule is especially strict on small breweries. When a batch or experiment fails someone from the regulatory body has to come down and oversee how they flush a few liters of bad beer down the drain. If the books don't line up they'll lose the license.
 

Online tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4719
  • Country: ch
With all these talk about helping "third world" countries improve that Apple and other big corporations engaged in, this would be a viable path:  Donate it to an NGO, they could redeploy these to students in poor countries (a) to be used, and (b) as learning platform for people to learn to how to fix/deploy such equipment.

Turn the talks into real action instead of photo-ops and feel-good empty talks.
I seem to recall reading some years ago that people in poor countries didn't actually want our old computers (at least, not to use as computers), because they need reasonably recent systems as much as we do, if their learning is to be of any use.

If that is their attitude, they don't need the help.  But, probably many others with different attitude may find it very useful.

I wrote equally well / equally bad with my 10 year old PC or 12 year old laptop.  So I suspect the students can learn how to do their spreadsheets just the same without the latest and greatest.

I cannot speak for others, but I suspect plenty of us in the USA are browsing the web or doing their spreadsheets with 10 year old computers like P90 in a few more months (quoted below, currently with his 9 year old computer).
Granted, years ago when I read that, we hadn't reached the sort of performance plateau that we are at today, where older machines do quite well for ordinary tasks.

But it does make sense to me: if you couldn't run modern software, how were you supposed to learn how to use it? How could you learn, say, Windows Server administration if you can't run the current version? (That type of skill goes stale extremely quickly; you have to stay up to date.)

How do you learn to program in, say,. NET if your computer can't even run Windows XP?

These are valid objections.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf