Apple Sues Recycler for Reselling 100,000 Devices Instead of Scraping Them

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Apple had hired Geep Canada to recycle more than 500,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. However, Apple has now sued the recycler for stealing more 100,000 devices from it.

Apple had shipped 531,966 iPhones, 25,673 iPads, and 19,277 Apple Watches to Geep Canada, an electronics recycling company, between January 2015 and December 2017, to strip down and recycle these products.

At the end of 2017 or at the start of 2018, Apple audited Geep Canada’s warehouse and the company discovered that some of the devices that it had sent to Geep Canada for recycling were being stored at different places. These places were not covered by security cameras.

Apple then checked the serial numbers of the devices that it had sent to Geep Canada and found that approximately 18% or 103,845 of those devices were active on carrier networks. This is when Apple realized that Geep Canada has illegally sold the devices that were to be recycled.  According to Apple, the number of stolen devices will be much higher as non-LTE models wouldn’t show up.

Apple had filed a lawsuit against Geep Canada in January this year. However, the news was kept under wraps until now. Geep Canada is not denying that there has been a theft but according to it, the theft was carried out by three ”rogue” employees without any knowledge of the company. However, Apple says that these three employees were in fact senior management at the firm.

The Cupertino-based tech giant says “At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed.” Apple is seeking full recovery of the profits made from the resale of these devices with an additional amount of $31 million Canadian. The recycling company is looking for three employees to pay damages and costs.

The Cupertino-based tech giant had stopped conducting business with Geep Canada as soon as it discovered the theft. In September last year, Geep Canada merged with other firms to form Quantum Lifecycle Partners. According to the newly formed company, “the lawsuit is between Geep and Apple and we have no knowledge regarding the details.”

Our Take

Apple has always stressed on recycling electronics. Every year the brand takes a major step towards reducing the carbon footprint. And this alleged theft from Geep Canada is a major dent in Apple’s effort to save the environment.

[Source: Apple Insider]