The Nature of the Beast
You do not become the most powerful electronics company in the world without doing some dirty work. You can not have $150 billion in cash without cutting some corners. It is hard to keep your prices reasonable without exploiting people.
They Exploit Cheap Labor in China
For optimal profit margin Apple must produce the iPhones for cheap. Since Apple only uses top quality electronic parts, the difference is made up in cheap labor. The NYT reports that workers at Foxconn, the former manufacturer of the iPhone, make $22 for a twelve hour shift, and are often forced to work even longer hours. There were so many suicides in the on-site dorms where the workers live that Foxconn had to install nets on the sides of the buildings.
They Pollute Horrendously
In 2011 Apple was responsible for putting 23.1 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. And while Apple says they are working diligently to decrease their carbon footprint, their emissions rose 34% in 2012.
They Sell iPhones WAY Above Cost
IHS Inc. reports that an iPhone costs $207 to manufacture. They sell them to wireless carriers for around $580. The number varies by model, but overall Apple usually sells at a 49-58% markup, while the industry average is closer to 30%.
They Screw Over Wireless Carriers, Who Then Screw You Over
Wireless carriers know they can either offer their customers the iPhone, or see them leave for a company that does. Apple knows this too, so they force the carriers to sell the iPhone for $200 after selling it to them for $580 (a $380 loss). The providers are forced to make up the difference by raising rates on your text, calling and data. Verizon recently eliminated unlimited data and charges heavily for overages, and AT&T increased data prices by $5 per month.
They Have not Really Innovated in Years
In 2007 Apple released the revolutionary iPhone. It’s been six years and it’s the same except thinner, faster, and with a better camera. Oh the iPad? It’s not new. The iPad was what an engineer originally brought to Steve Jobs, who told him to make it smaller and give it phone capabilities.
They Use Conflict Minerals in Their Products
The iPhone and other Apple products have the conflict mineral Coltan in them. Coltan is heat resistant, and ideal for transmitting electric charges. This mineral is rare, expensive (a mine can be worth hundreds of millions of US dollars), and prevalent in war torn Congo. Since 1998, 5-7 million people have died in an ongoing civil war being fought, largely, over control of the mines. The mineral can be found in most electronics company’s products, but Apple is the world’s biggest and should start the trend of boycotting conflict minerals.
They Do not Let You Turn off Your Phone
Even when an iPhone is “dead” it’s still traceable, which is why Find My iPhone works no matter what. Also, even when not on data or Wifi, satellites can pinpoint your iPhone's location. On top of that, the new M7 chip makes tracking your exact movements and speed possible. But you can always just take out the battery. Oh that’s right, no you can not.
They Do not Play Well With Others
Apple did away with the pre-installed YouTube app, started their own maps to combat Google’s, and demanded Amazon pay a percentage of all sales through its app. The only one they hurt was you. Apple Maps is a disaster, you now have to go onto Amazon’s website to buy stuff, and download the Google Maps and YouTube apps separate (they are among the most successful apps, anyways).
They Rip You Off on Accessories
There is not information on the markup Apple applies to their $40-$50 cases, but similar ones can be found on eBay for $5-$10. They pedaled different speakers, alarm clocks, cords etc., then changed the plug shape and now charge $29 for a converter so you can keep using the products you bought.