The City of San Francisco has banned the purchase of any more Apple computers by all of its agencies. The City is alarmed that Apple has turned its back on the environment, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Last week, Apple withdrew from EPEAT, a government-backed certification program that ensures electronics are recyclable, low energy and otherwise environmentally friendly.

Apple has apparently decided to use a lot of glue in its devices, particularly the new MacBook Pros, making them harder to repair and recycle. The battery is superglued to the case, as is the trackpad cable, a teardown by iFixIt revealed. iFixit’s Kyle Wiens declared the MacBook Pro 15″ Retina Display model the “least the least repairable laptop we’ve ever taken apart.”

If the battery can’t be removed, a broken MacBook isn’t just unrepairable, it is also very difficult to recycle. So, San Francisco is saying good-bye to all new Apple desktops and laptops.

Good for them, disposable electronics are the bane of my existence and will eventually put a lot of people out of work. Still, I’m pretty certain this will do nothing to dissuade others. Are you Geniuses listening….hmmm?

  1. sirfelix says:

    Have no worries. Apple’s attitude in thumbing its nose at the consumer has dissuaded me from buying their products for the past 5 years. Their latest hardware seems to have just as many buggy issues as any other manufacturers. Why?

    • Billy Bo Thorton says:

      I agree. Apple’s hardware used to be superior enough for me to overlook their other issues, but I think the rest of the industry is finally catching up. It makes their arrogance harder to ignore. I recently had a problem and discovered there’s no way to actually send a complaint to them.

  2. TThor says:

    Well and good that SF won’t buy Apple products due to environmental emotions. The city admin can do whatever they want to do. As this is a headline news issue wouldn’t the more interesting follow up on this be, what economic consequence this would have for Apple? I mean, how many units and what is the value of SF’s annual Apple product purchases?

    I suspect it is minimal as it is difficult to see SF that is about broke buying huge quantities of MacBooks. Also I hardly can imagine they buy pricy iPhones, even iPads. Taxpayers would make a revolt of such extravagance, wouldn’t they?

    So – my point is that the SF statement is merely a political move to say that “I don’t like what you do, and now I shall force you to do it my way by making you look heartless”.

    Of course the Apple products are serviceable. If it breaks, go to Apple and they’ll fix it for you. You may not be able to do it yourself as you did before, but that has to do with convenience and not the fact.

    As to recycling, the statement is equally stupid, and it nothing that proves contrary. It is merely less inconvenient for you and me to take it apart. All the metal and plastics etc. are recoverable just as before.

    This newsitem item is as it usually all politics conducted by emotions and lack of knowledge, and flavor of the day.

  3. Colonel Panic says:

    Uh-huh. Take your iPad to an Apple shop and try to get it repaired.

  4. orchidcup says:

    What is an Apple?

    • So what says:

      A round fruit that grows on a tree and is usually either green or red when ripe and is quite delicious by itself or in a pie.

  5. dusanmal says:

    Perfect example of Economic Fascism. Government tries to get in bed with business through Government backed entity, attempting to dictate non-market driven business behavior which they like for ideological purposes. If business refuses because it does not make business sense, Government punishes it for doing what makes most economic sense, using the Governmental resources as a method of oppression. Compare it with Romans crucifying people in small village to be controlled or with more recent brown shirts of Nazi Germany – it is the same thing. Killing (economic) freedom for the sake of ideology. SF Fascist rejoice.
    In proper free society and market driven economy Government would be banned to pick and choose products on any other issue but the cost to The People who finance it.

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      “In proper free society and market driven economy Government would be banned to pick and choose products on any other issue but the cost to The People who finance it.”

      By this logic a government must buy the cheapest good (for example uniforms) available. Even if this good is produced by means that are completely at odds with the sensibilities ( i.e. slave labor) of The People.

      Your comparison to Nazis and Roman crucifixions is totally absurd. If San Francisco residents are truly outraged at the ban they can surely voice their opinions by any number of ways, including the ballot box.

    • Hyph3n says:

      Really? The City of San Fran not choosing to buy Apple product is equivalent to the Nazi’s?

      And when IT guys in private industry insist on everyone buying Windows, is that like killing baby Jesus?

      Well, going by your “any other issue but cost” you should be happy that the Gov’t won’t be paying the Apple tax.

      I call it… Godwin’s law.

    • jpfitz says:

      I believe we have our new junior TEAD.

  6. DooFus says:

    When Mac’s are outlawed, only outlaws will have Mac’s.

  7. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    From The Wall Street Journal:

    “EPEAT, created through funding by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and manufacturers, awards products a seal to certify they are recyclable and designed to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental harm.”

    “The standards were created jointly by manufacturers, including Apple, advocacy groups and government agencies.”

    • mharry says:

      Next Apple will sue other manufacturers who fail to comply with EPEAT. They copied us, boo hoo hoo.

  8. BigBoyBC says:

    I’ve always pictured Apple’s recycling program as some pimple-faced Apple associate out behind an Apple store flinging used laptops, phones and tablets like Frisbees into a huge “iShredder”.

    Truthfully, I can care less what SF or Apple does.

  9. Frankenchrist says:

    Didn’t affect my APPL stock.

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  10. Gildersleeve says:

    Who the heck needs Macs anymore anyway? If you need productivity tools, you get a Windows PC. If you need only browse through eBay, use Facebook or call people, you use an Android tablet or phone. If you want to watch TV / streaming media, almost anything works with this now. There is no inherent advantage to using MacOS (whatever version).

  11. MrFurley says:

    Why is none of the media sources talking about “Why” Apple did this? The “Why” is the really story and that “Why” is because the EPEAT standards don’t facilitate ingenuity, they hold back technology and design advances just like every other bureaucratic system that tries to regulate stuff.

    EPEAT doesn’t design or create anything, they restrict design by forcing everyone to use lagging standards. All done under the guise that it’s saving the environment which is BS.

    If Apple was smart they’d just ramp up their own recycling division and offer FREE recycling themselves to cover these so-called problem areas the media is lamenting about now and accomplish the same thing without the hype and politics or design restrictions.

    • mharry says:

      So how do you recycle something that can’t be disassembled quickly. At great cost that’s how, that cancels out the economic benefit and makes it pointless.

    • msbpodcast says:

      If Apple was smart…

      They were smart enough to create a bunch of rules (EPEAT) that are constraining the PC industry into continuing to mass produce bland beige boxes if they want to be able to sell lots of them to folks with IT departments.

      The PC industry is commoditized in such a way as to create pricing pressures that insures that the products stay bland beige boxes.

      The PC and laptop form factors will remain unable to evolve into anything novel, i>viz: threatening to Apple, as long as the are still made with the current I/O ports.

      I think the fact that PC motherboards are still made with PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors speaks volumes about the resistance to change in the ENTERPRISE market. That translates into inescapable design constraints.

      Apple doesn’t want to deal with the commodity computing folks from the buyers side or the producers side. This lets them sidestep the accountants of the smaller but safer ENTERPRISE market by making that market reject them in a knee-jerk reaction.

      EPEAT was a brilliant strategic move: appeal to the ENTERPRISE accountants, make everybody else conform to the inevitably bland and non-threatening lusterless designs, and then about-face in the other direction.

      Let the corporate IT bottom-feeders handle the ENTERPRISE market as best they can, competing on price for “big” contracts, complying with standards wich interfere with innovation, and competing on stock value by gutting expensive design departements.

      Apple is in the race for the richest, most valuable corporation on earth.

      Why on earth would they want to compete with other corporations on price?

      Apple is a CONSUMER ELECTRONICS company. They just happen to use computers as a strategic weapon.

      • msbpodcast says:

        The tablet market will never be able to produce anything to EPEAT standards.

        EPEAT is primarily about disassembly and the recycling of components. That means that any tablet built will be a loose assemblage of parts.

        Guess what you don’t want in a tablet?

        To be holding something that can fall apart!

        Apple design for the win!!!

  12. Ken says:

    This seems typical of many manufacturers with great reputations. They capture a market share that isn’t easily lost, and then let quality drop like a rock. You hear it all the time: Don’t buy a Harley made in the 80’s. Avoid BMW’s made in the late 90’s, etc. Oh, and don’t buy a Mac made in the late 90’s either.

    They’ll do this until they lose significant market share, then they’ll up the quality again and the cycle continues. The diehard fanboys will never give up on them.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Market share ≠ profitability.

      With a mere 10% of the market, Apple stock is worth more than all of the other PC manufacturing companies out there combined.

      Apple is about profitability, not market share.

      You can spend profitability.

      Marketshare is just another meaningless number.

      You can absolutely own a market, but if its not earning squat, its pointless.

  13. Dallas says:

    Another reason why San Fran is to be admired. Their policy of conservation of resources, ethical behavior makes them one of the most desirable places to live in the entire world.

    Apple is a corporation building products that sheeple with disposable income want – thin, sexy, sleek lifestyle products. That requires less and less modularity of the building blocks driving the need for glue and other shit- all at an affordable price built in China.

  14. Ah_Yea says:

    Like SF is going to throw out their Apples and start buying Microsoft.

    Yea, right.

  15. NewformatSux says:

    I thought AL Gore was on Apple’s board? What does he have to say about Apple’s ignoring government environmental standards?

  16. JimD, Boston, MA says:


  17. NewformatSux says:

    Frankly IPhones and other smartphones should be banned as power hogs. You don’t need to use that much power to make a phone call. You can actually make phone calls even during a power outage, if you use an old style phone. These phones should be banned under any cap and trade bill as an unnecessary emissions of CO2.

    • Jeroen says:

      really? you only use a smartphone to make a call?!
      i hardly make calls anymore, but it does my email, agenda, route planning, navigation, note taking, web-browsing, music playing, game playing etc etc
      it saves countless devices hoarding way more power and it’s just one device that fits in my pocket.
      they just should ban old people hogging the POTS system, which uses a lot of power i might add, maybe not on your side, but to keep 60V on millions kilometers (screw the imperial system) of copperwire.

    • orchidcup says:

      Wireless devices are far more energy efficient than a landline system that requires millions of miles of copper that is a resource acquired by strip mining.

      As wireless communication becomes more ubiquitous with more and more bandwidth available, it is hard to imagine how cable companies will survive unless they go wireless.

      4G provides enough bandwidth to run my Roku box, so I will be firing the cable company.

  18. deowll says:

    Does it really matter? At the rate CA cities are going bankrupt will SF have the money to buy ledgers, calculators, and pay for phone service by this time next year?

    That’s a question not a sarcastic remark.

  19. Glenn E. says:

    For a minute I thought Apple had dropped its support of the Gay lifestyle. And that’s what upset San Francisco government. But it’s some obsolete and overrated certification standard of “being green”. That Apple typically exceeds, compared to Dell and HP products. That’s what got the SF govt. so upset, they won’t spend the $45,000 of their $200 Million IT budget, on Apple’s products? So I wonder how much they’re prepared to spend on retraining personnel to use non-Apple products, which comply even less with EPEAT? Just to stamp their feet and get their way?

  20. NewformatSux says:

    MicroSoft has dropped its partnership in MSNBC.


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