Apple Inc. has received criticism for the use of sweatshop labor, environmental destruction, and unethical business practices.
Additionally, it has been criticized for its litigious legal policy of suing before first gathering all the facts necessary to pursue a legitimate lawsuit.
Accusations of anti-competitive behavior
There has been criticism of the iPhone and the iPod being locked into iTunes and creating an iTunes Store monopoly for these devices. Similarly, Apple has not licensed its FairPlay DRM system to any other company, preventing content purchased from the iTunes store being used on other manufacturers’ devices. As of April 2009, all music on the iTunes Store is DRM-free. However, this does not apply to other content.
Apple was caught up in controversy regarding the online sales of music in the European Union where, as a single market, customers are free to purchase goods and services from any member state. ITunes Stores there forced consumers and other music buyers to iTunes-only sites by restricting content purchases to the country from which the customers’ payment details originated, which in turn forced users in some countries to pay higher prices. On December 3, 2004 the British Office of Fair Trading referred the iTunes Music Store to the European Commission for violation of EU free-trade legislation. Apple commented that they did not believe they violated EU law, but were restricted by legal limits to the rights granted to them by the music labels and publishers. PC World commented that it appeared “the Commission’s main target is not Apple but the music companies and music rights agencies, which work on a national basis and give Apple very little choice but to offer national stores”.
Google Voice controversy
Apple has been criticized over attempting to prevent iPhone users from using the Google Voice application by disabling it on the iPhone. Apple declined to approve the Google...