Bonum Certa Men Certa

Apple Corruption and Meltdown in Asia

Chairman Jobs
Apple's main business in China is still child labour

Summary: Singapore corruption case has an Apple manager arrested, China rejects Apple, and another hypePod meltdown is reported in Japan

APPLE may be doing just fine in the West, but in the far east it's another matter altogether. Last week we wrote about serious problems that Apple was having and a fortnight ago we summarised bad Apple publicity from last month, culminating in fraud. More details have begun to surface in this case, which Singapore's anti-corruption bureau says nothing about for the time being:

Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) declined to say whether it has opened an investigation following allegations of an elaborate kickback scheme that involved an Apple employee and at least six Apple suppliers, including three Singaporean companies.

Apple is trying to distance itself from this man (how convenient a policy to adopt after the act) and this arrested Apple manager pleads not guilty (who wouldn't?).

Monday, a former Apple manager pleaded not guilty to federal charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. Paul Shim Devine was arrested last week after officials discovered he received more than $1 million in kickbacks from certain Apple suppliers in Asia in exchange for information that enabled them to beat their competition and win Apple contracts.


In addition to the federal charges, Devine also faces a civil racketeering lawsuit filed by Apple. Although there's no indication how Apple was alerted to the scheme, the story says the company began investigating in April when it found e-mails and other communications between Devine and the suppliers on his company-issued laptop.

Here is some more coverage about it [1, 2]. It's newer than the links we gave before.

On we move from Singapore to China, which Apple has a lot in common with, especially the censorship as we showed a week ago (Apple continues to throw third-party software out of the App Store). It turns out that Apple can only ever succeed in its niche, which is rich people in rich countries. hypePhone "tanks in China," based on this report.

THE HOPE that Apple could flog its products in the massive Chinese market at the same high prices that it gets away with in western countries has proven fruitless.

It's not surprising. These gadgets which are made by Chinese people are overpriced. It's because the California-based company likes to triple or quadruple the originally spent cost in order to elevate margins. Some rich people don't care about price tags. They choose by brands and labels.

Censorship of application is not the only problem at Apple though; the company is said to be suffocating an entire product right now [1, 2, 3]. "Apple has decided to shut down the Quattro Wireless mobile ad network that it bought in January for $275 million," says one report. hypeAd (sounds like hypePad) is Apple's way to go and some Quattro clients are likely to suffer from it:

Apple sent a letter to current Quattro clients this week announcing that the mobile advertising network will be shut down effective September 30. From that point forward, Apple will focus its mobile advertising efforts exclusively on the iAd platform.

Can advertisers trust Apple, which cannot even manage transactions on hypeTunes [1, 2]. One of those two news headlines says: "Apple Can't Stop Ongoing ITunes Charge Scam"

Why should people trust Apple with advertising-related transactions then?

As one last example of Apple's dishonesty and "damage control", after a long time of denying the problem with hypePods exploding there are new requirements in Japan that Apple should issues warnings. The thing about these warnings though, they don't actually solve the problem, they only predict it. "iPod meltdown strands Tokyo commuters," says this article from 2 weeks ago (that's right after Apple was forced to post warnings).

Apple's iPod flame-out woes continue. The latest victims: Tokyo commuters.

On Friday, Reuters reports, smoke from what turned out to be a self-immolating iPod caused passengers to alert transit officials on a commuter-train line, who quickly shut down the system.

"When a member of staff went to investigate inside the train," a rail spokesman told Reuters, "a passenger came over showing him that the iPod she was listening to had burst apart." There were no reports of injuries, and after an eight-minute delay, the system was restarted.

Who would have thought that just posting warnings about Apple's products being defective would not resolve the issue? All that Apple sells is a ticket into a club of hype and elitism. If the Chinese can ignore Apple's products, so can everyone else.

Apple as a replacement for Microsoft is not progress; Free software is progress, it's a paradigm shift.

"We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose."

--Steve Jobs

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