Apple sues recycling partner for reselling more than 100,000 devices it was hired to dismantle

Photo (c) Pro grinvalds - Getty Images

The recycler doesn’t deny the theft, but it places the blame on senior management

Apple has filed a lawsuit against a former recycling partner, claiming it was double-dipping by not only getting paid to disassemble Apple products, but by also reselling more than 100,000 of them on the consumer market. 

In an internal audit of more than a half-million Apple iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, Apple discovered that 18 percent of those devices (103,845 all told) were still accessing the internet via various cellular networks -- and that number could be even higher because of all the devices that are accessing the web via Wi-Fi.

In a statement given to The Verge, Apple said that products “sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects.”

The company on the wrong end of the stick in this situation is GEEP Canada, now owned by Quantum Lifecycle, a company that claims it recycles electronics “the right way” for big-name companies like Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, and more.

Apple is filing suit against GEEP for a minimum of $31 million Canadian dollars (roughly $23.4 million U.S.)

Thousands of pounds of devices

In Apple’s lawsuit, it claims that GEEP actually confirmed that nearly 12,000 pounds of Apple devices lift GEEP’s premises without being destroyed, according to coverage of the situation by The Logic (via AppleInsider). 

GEEP doesn’t deny there was a theft, but it places the blame squarely on the shoulders of three employees who filched the devices on their own for their own personal gain. Apple’s not buying that story, insisting that those employees were actually senior management at the recycling company.

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