Apple is suing Geep Canada—Apple’s former recycling partner now a part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners for allegedly stealing and reselling at more than 100,000 Apple devices it was hired to disassemble. The devices included iPhones, iPads, and Watches.
“At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left Geep’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that Geep itself confirmed,” said Apple in its suit.
What is Geep Canada?
While Apple plans on bringing its entire recycling process in-house, it currently continues to rely on other parties. Geep Canada was the recycler the company had hired to scrap its products—they were Apple’s partner from 2015 to 2018.
Refurbishing and reselling devices was also part of Geep’s business. While the company offered multiple e-waste management services during that period, Geep’s mission was to “encourage reuse whenever possible”, according to The Verge.
Apple has been trying to improve its environmental practices. Their effort to move recycling in-house includes Apple’s own disassembly robots Daisy and Dave, which are designed to recover iPhone components that traditional recyclers can’t.
When Apple still relied on Geep Canada to recover valuable material from used devices, they sent the recycling firm over 500,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches—all between January 2015 and December 2017. However, during their audit, Apple discovered that 18% of those devices were still accessing the internet through cellular networks.
Geep denies all wrongdoing, but the company doesn’t deny there was a theft. It has reportedly filed a third-party suit claiming three employees stole the devices on their own behalf. Apple—however— disagrees. They argued that these employees were senior management at the recycling firm.
Apple is seeking full recovery of the profits made from the resale of these devices, plus CAD 31 million (about RM97 million). According to Geep’s court filings, the company is looking for the three employees to pay damages and costs—if Apple wins.
Apple is no stranger to lawsuit initiations. Last year, Corellium—a company that sells “perfect replicas” of iOS—was sued by Apple for copyright infringement.