Apple sues recycling centre for product diversion

Apple has taken a Canadian company to court, claiming it resold more than 117,000 devices that were supposed to be recycled.

The technology giant is suing GEEP Canada on the grounds that almost one in five of the half a million iPhones. iPads and Apple Watches it sent to the company for recycling between 2015 and 2017 were still accessing the Internet via cellular networks.

Apple no longer uses GEEP Canada – now part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners – to dismantle its products, and is claiming around $23m from its former partner. In a statement, Quantum said it is not party to the lawsuit and has not assumed any liability after taking over GEEP Canada.

GEEP Canada has denied all wrongdoing at its Barrie, Ontario facility, but doesn’t deny that the diversion of devices took place, according to media reports.

It has filed a counter claim saying that three former employees stole the devices on their own behalf, something that Apple refutes, claiming they were senior management at the recycling company.

Apple told The Verge news website that "products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers," adding: “If they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts, they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects.”

Quantum says it never employed the three employees, suggesting they parted company with GEEP Canada before the acquisition.

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