/>
X

Apple's greatest controversies and biggest foul-ups

A run down of some of the most controversial decisions or actions by Apple, including some of their biggest mistakes to date.
zack-whittaker-hs2016-rtsquare-1.jpg
By Zack Whittaker, Contributor on
6237502.png
1 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

Apple, for the last year or so, has seemingly been on a company mission to rid any iProduct and iStore it has of pornography, leading to questions of whether Apple is censoring developments.

As 'sexting' is still a problem for many teenagers, Apple even applied for a patent which would prevent iOS users from sending sexually explicit text messages to and from their phones.

iOS devices, particularly the iPhone, have been criticised for their auto-correct feature, which in turn have developed into a meme of its own.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237494.png
2 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

Apple has had to face the music with anti-trust and anti-competition regulators and authorities. The US Federal Communications Commission (FTC) began an investigation into the inability to install Google Voice, a competing product to Apple's in-built voicemail product.

Google Voice has since been made available to install on iOS devices.

The European Commission regulators also questioned whether content was restricted to the iTunes Stores as a 'violation of EU free-trade legislation', landing the company in hot water over its closed system.

Even recently, Apple's subscription plans raised possible anti-trust concerns, with law professors piling up in their numbers to criticise Apple's allowance of publishers to sell subscriptions -- the main caveat being to only allow it through the App Store. On that note, there have been challenges between companies for the term 'App Store' and who should be allowed to use it.

There will be more on Apple's stance on the Adobe Flash platform later on.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237495.png
3 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

Apple users have longed for the ability to run and install Flash applications on their iOS devices. But a spat between Adobe and Apple emerged after Apple changed the wording in its developer agreements, by disallowing non-Apple approved languages on iOS devices.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice are both deciding on who shall lead the investigation into an anti-trust enquiry

Steve Jobs penned a 'thoughts on Flash' post last year which spun the technology industry into heated debate as to whether he was right, or plainly wrong. Nevertheless, iPhones and iPads still do not have Flash installed (and cannot be installed) on them.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237496.png
4 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

Along with the launch of the iPad, many stories broke of the suicides at the Foxconn factory where many Apple products are built and manufactured.

Apple investigated Foxconn after complaints were made in 2006, in particular focusing on bad employment practices and workers spending too long building products and not having enough time off. However, Foxconn did announce that it would bring in counsellors to better 'support its workers'.

Only a few weeks ago, an explosion at the iPad-building plant killed at least two and injured over a dozen. The iPad stock may be affected.

Though many of the companies who use the plant have promised to investigate, little has come to fruition.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237497.png
5 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

When Jason Chen of Gizmodo received a prototype of the new iPhone 4, he could not have possibly been able to gauge the reaction and the consequences of his actions.

He published a video showing himself with the iPhone 4 before its release along with a full review and breakdown of the phone.

Police kicked down the door to his home and searched every piece of computing equipment they could find, from hard disks all the way down to flash drives. 

Questions were raised of Apple's involvement with the lawsuit and the subsequent legal action against Chen, and even whether Chen was protected under freedom of the press rights held in California and the United States. 

Apple eventually asked for the phone back, for which Gizmodo and Chen were happy to oblige -- even with the saga that had kicked off in between.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237498.png
6 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

No computer or operating system is entirely invulnerable from security threats and malware. But Apple has had a long history of advertising its products as being secure. 

Yet this past month has blown that entirely out of the water, with colleague Ed Bott discovering the 'Mac Defender' malware: a piece of malicious software which is installed under false pretence. With testimony from Apple whistleblowers, the problem became ever apparent and was soon to all but rage out of control.

While Apple buried its head in the sand and told employees "not to assist" in any way, shape or form, stronger malware was being developed and has since been released into the wild.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237499.png
7 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

A global Christian ministry published an application for the iOS platform, particularly for iPhone users, to help those "struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction". This 'gay-cure' application was only downloaded a few thousand times, with more than 150,000 people signing an online petition urging Apple to take down the software from its application stores.

Eventually, after a few days and the 150,000 signatures -- though it was clear public opinion had some impact on Apple's decision -- Apple took down the application citing reasons that it "violates the company's prohibitions against objectionable content". You did read the slide on the porn-cabal, right?

Our sister site, CBS News, covered the story as well as here on ZDNet.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237500.png
8 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

Apple's default comment to journalists seems to be 'no comment', as any reporter or hack will tell you. Though Steve Jobs will personally reply to some emails sent by readers, both Jobs and Apple shroud themselves in secrecy -- especially in the run-up to product launches.

The New York Times even suggested that Apple's secrecy ethos even resulted in sending out mis-information to bloggers and columnists.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237501.png
9 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

'Antennagate' came about with a series of stories that suggested that the new Apple iPhone 4 would lose signal if it was held in a particular way.

Apple eventually came out and said, that 'Antennagate' was not unique to Apple but nevertheless quashed it all but overnight by 'admitting' to a problem that, was probably, mostly invented by the media in the first place.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

6237503.png
10 of 10 Zack Whittaker/ZDNET

'Locationgate' implicated Google, Apple and Microsoft -- seemingly with only the BlackBerry manufacturer, Research in Motion, catching a lucky break.

iPhone devices, in a nutshell, collected location data which was stored unencrypted on iOS devices, which was available to anyone who could access the device. This kick started a mass furore over privacy, and the "third party" which was involved in the sharing of personal location data

Apple put the problem down to a 'flaw' which was eventually patched in iOS 4.3.3, but not before the United States Senate got involved -- questioning Apple and Google alike on their privacy practices.

--
For more on company controversies, check out Zack Whittaker's iGeneration column or for more on Apple, visit the ZDNet Apple Core column.

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza
img-8825

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

26 Photos
A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex
img-9792-2

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos
Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup
Asian woman working at a desk in front of a computer and calculator

Related Galleries

Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup

8 Photos
Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup
Person seated at a booth in a cafe looks at their phone and laptop.

Related Galleries

Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup

10 Photos
Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida
ca3b4019-26c5-4ce0-a844-5aac39e2c34b.jpg

Related Galleries

Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

16 Photos