Monday, July 10, 2006


Picture this: you come up with a great idea. You sink ten of millions of dollars researching, developing, inventing, distributing, and marketing this product. Then you get a letter from a government agency to pull every product in several countries because it doesn't comply with their environmental standards for recycling. Sound crazy? It just happened to Apple.

Apple was forced to stop European sales of several products at the to comply with the EU's Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) directive.

Apple had to pull the iSight, AirPort Base Station With Modem, AirPort Base Station Power Over Ethernet and Antenna, iPod shuffle External Battery Pack and the eMac from sales in all stores. All of these products contained banned substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants.

A lot of companies, particularly US companies, don't understand that products need to meet environmental requirements to be sold in other countries. Microsoft had a similar events with the release of their xBox in Ireland; 250,000 units sat on the docks because there was a battery in the xBox that contained mercury. And Ireland does not allow mercury in any products sold on its soil. No Mercury. No Sales.

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