Over the past week-end, the Canadian press published a story about Apple having more money than the US treasury. The link showed up in my social networking stream. I just had to say something about Apple not having a philanthropy program, despite the cash. I was quickly rebutted, by another user who claimed apple had 'countless' programs to help underprivileged orphans. Some companies do keep their charitable sides on the down low, but with a company as large, and as wealthy as apple, and with allegedly "countless" charities, one would expect to quickly be able to find something on Google, I have not.
Here was my rebuttal:
I won't deny the existance of the programs Eric has mentioned, but I can't find any information about them what so ever (note* I'm on a rural connection right now, and it's slow)
Googling "Apple" with various combinations of: philanthropy, charity, donate, donations, under privileged, etc yields only polarized links about how apple does not give to charity.
In fact this link includes an alleged letter from Apple (2007) that effectively says they don't do charity
I did find another link that claims apple gave $100,000 fight California's prop 8, and support gay marriage:
I've also found links about people using iDevices to help their efforts in developing countries, but nothing about direct Apple contributions, with the exception of the "Red" campaign from 2002:
Now the thing about Red is, as much as it's charitable, only 50% of the sales value of a product makes its way to the Red program, plus Apple ships more units... Apple products are designed to force their users to purchase content and applications from Apple, who then take a 30% cut (even on the content) so I see the Apple's involvement in the Red program more as a smart business move than a noble action...
Also $75,000,000,000 is a lot of money. I mentioned 100k earlier... lets put this number into perspective. 100k is to $75B as one penny ($0.01) is to $750.... so what exactly does a company like apple do with $75B?
Well they're likely using it to secure a monopsony on the tech trade.
Basically Apple uses their cash reserves to fund the building of city sized factories in China... which of course leads to the topic of Foxconn suicides
So does Apple really give back in big ways? I haven't found anything to support this yet, I'd be happy to see some information on the subject, and I'd be happy to contrast it with all the HARM Apple does....
We haven't even touched the ecological ramifications of Apple's business practices, and Apple's disdain for industry standardization...