Apple has sued a former business partner it had hired to recycle more than 100,000 devices, accusing it of putting them up for sale instead.
The iPhone maker is demanding at least $22 million from GEEP Canada, which it says stole and resold 103,845 iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches that it had been hired to strip for parts.
The suit, which was filed in January, according to The Logic, states that Apple had sent more than half a million devices to GEEP to recycled between 2015 and 2017, and following a routine audit realized that nearly 20 percent of them were still online.
Apple also noted in its suit that other devices without cellular capabilities, such as iPads and Apple Watches that only work on WiFi, may have been resold as well.
GEEP claims that the scheme was carried out without the knowledge of the company by employees who have since been terminated, according to the report, but Apple countered that “GEEP’s officers and directors knew or ought to have known about the scheme.”
Apple’s recycling partners take apart phones and collect any reusable precious metals, such as cobalt — a main component in the batteries of the company’s electronics.
“Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects,” Apple told The Verge in a statement.
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