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Apple forced to halt sale of some products in Europe

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer will be forced to discontinue the sale of several products in Europe next month because they fail to meet compliance with a European Union directive that will go into effect on July 1st, AppleInsider has learned.

In 2003, the European Union adopted the Directive on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment, also known as the RoHS directive.

Effective July 1, 2006, the directive prohibits the sale of electronics that contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame retardants.

"Because of our precautionary approach to substances, Apple was able to meet many of the RoHS restrictions long before the deadline of July 1, 2006," the company said in a statement on its environmental materials Web site.

However, sources tell AppleInsider that a handful of Apple products will not meet all the requirements and will therefore be withdrawn from sale in Europe. These products include the iSight, AirPort Base Station With Modem, AirPort Base Station Power Over Ethernet & Antenna, iPod shuffle External Battery Pack and all versions of the eMac all-in-one desktop computer.

Sources say Apple will not accept new orders for the aforementioned products beyond June 23 in order to assure that all orders ship prior to the RoHS deadline.

Although the products will no longer be available through Apple Europe after June 23, they may continue to be sold in through the company's retail channels for as long as existing inventory lasts, sources added.
post #2 of 25
Is it just me, or is it scary that the iSight camera contains so many toxic materials? I actually feel slightly unsafe with it now.
post #3 of 25
I'm reading from the article that the iSight built into the notebooks and the iMac don't have these hazardous materials that prompted the banned/discontinued products in Europe?
post #4 of 25
There's nothing really good there except for the Airport, and personally I wouldn't bother with that, you've got Airport Express. And who needs an iSight when they're all built in now?

Maybe..... call me crazy, but does Apple's apparent lack of concern for making the Airport meet the standards indicate that they may refresh the airport soon? When's 802.11n supposed to be out?????
post #5 of 25
I suspect these products are those which haven't had a design refresh recently enough and/or don't meet the volume requirements to make redesign without toxic materials cost effective.

And let's be real folks they have to stop selling the products if it contains just one of the materials listed, the fact that they have to stop selling them doesn't mean that all the materials are present. Likely they are manufactured with parts that have lead solder in them.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
Is it just me, or is it scary that the iSight camera contains so many toxic materials? I actually feel slightly unsafe with it now.

I haven't got jungle rot from it yet... but I know what you mean. My iSight is always looking at me funny.
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post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by aplnub
I haven't got jungle rot from it yet... but I know what you mean. My iSight is always looking at me funny.

The mother of invention has always been necessity. It is people that make a stand, that will finally cause a change to take effect. My hats off to the European Council. Although Apple is one of the few (If only) computer companies that has actually taken steps to stop making products that are made with hazardous materials, BEFORE anyone ever told them they HAD to. But some is still too much. I can only bet that new product development will take this into serious consideration. I wonder how this law effected DEll, or HP. How many products in their cheap lines will be affected?\
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post #8 of 25
I would be curious to know which other products, from companies other than Apple, will be affected?
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay

Maybe..... call me crazy, but does Apple's apparent lack of concern for making the Airport meet the standards indicate that they may refresh the airport soon? When's 802.11n supposed to be out?????

...or may just drop it because their wifi hockypuck cant sell...not when a WRT 54G is $50!

Now as to the APE; I see a huge refresh coming...with vidcasting and iTunes tv, we NEED a tv solution compatible with the fucking DRM...God knows burning to a DVD is just going to drive NBC ABC CBS and FOX to the poor house!
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post #10 of 25
This isn't really a problem a_greer is right, there surely will be a refresh coming.

My electronics parts catalogs have been dual listing many items, even LED's in both compliant, and noncompliant versions for a while now. /the US has its own version, but as usual, ours is somewhat different.

This mostly affects the disposal of the products rather than their being a hazard while in use.
post #11 of 25
Just to put Robin Hood's mind to rest (if not moral concerns) the risk from these materials is as they enter the enviroment on mass after use, making ethical disposal difficult, not actually during use. So as long as you aree careful about how you disspose of your iSight there should be nothing to be worried about.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
...or may just drop it because their wifi hockypuck cant sell...not when a WRT 54G is $50!

Ex-friggen'-actly!
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post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
These products include the iSight, AirPort Base Station With Modem, AirPort Base Station Power Over Ethernet & Antenna, iPod shuffle External Battery Pack and all versions of the eMac all-in-one desktop computer.

What a fine list of products we could reasonably expect to see EOL'ed soon anyway, with or without this announcement.
  • integrated iSight on most new Macs makes the stand alone camera redundant
  • Airport due a major refresh for new wi-fi standards plus of course streaming video
  • iPod shuffle is on its last legs, so too is its battery pack
  • Intel TFT eMac expected

Clearly Apple have known about the EU move for a couple of years and this is the logic to leaving these handful of outmoded models out to dry. Withdrawing the best standalone webcam from the market would be the classic Apple way of promoting new iMac and MacBook sales!

Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
...or may just drop it because their wifi hockypuck cant sell...not when a WRT 54G is $50!

True, so very true. But only yesterday I was engaged in a fight to the death with a cruddy generic router, a battle I only won because of my trusty Airport Express. Apple's price for their network gear is too high for sure, and they'd make more profit with a lower margin in this field I'm certain as they've proven that Apple design at the right place for other low end equipment (iPods) can be very popular when buyers know about it.

I've a friend who's saving for a MacBook to replace his eMac and wants to make his house wireless. Even if he were more technical I'd still likely suggest an Airport Express based on my experience with mine and its integration with Airport Admin Utility. As is, he's far from understanding DNS and the rest so it's my sure suggestion ... especially if they refresh it with video!

The cost is a pain, but the number of hours of config and troubleshooting I've saved in the last couple of years pays off the initial difference in my case several times over. Of course, I'm also glad mine (ordered close to the day of release) is still running ... what with reports of the 13 month death!
post #14 of 25
Long as Apple's got stock in its warehouses with in Europe it can continue to sell the products that aren't RoHS compliant.

The law states its only products brought into the EU after the 1'st July for sale have to be RoHS compliant.

I'm sure they've got enough stockpiled to last them until factors producing the products are RoHS compliant.
post #15 of 25
iMerc?
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
Is it just me, or is it scary that the iSight camera contains so many toxic materials? I actually feel slightly unsafe with it now.

Well, you didn't eat it did you?
post #17 of 25
"Apple will be fully RoHS compliant by July 1, 2006."
~http://www.apple.com/environment/materials/

I guess that really means, "What we can't make compliant we will pretend dosen't exist by July 1, 2006."
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by ReCompile
The mother of invention has always been necessity. It is people that make a stand, that will finally cause a change to take effect. My hats off to the European Council. Although Apple is one of the few (If only) computer companies that has actually taken steps to stop making products that are made with hazardous materials, BEFORE anyone ever told them they HAD to. But some is still too much. I can only bet that new product development will take this into serious consideration. I wonder how this law effected DEll, or HP. How many products in their cheap lines will be affected?\

And the killer of invention is government bureaucracy. The European Union has been known for this for years. Their strict requirements limit the availability of many products in Europe, and raise costs of others, often prohibitively for small producers.

Your question of how many products will be affected is key. Just how many Europeans will be denied access to useful products at reasonable prices?
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by cactus
"Apple will be fully RoHS compliant by July 1, 2006."
~http://www.apple.com/environment/materials/

I guess that really means, "What we can't make compliant we will pretend dosen't exist by July 1, 2006."

No.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by bryand
And the killer of invention is government bureaucracy. The European Union has been known for this for years. Their strict requirements limit the availability of many products in Europe, and raise costs of others, often prohibitively for small producers.

Your question of how many products will be affected is key. Just how many Europeans will be denied access to useful products at reasonable prices?

Actually, not very many. Most products are being replaced with similar ones that are compliant. Newer manufacturing methods are being superseeded by newer ones that use less, or no toxic compounds.

Circuit boards used to be washed with solvents after manufacture, and again after soldering. Those solvents were banned both in the US, and in Europe, a few years ago. The manufacturers found that by washing them with water based cleaners that were compliant, not only did they conform, but the cleaners were costing much less to buy, and use, but also, the boards came out cleaner!

It's a matter of more understanding of the processes involved. It's amazing just how many toxic compounds have been in products over the years, and just how many have been eliminated.
post #21 of 25
It's a sensible move. All the toxic substances that lurk in every component of a PC, or any electronic device for that matter, could very well end up in the water table, in your food and eventually in your body if such equipment is not disposed of/recycled properly.

Think of the billions of pieces of used equipment that must be lying in landfills, seeping poison into the ground. Not nice.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by MiMac
It's a sensible move. All the toxic substances that lurk in every component of a PC, or any electronic device for that matter, could very well end up in the water table, in your food and eventually in your body if such equipment is not disposed of/recycled properly.

Think of the billions of pieces of used equipment that must be lying in landfills, seeping poison into the ground. Not nice.

Also, one of the reasons why many products can't be recycled is because of the toxic compounds in the product. For years, computers contained so much lead and cadmium, it cost too much to reclaim them.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Actually, not very many. Most products are being replaced with similar ones that are compliant. Newer manufacturing methods are being superseeded by newer ones that use less, or no toxic compounds.

Circuit boards used to be washed with solvents after manufacture, and again after soldering. Those solvents were banned both in the US, and in Europe, a few years ago. The manufacturers found that by washing them with water based cleaners that were compliant, not only did they conform, but the cleaners were costing much less to buy, and use, but also, the boards came out cleaner!

It's a matter of more understanding of the processes involved. It's amazing just how many toxic compounds have been in products over the years, and just how many have been eliminated.

Just as a point of clarification they still use toxic solvents to wash, I certainly would drink none of them. They just don't use banned substances and have replaced them with other alternatives. These chemicals are still very toxic they are just cheaper by nature of the less stringent recovery required, although in many instances they are easier to recover.

Certainly through the US newer manufacturing methods aren't superseding existing methods but replacing them out of necessity based on public pressure and increasing costs.
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post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Telomar
Just as a point of clarification they still use toxic solvents to wash, I certainly would drink none of them. They just don't use banned substances and have replaced them with other alternatives. These chemicals are still very toxic they are just cheaper by nature of the less stringent recovery required, although in many instances they are easier to recover.

Certainly through the US newer manufacturing methods aren't superseding existing methods but replacing them out of necessity based on public pressure and increasing costs.

It depends on what you mean by toxic. If you drank dishwashing liquid, it would be toxic as well. For that matter grain, alcohol is toxic. It doesn't stop us from drinking it.

By toxic, in the sense of the board industry, I was talking about serious solvents. That's all gone now. New methods are superceding existing methods. As soon as these substances are banned. Industry is given some time to find substitutes. They were given several years to replace the previous washing solvents. They no longer use solvents. It was a lucky break for them that it turned out to be cheaper and better, but that wasn't why they did it. They were forced to.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by fuyutsuki
The cost is a pain, but the number of hours of config and troubleshooting I've saved in the last couple of years pays off the initial difference in my case several times over. Of course, I'm also glad mine (ordered close to the day of release) is still running ... what with reports of the 13 month death!

I cant think of any reason why configing a moddern SOHO router/switch should take more than 15 minutes...that includes opening ports for special apps, custom configuring IP address space for wired and wireless, changing the subnet, and adding a small DNS blacklist (redirects a couple of problematic sites to 127.0.0.1) Most people just need to change the password and turn on WPA...I just go nuts...the AVERAGE setup would literaly take like 5 minutes if you click on the "help" in the config GUI
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