November 16, 2010
This was a fake attack by Apple against the perpetrators of the iPhoneCF hoax, in which Apple—while condemning the hoaxsters’ silliness—called for various real and effective measures to stop conflict mining and the atrocities in the Congo.
CONFLICT-FREE IPHONE HOAX TOUTS FALSE, FACILE CONSUMER-BASED “SOLUTION”
Apple wishes to inform the public that the so-called “conflict-free” iPhone, promoted today outside the Apple Store at Fifth Avenue in New York City, featured on the non-Apple website www.apple-CF.com, and noted in a spoofed media advisory to numerous New York City reporters, is fraudulent and fictitious, and entirely the imagination of the group of pranksters who created it.
To be perfectly clear, this product does not exist, and Apple has no connection to the group that promoted it. Furthermore, although Apple does have plans to certify its materials as conflict-free, this will by no means be any sort of solution to the situation of conflict in the Congo, nor in any way help bring an end to that conflict. Rather, the solution must be based in diplomacy.
In this regard, there is a law on the books – the “Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act,” Public Law 109-456, introduced by then-Senator Obama in 2005 – that demands, among other things, the appointment of a special envoy to the Great Lakes region. As of now, four years later, this has still not happened, and the Congolese continue to die by the tens of thousands.
There are various possible solutions to this problem, but it is up to you, not Apple, to accomplish them. Here are some things you can do:
We at Apple have acknowledged in the past that the conflict in the Congo, which has claimed many millions of lives, is fuelled in part by the provision of minerals that go into consumer electronic products, and not only Apple’s. However, so-called “conflict-free” certification is not a real solution, merely a very tiny part of a real solution. Regardless of whether Apple or other companies produce “conflict-free” products, the Congo conflict will not end until the U.S. government chooses to enforce its own laws.