It's not going well for Apple: despite enjoying continued success with the iPad slate, problems keep stacking up for the company - with the most recent issue being the investigation of the company's product manager Paul Shin Devine amid accusations of kickbacks from Asian suppliers.
According to BusinessInsider
, Devine leaked confidential corporate secrets to select Asian suppliers - the sort of thing that would prove useful if you wanted to bid on a contract with the company, for example, or be the first to market with accessories for a new design of iPhone - in exchange for sizable cash bribes.
Despite keeping the individual amounts low - and funneling them through his wife's bank account - Devine and his accomplice Andrew Ang are thought to have pocketed around $1 million from the scheme over a period of several years, according to the San Jose Mercury News
The scam came to light when Apple - which is bringing a civil suit against Devine as well as the criminal case which has seen the manager arrested by US Federal Marshals - found evidence in Devine's personal e-mail accounts regarding the payments.
While the case is embarrassing for Apple in general - and will leave its other Asian suppliers fuming - it comes at an awkward time for the company: The Economic Times
reports that social media analyst BrandWatch has found that the Apple brand is the one most commonly associated with the Twitter hashtag "#fail
," making it - the group claims - the most criticised brand on the microblogging service, ahead of Facebook, Nokia, and the BBC.
While Apple certainly has its fans - and, as the iPad has shown, is capable of making some fantastically
successful products - it looks like the company needs to do a little house-cleaning if it wants to salvage its overall reputation.
Are you surprised that a supposedly mid-level manager was able to misappropriate $1 million without anyone noticing, or is this merely the sort of thing that could happen at any
company? Share your thoughts over in the forums