Apple’s untold story on EPEAT!
Umang is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is making some decisions which are very hard to understand for all of us. First they say we are out of EPEAT and then again they announce that we are back to EPEAT ratings. A company as reputed as Apple making such horrendous decisions and then making public announcements that it was just a mistake?? Was it really a judgmental error or a political gimmick??
Just a few days back they announced that we are not going to participate in the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) ratings. They removed the certifications from all 39 of its applicable products. The CEO of EPEAT, Mr.Robert Frisbee said, “They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements.” People and analysts tried to find out the reasons as to why they are moving away from this rating. Many felt it was primarily because of the New MacBook Pro with retina display which could possibly not sustain the recycling quality requirements.
All of us were trying to digest these facts and then suddenly they come up with another surprise. Now they announce we made a judgment error and we are back into the EPEAT rating system from Friday. The senior vice president of hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield says, “We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake.”
Can we accept the justifications that they have given to us? Apple had always pointed to its performance in the EPEAT standards versus other vendors like Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL). EPEAT has awarded the gold rating to the entire line of HP workstations, one of the highest ratings possible. Dell did not stay far behind the race and upgraded itself to the EPEAT ratings. Thus Apple's removal from EPEAT rating provoked loads of discomfort in its users and many were taking a call of removing Apple from its usability criteria.
But then Apple reverted its decision and how this change has impacted its performance is visible from the following chart :
We see that the stock has fallen down drastically to as low as $594 from $615. This clearly shows that the market did not accept its decision of removing EPEAT ratings. Also, as soon as they announced that they are back to EPEAT, the stock started rising which is evident from the chart though it is still too early to predict on these grounds.
Story behind the scene
Let us see a few set of events that took place in the past couple of months :
June 7th, 2012 - Standards for EPEAT TV and Imaging Equipment Ratings Move Forward
June 29th, 2012 - Apple Ceases Registering Products in EPEAT
July 10th, 2012 - IEEE 1680.1 PC/Display standard update moving ahead
July 14th, 2012 – Apple rejoins EPEAT program for IEEE 1680.1 standards.
As we see, that within a month’s time of the announcement of EPEAT regarding the Imaging and TV requirements Apple decides to move out of EPEAT. Then immediately in few days they announce the movement.
Mansfield added that “Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience, and we look forward to working with EPEAT as their rating system and the underlying IEEE 1680.1 standard evolve.”
Clearly there is some connection in between the rating standard 1680.1 and Apples deregistration and registration of the ratings of EPEAT. The picture is still not clear as we are still in a process to understand the new evolved ratings of 1680.1 and Apple’s incapability to match up initially with those standards which forced them to withdraw from it.
Whatever be the case, one thing is for sure all of us can say it that a company of this standard would not be making such hasty decisions that it has to reverse that within a week’s time. Let us wait and watch what’s more in store with Apple for us.
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