The city of San Francisco has become the first public sector purchaser in the US to announce that it will no longer buy Apple computers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It follows the decision by Apple to withdraw all its computers from the EPEAT environmental certification scheme, which I reported on Wednesday.
Apparently, the city’s 50 departments will no longer be able to buy Apple laptops, desktop computers or monitors and it leaves problems for other institutional purchasers such as the University of California.
It’s not a huge financial deal for Apple, it’s products make up a very small part of the city’s IT, as with most government purchasers. But the PR impact is significant, not helped by the fact that no specific explanation has yet emerged from the company for its action.
It does seem that Apple has started to believe it’s own publicity that it can do no wrong. But withdrawing from EPEAT is a terrible example to set to the industry and one that threatens to backfire.