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Apple: Top 5 controversies

Apple's most controversial missteps have brought this tech giant under fire in past years.

Apple under fire 2012 03 07Enlarge
Protestors from SACOM (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) burn effigies of Apple products during a demonstration near the offices of Foxconn in Hong Kong on May 25, 2010. Harsh working conditions and child labor where its product are made put Apple under fire earlier this year. (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)

Apple unveiled its latest version of the iPad today — fittingly called the "new iPad" — to mixed reactions from the public. While Apple's latest tablet PC promises revolutionairy resolution and the fastest processor of its kind, not everyone is taken with it.

"Tech geeks and consumers at large were prepared to be "wow'ed" by Apple's next game-changing device. What we were handed was a 9.7" iPod touch with an e-book application" Jason Viglione, a technology correspondent for the Examiner, wrote on Wednesday. "Given the hype, everyone expected more."

Here's a chronological roundup of Apple's past controversies. Will the new iPad be the next crowned prince of technology or will it be doomed to face a similar fate as these missteps in Apple's history?

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1. The Newton -- Apple's first foray into the PDA market in 1993 turned out to be a financial flop. Priced at $1000, the Newton, aka MessagePad, was bulky and an all-around mediocre product. Still, the little Gameboy-esque prototype paved the way for the Palm Pilot and eventually the company's shining star, the iPhone.

2. The iPad — Women rejoiced when Apple announced the release of a seemingly futuristic sanitary napkin, the iPad, in 2010. Alas, the iPad turned out to be nothing more than Apple's highly-anticpated tablet PC and a financial goldmine for the company. Still, Apple's awkward naming of the iPad left many consumers scratching their heads for a while.

3. iPhone — Apple fanatics swarmed the interwebz and Apple stores following the summer 2010 release of the iPhone 4, only to find their obligatory first calls to brag to family and friends dropped just moments later. Apple responded to the consumer outrage just weeks later, offering a free case to all of the disheartened iPhone 4 owners.

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4. Toxicity — In 2003, Greenpeace campaigned to put an end to the use of potential toxins polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardents in Apple products, citing Apple as one of the "least green" tech companies in the world. The late Apple founder Steve Jobs announced plans to cut out the harmful materials in 2008, making Apple the first electronics maker to do so.

5. Working conditions — When news broke in early 2012 of a planned mass suicide of workers at Foxconn, the company manufacturing most Apple products, many Apple consumers were up in arms. Accusations of severe working conditions and instances of child labor recently has since prompted Apple to allow inspectors from the Fair Labor Association to access and report on the factories.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/technology-news/120307/apple-top-5-controversies