There's something rotten about my laptop, and my phone, and my iPod and accessories. It's not that they were they made by lowly paid workers in poor conditions. And it's not for any of those other reasons that people routinely criticise Apple for: their expense, environmental concerns, the litigious nature of the company or the autocratic nature of Steve Jobs.
What's really rotten about my beautifully designed, state of the art, shiny and sexy MacBook Pro is that virtually none of the profits from its sale went back into the community. Apart from the iPod partnership with Product Red (which Apple will not disclose any details of), Apple is one of those rare companies that doesn't have any philanthropic programs. The last major philanthropic act that its billionaire ex-CEO Steve Jobs made was when he opened the Steve Jobs Foundation in 1986 (he closed it a year later).
In the light of the recent news that Apple has pipped Exxon to become the world's largest company, it's an especially fitting time to question Apple in this regard. How can such an enormous company that is riding on a wave of massive profits justify not being philanthropic?
Recently, a local councilwoman for Cupertino joked about whether Apple's new campus was going to offer free wi-fi for nearby residents, like Google does in Mountain View. Steve Jobs replied that if it didn't have to pay local taxes that Apple would happily provide free wi-fi. This story neatly illustrates our problem. I don't think that Apple should provide any free wi-fi (I'd also see that as goodwill rather than philanthropy), but what Jobs appears to be saying is that the company fulfills its duty to society with the taxes that it pays.
I have always been of the opinion that if we were all taxed fairly and adequately, then charities wouldn't need to exist. Of course, I realise that we are not living in my utopian dream (and we're never going to either), so charities and philanthropy fulfill a highly necessary part in helping to provide the needs of our society that for whatever reasons, our governments cannot.
For many years Apple was struggling as an unprofitable company, and the singular vision of Steve Jobs bought it back from the brink. Maybe the memory of the dark old days is still too fresh and enough of that mentality remains for Apple to be very cautious in this regard. But now that Apple is well and truly in the black and dominating the marketplace, it's definitely the time to start being a better corporate citizen.
If you do feel passionate about this, what can we do as consumers in this situation? Boycotting is not an option - I can't bear the thought of buying a similar but inferior laptop or phone, and I won't. Even though my Apple is slightly rotten I love the product, the interface, the quality of the components, the delicious way they've been put together, and the amazing customer service. I have also used Apple since I started using computers, and Windows or Linux is not an option.
It seems that the best thing we can do is make some noise. Harness the power of social media, send an email, talk about it with your friends. With Tim Cook being appointed the new CEO of Apple, now is the best time for change. We can't make Apple do anything that they don't want to, and they are so powerful that they don't have to care - but one day, maybe their image will be more important to them. Empires have been known to stumble, and even fall, and it's better to have more friends than enemies when they do.
Follow Rupert Duffy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ruduffy