Does Steve Jobs Care about Global Poverty?

Less than 24 hours ago, Apple surpassed Microsoft to become the world’s biggest tech company. As someone who used to spell Microsoft with a dollar sign, I can’t believe what I’m about to say: this is a bad thing for the world.

The only thing I love more than Apple is what I use my Mac gear for: fighting poverty in developing countries. In this regard, unlike Microsoft & Bill Gates, Apple & Steve Jobs don’t seem to care much about poverty and global development.

One runs the biggest tech company in the world, the other is a global leader in fighting poverty.

Before starting this project, I really wasn’t aware of just how much Microsoft was doing in the fight against global poverty. I’m not even referring to Bill Gates and how he has used his own personal wealth to create The Gates Foundation.

As a company, Microsoft is hugely invested in fighting poverty. They partner with charities that keep aid workers connected during disasters, they invest in global health initiatives that save lives, they match employee donations, and much more.

And, as I learned after the earthquake in Haiti, Microsoft even has a disaster response team to provide assistance after natural disasters – with technology, equipment, & even funding. This is mind-boggingly unprecedented from a for-profit.

NetHope (a charity Micorsoft has partnered with) provides connectivity for relief workers in Haiti.

In fact, in the three years I’ve been doing this project, it seems like virtually every aid & development contact I’ve made in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas seems to have (or knows of) someone who can help them from Microsoft.

The same cannot be said for Apple. In fact, to this day despite all the contacts I’ve made, I have yet to find a single person who knows anything Apple has funded or supported in the fight against global poverty.

In fact, when I started this project back in 2007, I placed a formal written request to see if Apple would help me through either lending or donating Apple software or gear. Their response? They don’t do that kind of stuff.

Click to read full letter.

I was also very lucky to meet some high-ranking Apple employees & engineers during my trip to San Francisco late last year. Unfortunately they too confirmed to me that, with one exception not related to poverty, Apple simply doesn’t have any programs which focus on charitable giving.

Until that changes, Apple will never truly surpass Microsoft.

15 Responses to “Does Steve Jobs Care about Global Poverty?”


  1. 1 Anis Salvesen

    Beth Kanter tweeted about this article, so I was naturally interested. Upon reading it, I was shocked. I actually used to intern with an organization that offered Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consulting services. On their behalf, I attended an event not long ago that focused specifically on corporate responsibility; lots of big-name Silicon Valley companies were represented. The general consensus in the room was that CSR was no longer optional but required for any business. How can Apple be so behind the times?

  2. 2 Anis Salvesen

    Beth Kanter tweeted about this article, so I was naturally interested. Upon reading it, I was shocked. I actually used to intern with an organization that offered Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consulting services. On their behalf, I attended an event not long ago that focused specifically on corporate responsibility; lots of big-name Silicon Valley companies were represented. The general consensus in the room was that CSR was no longer optional but required for any business. How can Apple be so behind the times?

  3. 3 Fred

    The irony is that Apple used to bash Gates as the “evil” empire in the 80s with his famous Apple TV ads. Now Bill is going around the world saving lives while Jobs sends gestapo units to get you arrested if you leak his iPhone prototype.

  4. 4 Fred

    The irony is that Apple used to bash Gates as the “evil” empire in the 80s with his famous Apple TV ads. Now Bill is going around the world saving lives while Jobs sends gestapo units to get you arrested if you leak his iPhone prototype.

  5. 5 paterson

    Donation should normally com from the heart, and not just give so that people know you. If you choose to help a random kid around the world, its not to be known, but because you feel for him. As for Steve, he is NOT obliged to give money. I am pretty some of you reading this have never given. You must not have much to give, the little you have, you can give (even if its a dollar). So stop judging others on their actions, and nothing proofs he does not give in private.

  6. 6 paterson

    Donation should normally com from the heart, and not just give so that people know you. If you choose to help a random kid around the world, its not to be known, but because you feel for him. As for Steve, he is NOT obliged to give money. I am pretty some of you reading this have never given. You must not have much to give, the little you have, you can give (even if its a dollar). So stop judging others on their actions, and nothing proofs he does not give in private.

  7. 7 Shawn

    Paterson – corporations are legal entities and do not have a “heart” as you would consider.

    Even if I concede that Steve Jobs donates in private, the fact of the matter is Apple (as a corporation) does not donate to poverty-related causes whereas Microsoft (as a corporation) does.

  8. 8 Shawn

    Paterson – corporations are legal entities and do not have a “heart” as you would consider.

    Even if I concede that Steve Jobs donates in private, the fact of the matter is Apple (as a corporation) does not donate to poverty-related causes whereas Microsoft (as a corporation) does.

  9. 9 One chance at life

    Interesting comment about how if your reading this you must never haven given. We are a family of 8 who for the past 14 years have lived our lives to help those who need a hand up. We don’t own a house, our car is 25 years old and we passionately believe that we only have one life to give and we want to live that helping others. Bill has realized that you can’t take it with you. It is a revelation that most people dont ever get. Sadly

  10. 10 green jobs morocco

    Just want to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity for your submit is simply excellent and i can suppose you’re
    an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to
    seize your feed to stay up to date with forthcoming
    post. Thank you a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  11. 11 careers

    Tremendous things here. I’m very glad to look your article.
    Thank you a lot and I am taking a look forward to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  12. 12 www.gulfjobs2020.com

    ‘We connect People to Gulf.Find the latest jobs in dubai,abudhabi,sharjah,Saudi Arabia,Bahrain,Kuwait,qatar,oman

  13. 13 fifa 16 ultimate team hack

    I was suggested this web site by means of my cousin.

  14. 14 ss

    I go to see daily a few sites and information sites to read
    articles or reviews, however this website gives quality based content.

  15. 15 apple television set, how considerably is apple television a month, apple television amazon, how does apple tv set perform, apple tv set walmart, apple tv set third generation, apple television price, apple tv set ideal get, apple television set vs roku,

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing in your rss feed and I hope you write once more soon!

  1. 1 Follow-Up to Steve Jobs & Global Poverty | UP | uncultured project
  2. 2 Is Apple uncharitable to the core? : MEGAHELP
  3. 3 Bass amplifier schematics

Leave a Reply