Apple Executives' Bonuses to Be Tied to Their Performance With Respect to Accessibility and the Company's Other Core Values

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In an annual meeting of shareholders notice and proxy statement filed this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Apple says that beginning in 2021 a new “environmental, social, and governance modifier” will be used to increase or decrease bonus payouts to its executives by up to 10% based on an evaluation of their’ performance with respect to the company's six core values: accessibility, education, environment, inclusion and diversity, privacy and security, and supplier responsibility.

According to the filing, Apple's values reflect the company's “commitment to leave the world better than we found it and to create powerful tools for others to do the same.”

The filing also reaffirms Apple's belief that accessibility is a human right and technology should be accessible to everyone:

Our products are powerful and affordable assistive devices, with built-in accessibility features such as VoiceOver, Voice Control, and support for Made for iPhone hearing aids. New features, such as Sound Recognition, Back Tap, and People Detection, continue Apple’s mission to make our technology customizable to the diverse needs of all our users.

Although Apple does not detail how it will evaluate executive's performance with respect to accessibility and the company's other core values, having accessibility incorporated in the annual cash incentive program should provide an additional reason—and incentive—for it to be a priority in considerations and decision making in the future.

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Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, January 8, 2021

Curious to see if the blind are included in the development of criteria and in the performance evaluation process. If we aren't, then this change might only be lip service.

Submitted by Brad on Friday, January 8, 2021

This doesn't mean anything to me, they're a billionair business, whether people do thing x or not isn't going to really effect that person, at the end of the day they'll still probably be earning way above minimum wage and will be able to put food in their bellies.

OH and Apple being affordable? Yeah, no. I have this Iphone SE2020 which is around £400 to pay off but i'm lucky, I live in the UK, if I were in New Zealand for example, the Iphone Se2020 would go for 749.90 New Zealand Dollars and that's just for the cheepest phone.

Submitted by Khushi on Saturday, January 9, 2021

what? did Apple just say "affordable?"
really sorry but that isn't the case. specially in countries like India.
I think they have a misunderstanding or it just proves a point which is being made all the time that accessibility comes with a very, very high cost. be it digital or infrastructural.
android in India goes from a very low to a very high cost. but the phones which are a bit more pricey are the most accessible ones. since apple is accessible from the start and there is no such variations, they're costly.

It's such a rich statement, plus it proves that apple is not thinking about other countries but their main one, the US.

Even in the US apple is not the most afordible, that goes to android and always will.

Submitted by Khushi on Saturday, January 9, 2021

In reply to by Brad

I'm honestly greatful that my parents could buy me an IPhone even if its an IPhone 6s. though I enjoy the amazing accessibility even with all its bugs because apple accessibility is the best. and I sometimes feel quite bad because many disabled people aren't able to afford such accessibility :)
I think apple should stop thinking that its affordable.

Submitted by Siobhan on Saturday, January 9, 2021

Let's be honest here. Though their prices are getting more outrageous by the second, we are a subset of the mainstream clients. Were we to have paying work that would make it possible, we wouldn't be bitching about the cost. I'm not saying it's right, just saying for the most part, it is affordable to those who can. If they do not want to spend so much, then they can go with android or another cell operating system. Still being blunt think about their M.O. now. every year they release new phones. some with outstanding features like better cameras and better storage options. why do this? Because people usually want or need a phone every year so it works for the company. I did not however say these practices are right or fair to everyone. accessibility is at the core of the operating system because they don't know if Joe Public is a blind person, deaf, or other issues so they cover the bases with voice over, voice control assistive touch and things. Please don't start a flame war about who is working or not, I did not intend for this comment to be interpreted like that.

Submitted by Orko on Saturday, January 9, 2021

It's all just smoke & mirrors to me.

Based on the number of accessibility bugs that have been addressed these past couple of years, accessibility as a core value of Apple has been diminishing ever since Tim Cook took over from Steve Jobvs.

So I will just say that I will believe it when I see it.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Saturday, January 9, 2021

While there is no question Apple's products are high priced compared to its competition, let's not forget:
1. The blind aren't "entitled" to anything more or other than what all other human beings are entitled to.
2. You get what you pay for.
3. Price is a function of supply and demand, not ethics.
4. Apple is unquestionably a leader in the field of accessibility.
5. No matter what else you might say, we ALL agree the new development concerning accessibility and executive compensation is a step, however large or small, in the right direction.

Submitted by Amir on Sunday, January 10, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I don't want to name handsets, but true flagship Android phones are almost as expensive as Apple flagships. Of course, Android provides choices. But the more the price is reduced, the more we'll face update issues, hardware quality glitches, and so forth. And, last but not least, the likes of iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 (non-Pro variant), and iPhone SE provide choices for those who want cheaper iDevices.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Sunday, January 10, 2021

quote: environmental, social, and governance modifier” will be used to increase or decrease bonus payouts to its executives by up to 10% based on an evaluation of their’ performance with respect to the company's six core values, unquote

does it ring a bell? if it doesn’t, it is called “esg investing”. blackrock, goldman, jp morgan, numerous pension funds are all very keen on esg investing. saying we tie exec pays to social, environmental and corporate governance, apple is saying we are genuinely a esg company, in addition to a software, service and subscription company, check all the main themes. now, sell side analysts can raise our stock price multiple, blackrock of the world, pension funds and passive etfs who want esg companies in their portfolios should buy apple or add more shares.

i’m not trying to be cynical, and apple is not a bad company at all. i’m saying people shouldn’t get too excited about it one way or the other, just recognize it is what a company like apple has to do and say. at least apple says we are committed to be an esg organization, that’s a good thing.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, January 10, 2021

I admittedly don't understand all this. That said, I highly commend Apple for doing this and for their tireless work on accessibility over the years. I admit there are still things which I need to learn regarding privacy/confidentiality, but thank you Apple for being there for us and making great products.

Submitted by Siobhan on Sunday, January 10, 2021

@ekaj, The executives can have their pay, that is what they earn, decreased by ten percent if the core values of accessibility and other factors aren't met. we don't know a lot about this and for the most part, I think it's just tossing fish to a seal. In other words, it's saying what the tree hugging people want to hear, but in the back end, they are still doing as they please. Apple was once at the core of accessibility, yes. when they were the other side of the computer wars when if you didn't use windows, and couldn't afford the screen reader, you were out of luck, until apple said, hey we can figure out something. Now however as i've said previously, accessibility is taking a serious downturn as apple comes up with the latest and greatest new products. The watch, tv, the car play thing, which to be honest if it didn't have voice over support it wouldn't bug me at all. I mean because i'm a passenger in a car didn't mean I'd need to control the radio and gps, but that's besides the point. Apple's accessibility is now if it works, great, ship it out.

some ipad scost the same as a reforbished car. Macs are out of reach for like almost everyone. IPhones are expensive as hell and apple watchs cost the same as an iphone.
What I mean is we shouldn't have to pay that much to be able to use a smartphone for more than social networking and virtual banking, like, I don't know any writer or musician who uses android phones as an useful tool.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Sunday, January 10, 2021

I used a 1000 dollar android phone for a few years, and it was quite useful. the 600 dollar phones were ok, but I went back to apple and I will pay 1200 if i have to for a good phone. you really do get what you pay for.

I understand when people say "I'd pay whatever the price for accessibility". But it's way harder to apply this mindset when a phone costs like 5 months or more of your salary.

Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, January 11, 2021

Hi. A lot of this you the general consumer can not control the costs of importing tariffs and other costs associated with products like the Mac or iPhone. The bottom harsh reality is that Brazil and India are poorer countries then say some in Europe or Canada. I mean absolutely no disrespect. It's simply down to socioeconomics. So yes it make take five months salary for an iPhone six. However I would see it as another access point however far lagging behind. One of the things that doesn't make sense is why Apple and companies upgrade tech every year. It comes back to the chain of supply and demand. People need that new phone, they can get it. They want that new computer, they can get it. It doesn't mean there's not a harsh divide between those who are richer and those who are poorer. And no, disability has absolutely nothing to do with it. If it were me, I could be fine not on social media or using Uber, or sending insta photos. However i am grateful for what I do have. When it comes time to upgrade, i'll probably go with what works for me. i don't need the newest every year so I'll hope that countries can get better access. They may, they may be waiting but it's the companies we need to go after.

I don't know how it works in India, but apple overprices stuff a lot here in Brazil, specially the high end phones, ipads and macs. We pay the US price converted to real x 2 plus a bit more.

I agree.
I cannot just switch my phone to something latest because I simply can't afford it. and this is sadly with allmost everything you think of buying as a blind person which can help you.. braille displays are a good example.

Submitted by Khushi on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

In reply to by WellF

I don't know how it works here in India too. but the products are certainly not at all affordable.. I don't know the specifics of how they work in India

Braile displays are otherworldly expensive even on more central countries. And it isn't something we know for sure, talking about apple's pricing policy. It's based on an estimative made by comparing how much dolars cost and the final price we actually pay.

Submitted by Brad on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Orbit reader displays are good options if you want the cheepest braille display with 20 cells or more once the orbit reader 40 comes out.

It's still expencive, £699 here, I don't know how much that is in other countries, but it's a lot lower than other displays.

Submitted by WellF on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

In reply to by Brad

These less expensive ones cost 10 months of the minimum wage in Brazil. Not affordable at all for most blind people.

Submitted by Brad on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

In reply to by WellF

I don't think people will be able to get displays much lower than £600, I could be wrong though and in the future we might see a £300 display.

Submitted by Khushi on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

In reply to by Brad

yes I'm keenly kepeing an eye on the orbit reader 40 though I have never owned or seen a braille display before. but it is not costly if we compare it with other braille displays but I won't say its affordable by any means. let me give you an example. sorry for going off topic. but let's take orbit reader 40 as an example.
so the orbit reader 40 costs ₹89,239.50 (from
which is 890.57 pounds and 1219.48 US Dollars

Submitted by Dennis Long on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

This is a good thing. I have both iPhone and android. Apple is better at accessibility. I used the screen recognition feature to help with a porly designed website today. As for the cost. I agree with Amir. I will however name a phone brand *smile* Lets take Samsung They are about the same price as your apple flag ship phones. by that I mean the 12 12 pro and 12 pro max. Android has nothing close to iOS screen recognition feature. Does apple get everything right? No iPhones are terrible on battery life androids aren't. This is good and I hope apple continues to improve it will be better for all. I also hope the day comes where android catches up and truly is an option.

Submitted by Brad on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I'm going to return my orbit reader 20 plus braille display some time next week as the dots are way to sharp for me.

Submitted by Remy on Thursday, January 14, 2021

Don't get me wrong, Apple devices aren't cheap, and they're getting more expensive by the upgrade. But, Take any of the devices specifically made for the blind. Book players, notetakers, wearable glasses, Magnifiers, products like Orcam and the Envision Glasses, ... all of those are thousands of dollars. Thousands. Imagine if you had to pick and choose which peripheral to buy based on accessibility needs. Now realize that with an iPhone/iPad, you get access to nearly all of those same accessibility benefits, which in many cases work on par with if not better than those peripherals. Apple devices may be expensive, but look how much they can do for accessibility, even with the free apps we have access to. I'm not keen whenever I have to upgrade. And admittedly I am fortunate enough to be in the lower percentage who has a job and is able to afford the odd purchase. So maybe I'm not one to talk. But considering the alternative of buying a bunch of devices, Apple's not so bad.

the same applies for Brazil, India and other countries. They're cheaper than a braile display, but still expensive as hell.

Submitted by Remy on Friday, January 15, 2021

I understand. I live in Canada, where 1400 NZ dollars Equates to roughly about $1277. So yes, it absolutely is expensive still. Though if you have contracts through your local mobile provider, that can really help. Even if not, considering the device will probably last you a good three or four years, and considering the alternative of having to buy peripherals actually made for the blind, I still think it's your best option. But yes, not everyone has $1500 just lying around. Heck I have a full time job and even I don't have that kind of money.

Submitted by Paul Martin on Friday, January 15, 2021

I just got an iPhone 12 Pro a month ago, but have a seat while you find out what I had before; iphone6S!
I held onto the older phone not because I couldn’t afford it, but more because it was simply running just fine all these years. My nephew wants that device…
Another fine example of how long Apple products can last, I still have a MacBook Pro from 2011 running rather well. Even though it doesn’t run the very latest operating system, it’s still quite a capable machine.

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Friday, January 15, 2021

Following the comments here regarding Apple executive compensation being tied to accessibility performance, I've noticed a lot of complaints about the price of an iPhone. Is it expensive, though?

Before you answer, stop to think about what you are actually getting.

Maybe it's just that I was born in 1954, long before anyone had their own, well, pretty much anything when it came to electronic devices. Normal back then was a radio and a telephone. Yes. That was it. The typical household in the mid 1950's didn't even have a TV.

So, as for the price of one iPhone, what are we actually getting? Stop and think about it. Make a list. Tell me what I forgot to include?

Bruce's list:
For the price of one iPhone, we get a very small, very portable battery operated:
24//7 news and weather
OCR scanner
OCR reader
professional quality camera
scores of games
GPS navigation
word processing
spread sheets
movie theatre
remote control
hearing assistance
assistive touch device
alarm clock
language translation
note taking
voice memos
video conferencing
measuring device
carpenter's level
locating device for misplaced or lost items
musician's tuner
package tracker
book reader
text messaging
musical instruments, such as a drum kit, guitar, piano etc.
decibel meter
file transfer device
currency converter
free education, such as free online courses
social media
to do lists

So, when I am buying an iPhone, I'd say I am getting an extraordinary deal. I say it's worth every penny. I say if I tried to buy everything on my list, I might spend a lot more than the price of an iPhone, and it wouldn't be battery powered. No way would I be able to carry all that stuff around in my pocket, leaving me stuck at home, wishing I could take with me into the world all that power and freedom this one little device gives me.

So, my friends, we come to the truth of a very old saying:

Price, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.