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The 10 Most Controversial Companies Of 2018

Businesses sometimes find themselves in the news for the wrong reasons. Here are 10 companies that made headlines this year – but not in a good way.

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4. Apple

Apple came under heavy criticism from consumers and partners in early 2018 for not disclosing what became known as "throttling" – the practice of deliberately slowing the performance of older iPhones to help preserve battery life. The company had engaged in using throttling throughout 2017.

CEO Tim Cook defended Apple's use of throttling, but in January admitted that Apple had made mistakes in not being more transparent about the practice. That wasn't enough to mollify critics, however, who saw throttling as a way to push customers to upgrade their iPhones more quickly. The kerfuffle is seen as having tarnished Apple's reputation.

The throttling incident wasn't the only time in 2018 that Apple found itself facing controversy. In November, amid reports of sluggish sales of the company's latest generation of iPhones, Apple annoyed Wall Street analysts when the company said it would no longer disclose unit sales data for its iPhone, iPad and Mac products. That led to a plunge in the company's stock price and the loss of its $1 trillion market capitalization.

Through the year Apple also scrambled to respond to consumer complaints – and even lawsuits – about alleged product defects, including problems with Mac laptop keyboards and display screens.

And as the year drew to a close, Apple found itself caught up in the escalating U.S.-China trade war. While iPhones manufactured in China weren't included in the initial rounds of tariffs the Trump Administration slapped on Chinese-made goods, President Donald Trump said in November that he was considering levying a 10 percent tariff on iPhones and other Apple products.

 
 
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