An Apple store worker who ranted about his employer and the iPhone on his Facebook page was rightly sacked, according to an employment tribunal.

Samuel Crisp, who worked at the computer firm's Chapelfield store in Norwich, complained about his job and an application on his iPhone that had incorrectly woken him up at 3 a.m. The panel deemed that his Facebook comments were public.

The Norwich store where Mr Crisp worked

"F***ed up my time zone for the third time in a week and woke me at 3am? JOY!!" one comment on the social network read. Another poked fun at Apple's tagline when the Beatles debuted on iTunes: "Tomorrow is another day. That you'll never forget," Crisp wrote: "Tomorrow's just another day that hopefully I will forget."

Crisp, who is in his 20s, was sacked after a colleague at the Apple store saw his messages on Facebook and passed them on to their boss, Lindsay Cruickshank.

The sacked employee claimed unfair dismissal, but the panel ruled in favour of Apple, saying that the sacking was harsh but justified.

Apple believed that the Facebook messages were particularly damaging because the company relies so heavily on its brand image, which was tarnished by the comments.

The tribunal panel said: "We take into account their position that the Facebook posts were not truly private and could in fact have been forwarded very easily with the claimant having no control over this process."