The US-China tension has led Appleto be in a state of chaos. Apparently, China who has the major share of rare earth: a group of 17 special minerals, has stopped its supply to United States. Rare earth is a basically used in “taptic engine” of the iPhones, which mimics the appearance of a physical button, even though the phone is a flat slab of glass.
But Apple has found its way out. According to news, Apple has found another supplier who would be providing recycled rare-earth to the company, which is something new. Rare earths are used in electronics, weapons and various other goods and are actually quite difficult to be recovered as they are used in tiny portions. But somehow, this anonymous supplier has found a way of recovering and recycling of rare earths, which would benefit Apple during this tough time. “We have essentially made a market for this entrepreneur, this innovator, who found a way to recycle rare earth” Lisa Jackson, VP of Apple, states in one of the interviews.
This is not the first time it has been heard of Apple recycling products and making new products out of them. The company has found ways to recover Aluminum from the devices and reuse them in the making of new MacBook Air laptops and computers. The research team has also recovered Cobalt from old iPhone batteries and have used it in the making of the batteries of the new iPhones.
Even though Apple has found a supplier for the rare earths, the company is still finding ways to recover and recycle rare earths so that the company won’t suffer even after China stopped providing rare earth to them. Apple is also looking for recyclers who can find ways for the above process.
“There are some innovations of ours that we actually want people to copy. So as much as possible- as long as it does not give away some of our other design and engineering domain- we are happy to bring along the recycling industry.” stated Jackson behind the reason for taking such steps.