The manufacturing and assembly process of Apple devices is a very important process that, for the user, is completely invisible. However, even if nothing is seen as such from the outside, this does not imply that the manufacture of the products does not have an impact. And in 2025, the Cupertino company has a goal that, if achieved, it will have been the result of innovations in its production chain.
The importance of cobalt in Apple devices
“Rare earths” are materials necessary for the construction of technological devices. However, these are much rarer than others, and their mining is aggressive, with all that this entails. Apple products are not spared from the use of these and, among them, is cobalt as a central element for the construction of batteries.
Getting that cobalt is not an easy task and it has a great impact, both economically and environmentally. And precisely, Apple’s innovations in the production chain involve recovering and recycling a large part of these rare earths, to avoid mining them again. And what is that important difference that they will make from 2025? Basically, the use of 100% recycled cobalt in (virtually) all the batteries they implement your devices.
This is going to be a milestone in many ways. First, significantly reduce the impact on the environment. Next, the demonstration that the implantation of robots in the recycling chains and the constant improvements that have been carried out when it comes to assembling and disassembling equipment, will have borne fruit like never before.
“Apple has substantially expanded its use of 100% certified recycled cobalt over the past three years, which will allow it to be included in all batteries designed by the company by 2025“, explains the company itself in a press release. And if we focus on rare earths as a whole, they further explain that “the company’s use of certified 100% recycled rare earths has also increased enormously over the last year, going from 45% in 2021 to 73% in 2022«.
Apple’s new materials
Although cobalt is a very important element, the truth is that it is not the only material that claims to be 100% recycled in products. Gold is also a mainstay in terms of the construction of the printed circuits of the devices, and Apple affirms that by that same date, these are going to use recycled gold in its entirety.
From gold we went to tin. This material is essential to carry out the welding of the different components in the main circuits. While the rise in recycled tin has been increasing steadily in recent years, Apple has set a goal of using 100% recycled tin in all solder on its products.
“In the transition to recycled and renewable content, Apple has prioritized 14 materials for its impact on supply, human rights and the environment. Together, these materials account for nearly 90% of the material included in Apple products: steel, aluminum, cobalt, copper, tin, lithium, gold, paper, plastic, rare earths, tantalum, glass, tungsten, and zinc. .