Apple in Talks to Buy Key Battery Ingredient Cobalt Directly From Miners

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is in talks to purchase long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners to ensure a steady supply of the key battery ingredient amid industry fears of a shortage, according to a report by Bloomberg today.

    The companies that make batteries for Apple's iPads and iPhones depend heavily on the availability of cobalt, but Apple is said to have taken the issue into its own hands, prompted by fears that the electric vehicle boom could see supply of the raw material dwindle.

    About a quarter of global cobalt production is used in smartphones that use lithium-ion batteries, according to Bloomberg. Smartphones are said to use around eight grams of refined cobalt, but the battery for an electric car requires over 1,000 times more. That means Apple will be in fierce competition with carmakers like BMW and Volkswagen as well as battery producers like Samsung as the firms seek to secure supplies into the future.

    With two thirds of all supplies sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has a history of political instability and child labor, the price of cobalt has more than tripled in the past 18 months and now trades more than $80,000 a metric ton.

    In recent years, Apple has responded to criticism from human rights groups for its metal supply chain, which in the past has bought cobalt from mines that use child labor. Last year the tech giant published a list of companies that supply the cobalt used in its batteries for the first time, and said it would not allow cobalt from smaller Congo mines into its supply chain unless they could prove that "appropriate protections" to safeguard against child labor were in place.

    Article Link: Apple in Talks to Buy Key Battery Ingredient Cobalt Directly From Miners
  2. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816


    Aug 25, 2004
    Glendale, California, USA
    Is it telling of the current GPU market state that when I saw the headline I thought “What do cryptocurrency miners have to do with cobalt?”
  3. DeepIn2U macrumors 601


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Largest supplier is Glencore.
  4. Avieshek Suspended


    Dec 7, 2013
    Will Apple triumph Samsung over Solid-State Batteries?

    Find out on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z
  5. Wanted797 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2011
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
  7. Kabeyun macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    And Apple just passes it on to battery manufacturers? Or do they plan on moving batteries in house?

    Wrong, but I like how you think outside the box!
  8. canadianreader macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2014
    Cobalt Coin to the moon!!! lol
  9. DeepIn2U macrumors 601


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Excellent. reference!

    In all seriousness ...

    I feel this is a prelude to ... More products, improving battery life, taking full ownership of battery and power management. Could be used from anything such as Apple Park backup batteries (or. other campuses), to existing and future products. There is a S. American country that produces Cobalt as well yet their yields are not currently high ... that could change with lessoned government restrictions (yet environmental concerns abound) ... as well as outside major investments in altering production. yields in a different way.
  10. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2014
    Great first crypto currency is making my next GPU too expensive. Next electric car batteries are going to make my phone too expensive. Off to make more money...
  11. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    Maybe Apple is researching a better battery? One can hope! Consumer batteries have improved over the years but in this age of tech, hasn't advanced fast enough.
  12. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    It's more like "Find out in the next 10 episodes of Dragon Ball Z"

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