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Why Apple could earn $40 million in gold on processing iPhone

The journalist of the edition Motherboard Jason Cobbler reviewed the news that Apple produced from recycled old iPhone gold for $40 million, He discovered that it is not so: the company spent more money on contractors, recycling old electronics.

“You’ve probably seen in the last few days the news that Apple earned $40 million in gold on recycling old iPhone. As it turned out, those reports almost nothing is true”, — quotes the Vc Explorer edition.

“The story went around to all the sites, but I never encountered so unanimous was wrong when news coverage: hundreds of publications written about”the”Report on environmental responsibility” to Apple, but no publication was not correct,” says the Cobbler.

The report specified total weight of recycled electronics — 40 000 tons and the volume of extracted useful materials, including steel, aluminum, glass and gold.

The author cites the example of the most ridiculous flow of this story: “Apple whether out of kindness, whether from selfish motives took the old iPhone and iPad, was disassembled and removed from each device and 30 milligrams of gold. Just got 999,7 kg”. If it were the case, then Apple had to rework 33.3 million phones, the newspaper notes: “in Other words, in this alternate reality, Apple instead to renovate and resell those iPhone in the markets of developing countries by several hundred dollars each, decided to destroy them, to produce each unit of gold for 1 dollar”.

“Often, however, it was reported that Apple has processed 40,000 tons of older devices, most of which were iPhone and other products of the company. This recycling was extracted 999,7 kilograms of gold, the present value of $40 million,” writes the author. According to him, such supply is closer to the truth: in a report Apple said that in 2015 the company took over the processing of 40,000 tons of e-junk — “71% of the total weight of devices sold by us for the previous 7 years.”

In fact, Apple was paying contractors for recycling old electronics, as required by U.S. law, and only a small part of recyclable materials accounted for the company’s products. “The company not only not earned on this $40 million, but apparently remained negative. Not because Apple is bad at pretending or hiding something- just the way it is”.

The newspaper reminds that all electronics manufacturers who sell their devices in the United States are required to engage in the processing of electronic junk — related laws in 25 States. “From state to state requirements vary, but is nowhere laid down that Apple owes it to recycle Apple products. In most cases, companies require to process a certain volume of recyclable materials, which depends on their market shares or of the total weight of products sold”.

It is unknown how much money Apple has paid to contractors for processing — all manufacturers enter into such contracts with the condition not to disclose the details.

Generally, manufacturers do not do processing themselves, but instead hire contractors. “The proportion of recyclable materials processed by producers themselves, is close to zero, — said the publication of Kyle Vince, CEO of iFixit, which repairs gadgets. Apple has a buyback program and recycling old iPhone, but across the country it is negligible, explained the entrepreneur.

“It’s not necessarily bad, because Apple specializes in the production of electronics, not recycling. Besides, the iPhone does not weigh practically nothing when compared with the old TVs, servers, and even computer monitors. Even on the original iPhone in the world has kept demand, then how to break and re-melt the old TV is, apparently, the best thing you can do with him,” says the author.

He sent Apple a request, in which asked about recycling old devices, but the company left it unanswered.

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