Did you know that gold is quite a common element in the production of smartphones? Yes, it is not just the iPhone that holds to this statement, and even Samsung and the older models of HTC and LG have played with gold phones. However, today, we want to know the amount of gold used in an iPhone.
Apart from the gold-plated phones, the iPhone uses a certain amount of gold in its composition. An average iPhone uses 0.018 g of gold which may be worth around $1.58. But that is just one iPhone. If we count the millions of iPhones sold yearly, the figure rounds up to tonnes of gold used by the company.
But why do some people call the iPhone a gold mine? We will be discussing that and more in this blog. You will learn a lot from examining the reason behind the use of gold in iPhones to the actual amount of gold used. So, stay tuned till the end.
Why Is Gold Used in iPhones?
Let’s tackle the main question first; isn’t gold a costly thing to use in designing smartphones? Considering the number of phones sold yearly, it is not surprising to find companies using expensive resources in designing phones.
Apple alone sold 217 million iPhones in 2018. So, it may not be that expensive for a high-selling brand to use gold. But coming to the question, why is it used in the first place?
Gold is not the best material for conducting electricity, but it is still the most used element. It has good conductivity, allows flexibility during design, and does not rust easily over time.
Tin, lead, silicon, and tungsten are other materials used in an iPhone. Tin and lead are the most used materials with the highest composition amount.
How Much Gold Is Used in Making an iPhone?
It is claimed that Apple uses 0.018 grams of gold in an iPhone. You will find many components of the motherboard and the mobile phone made of gold.
To be precise, you will find gold of a thickness of a few microns in the mainboard lines, chips, IDE interfaces, PCI Express slots, processor sockets, and even the SIM card tray. If you look at it externally, you will find the use of gold in charging coils and cameras too.
Exchanging your iPhone in value of gold will not do you any good because the amount of gold used in an iPhone is relatively small, up to a little over $1.5. Taking more than 40 phones would make the quantity of gold up to 1 gram. Today, in 2022, 1 gram of gold is valued at approximately $58. So, you could buy 40 iPhones or get 1g of gold.
How Much Gold Is Used by Apple Yearly?
You might not consider the small value of the gold used as a significant amount; you will be right since it does not equal $2 worth of gold in a single iPhone. But that is the thing; it is a single iPhone.
If you take the figure of iPhones sold in one year, it crosses the 200-million mark. If you combine that little amount, it equals more than 3.5 tons of gold; this was the mark Apple hit in 2019 alone.
However, Apple has yet to confirm the amount of gold used in iPhones. They have not disclosed this because they have received criticism about mining gold. The process of extracting gold is harmful to the environment, but Apple claims to use recycled gold in their iPhones.
Because smartphones come and go, so much gold is going to waste yearly. According to Slims Recycle, they have recycled gold equivalent to 789 Olympic gold medals from smartphones, and this was in 2015, so it is a horror to think about the amount of gold recycled today.
Apple uses a robot named Daisy to recycle old iPhones. The robot can dismantle around 200 iPhones in a single hour. But the total number of iPhones disassembled by iPhone is still a secret.
The use of gold in iPhones may not be that high. But the total amount of gold used in a million iPhones sold yearly is relatively high. On top of that, Apple is criticized for using such an amount without recycling the old gold from the older smartphones. We hope that our blog was able to solve all the burning queries in your mind.