Apple Starts Using Recycled Rare Earth in Taptic Engine

1 minute read
| News

Apple said today it will use recycled rare earth materials in the Taptic Engine of the new iPhone models (via Reuters).

Rare Earth

Rare earth refer to 17 special elements that are vital to the manufacture of weapons, electronics, and more. As it happens, China has large deposits of rare earth minerals, and implied it could restrict their export to the U.S. as part of the current trade war.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said Apple’s initiative to recycle rare earths wasn’t related to the trade war, but as a way to make its supply chain more resilient.

This is one of those happy coincidences where what is good for the planet is really good for business at the same time. One of the things we talk about a lot internally, just in general, is how much more resilient this makes our supply chain.

The Taptic Engine provides haptic (touch) feedback to the iPhone, Apple Watch, and certain MacBooks by way of vibrations. The Engine is responsible for about 25% of rare earth usage in iPhones. This is a new addition to Apple’s recycling efforts, after it announced at the iPhone 11 keynote that it now uses 100% recycled aluminum in the iPad 7th gen and iPhone 11 models.

Further Reading:

[Apple VP Lisa Jackson on Making an iPhone From Recycled Materials]

[Apple Announces New Recycling Lab in Austin]

1
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Lee Dronick Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

China has large deposits of rare earth minerals, and implied it could restrict their export to the U.S. as part of the current trade war

I wonder if they are the sole source of some elements. Other countries, including the USA, also have rare earth element deposits.

https://www.energy.gov/maps/estimated-rare-earth-reserves-and-deposits