Apple AAPL, reportedly, is using a robot named “Daisy” to disassemble iPhones, so that it can reuse the minerals recovered from the devices.
Per a Reuters article, the company extracts and recycles 14 minerals, including Lithium, with the help of the robot. The company is already using recycled tin, cobalt and rare earth materials in some of its products.
Notably, Apple has been using recycled rare earth elements in its Taptic Engine, a component that allows iPhones to mimic a button press despite being a flat pane of glass, of the new iPhone 11. Taptic Engine accounts for about a quarter of the rare earth metals used in the manufacturing of an iPhone.
Per Apple’s Environmental Responsibility report 2019, after every 100,000 iPhones recycled with the help of robots like “Liam” and “Daisy”, it extracted 32 kgs of rare earth elements.
Apple Inc. Price and Consensus
Apple Inc. price-consensus-chart | Apple Inc. Quote
Recycling to Improve Supply Chain
Recycling of materials is likely to help Apple reduce dependence on mining companies. Per the Reuters article, using “Daisy” is a part of the company’s plan to become a “closed-loop” manufacturer.
Moreover, effective recycling is expected to smoothen up its supply chain, thereby improving lead times and avoiding conflicts like the U.S.-China trade war.
Notably, China is the dominant supplier of raw rare earth elements. Apple’s effort to use recyclable scarce earth minerals counters China’s implied restriction upon rare earth element sales to the United States amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
Additionally, recycling can somewhat insulate Apple from rising commodity prices.
Apple has been taking initiatives to become environment-friendly over the past few years and recycling old iPhones is a major step toward that.
Notably, recycling helps in slowing the damage done by reducing the need for both mining and processing raw materials.
Moreover, Apple is focusing on using 100% renewable energy to power data centers. It has also been successful at convincing almost 44 of its suppliers to use clean energy.
Further, the company, in its 13th annual Supplier Responsibility Report, highlighted important moves pertaining to the Zero Waste to Landfill initiative. Apple highlights that all of its final assembly sites for devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches, are certified with Zero Waste to Landfill. The move is helping to conserve billions of gallons of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Apple currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Top-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include NetEase NTES, Fortinet FTNT and Perficient PRFT, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Long-term earnings growth rate for NetEase, Fortinet and Perficient is projected to be 42%, 14% and 11.8%, respectively.
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