Apple’s iPhone-destroying robots are ‘operating’ in California and Europe

Last spring, Apple introduced a new robot at its spring event, Liam, whose job it is to take apart iPhones so more of the valuable materials inside could be recovered and reused.

Liam “production line” systems are currently operating in California and the Netherlands, Apple said in a report published on February 21.

One Liam system can disassemble 1.2 million iPhone 6 units in a year, according to the report. The maximum 2.4 million phones the two systems can take apart per year are a fraction of the 211 million iPhones Apple sold in 2016.

Last spring, Apple said that its robot could take apart one iPhone 6 every 11 seconds.

Apple also revealed how much more materials Liam can save over shredding, which is how electronics are commonly destroyed.

“For every 10,000 phones that Liam disassembles, we have the potential to recover 190 kg of aluminum, 80 kg of copper, 0.13 kg of gold, 0.04 kg of platinum group metals, 0.70 kg of silver, 5.5 kg of tin, and 2.4 kg of rare earth elements,” Apple wrote.

The report was part of information that Apple provides on an annual basis because of “green bonds” worth $1.5 billion that Apple issued in 2016. Green bonds are intended to make it easier for investors to identify environmentally friendly projects. Apple’s debt follows a set of voluntary guidelines called the Green Bond Principles.

About Nadeem Saleh

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