The Cobalt Rush: Here's how Apple wants to safeguard its future iPhone batteries10
Apple, for example, is currently in direct talks with miners of cobalt, one of the key lithium-ion battery ingredients, hoping to buy the material directly from them. This way, it will safeguard the supply of the not-so-rare metal and make sure that no shortage of the material creates a sudden price surge of cobalt once every car manufacturer starts going after Tesla and its car industry rivals.
Rumor has it Cupertino wants to secure a few several thousand metric tons of the metal for the next five years or so for its contractors. Currently, a metric ton sells for $80,000 or more.
On average, every smartphone battery uses roughly 8 grams of refined cobalt, whereas the much larger lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles can do with 8 kilograms or more, as much as a thousand phone batteries would otherwise use.