The Cobalt Rush: Here's how Apple wants to safeguard its future iPhone batteries

The Cobalt Rush: Here's how Apple wants to safeguard its future iPhone batteries
Amidst the popularity boom of electric vehicles, smartphone makers are starting to feel the heat coming from the increased demand for resources to manufacture lithium batteries, and some are being proactive towards this issue. 

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. 

Apple is one of the largest global users of cobalt, but so far, it has let its battery-manufacturing contractors manage the supply of the metal.

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. 

With the growing demand for electric vehicles, one can easily see how this can quickly become a big issue for Apple that would send ripples upwards and probably affect the price of the final product.

Some other large corporations that are reportedly also hunting for multi-year cobalt supply deals are popular car makers BMW and Volkswagen, but Samsung - one of Apple's best frenemies - also seems to be in the race for cobalt. It's one of those races that you either join or lose.



source: Bloomberg

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13 Comments

1. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Why is this post only about Apple when Samsung too is in the same process and talks? You just grouped it with car manufacturers...I think the article and title should include both of them equally since they are the largest OEMs.

4. whatev

Posts: 2416; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

ZZZzzz you guys are so tiring, seriously why not going to other site that’s only about Samsung and you all be so happy and less frustrated???

7. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Why did I tire you? Or shouldn't I express my own opinion here... That's what the comment section is for... Agreeing, disagreeing, complaining, adding to the conversation. In my case I was complaining for something that didn't seem fair to me.

8. theviolinist

Posts: 209; Member since: Feb 03, 2018

It's called hating. Also, there's a lot of samsung news, so why dont you move your ass over there and admire what you bought?

10. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Who are you to tell me what to do?

11. whatev

Posts: 2416; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Would you like me to go to a Samsung article and make an useless comment just like the one you did? As my grandma used to say don’t do onto others what you don’t want done onto you

12. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Well, you can comment there, that's the point. It's up to the others to decide if it's useless or not. I think it's relevant since there is another company in the same position as Apple for the matter discussed in the article and I expressed my opinion that it's biased considering the importance each of them gets in that article. Again, what's wrong with it?

13. whatev

Posts: 2416; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

So for example it’s fine to make an article about apple facing fierce competition in asía by Chinese manufacturers and how it’s market share is shrinking and by your logic it’d be fine to mention how Samsung is nowhere in the charts in China and how is going down in India, am I right? Or this just work one side? I’m just wondering

6. hemedans

Posts: 761; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

I do remember Nokia days, everyone accused Nokia as leader for using material From congo. children Work day and Night to make our smartphone. Nowadays it is Apple and Samsung as leaders, they used same Cobalt from Congo and nothing has changed, but No one is complaining.

9. southernzombie

Posts: 358; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

No problems with the article. Just a typo you may want to correct. "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."

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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