If there's one color that's trendy among smartphones right now, that would be gold. LG, HTC, and Samsung have all already announced gold-colored variants of their flagship handsets after Apple kickstarted the trend with its iPhone 5s
. However, did you know that there was actual gold inside of all smartphones? The shiny metal is primarily used for the wiring inside of chips due to its excellent conductivity and malleability properties. These allow it to conduct signals very effectively across the incredibly thin chip wiring. Furthermore, gold isn't the only precious metal that can be found inside of most smartphones and tablets. Silver and platinum are also used in smartphones, along with a number of rare and hard to obtain metals.
So why aren't smartphone super expensive then? Well, that's because there's not a whole lot of gold, silver, and platinum in them. It is estimated that an iPhone contains about 0.0012 ounces of gold, 0.012 ounces of silver, and 0.000012 ounces of platinum. These are worth $1.52, $0.24, and $0.017 respectively. Of course, there's a bunch of not-so-precious metals found inside of phones as well. An iPhone, for example, holds roughly 5 cents worth of aluminium and 12 cents worth of copper.
These amounts of valuable metals inside smartphone may seem minuscule at a glance, but here's an interesting fact: a ton of iPhones would yield more gold than a ton of gold ore. Over 300 times more, to be more specific. Same applies to other elements, although the figures aren't as staggering. For example, 6.5 times more silver is contained in a ton of iPhones than what can be extracted from a ton of silver ore. That's why recycling smartphones, tablets, and just about any kind of electronic devices that aren't in use anymore makes a lot of sense.
So the next time you reach for your smartphone, regardless of its make or model, don't look at it as a mere piece of plastic, aluminum, or glass. There's real gold in there! And silver. And a whole bunch of other rare earth metals that you've been owning all along.