Apple introduced its Daisy robot for the iPhone disassembly for the first time in 2018, highlighting how useful it is to efficiently recover valuable materials from inside the iPhone.
The company is also working to keep its promise to stop extracting the necessary materials from the earth and to be able to make all products from recycled materials. In a new interview with Reuters, Apple?s vice president of the environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson, presented an update on the company's work in these areas.
Currently, Daisy is focused on disassembling the iPhone, and that has been a conscious choice, according to Jackson. Due to the high popularity and sales of iPhones, Daisy can make the biggest difference by successfully recovering materials rather than doing it on other Apple products that are selling less in percentage:
Daisy uses a four-step process to remove the battery from an iPhone, then removes the screws and modules, including the haptic feedback system that vibrates the phone.
The components are then sent to recyclers to extract and refine the minerals. Daisy can dismantle 200 iPhones per hour. In 2017, the Austin robot took down 1 million iPhones, Apple said.
Apple is also said to be considering sharing Daisy's technology with other companies and industries, including manufacturers of electric cars. It remains to be seen whether this will happen or not. It?s an interesting proposition, however, that could help underline Apple?s attention to focus on sustainability and recyclability.
In addition to Daisy, Apple is also trying to stop the extraction of raw materials and the construction of all new products using recycled materials. It is a goal that, however, involves multiple challenges. Apple has admitted that it does not yet know how it can achieve this goal completely.
Mining leaders added, however, that not everyone would be able to follow Apple's lead. Some skeptics have pointed out that this may not even be possible for Apple. Regarding the CEO of iFixit, Kyle Wiens said:
There is this ego to believe that it can recover all the materials used, but it is not possible.