Apple turns broken iPhones into a literal gold mine

Apple has made much of its efforts to save the planet, but is it actually working?

At this year’s iPhone SE launch event, Apple revealed Liam, a robot that can disassemble iPhones and sort their high-quality components.

And the fruits of Liam’s labour are seriously impressive.

Apple has released its Environmental Responsibility Report for 2016, revealing that the robot has recovered an incredible 2,204 pounds of gold from recycled iPhones.

That’s not bad, considering a single Troy pound of gold currently trades at $15,073 – that’s $33.2 million in recovered gold alone.

Overall, Apple recovered 61,357,800 pounds of material in total through its take-back initiatives in 2015.

Here’s what it managed to reclaim:

Steel – 23,101,000 pounds
Plastics – 13,422,360 pounds
Glass – 11,945,680 pounds
Aluminium – 4,518,200 pounds
Copper – 2,953,360 pounds
Cobalt – 189,544 pounds
Zinc – 130,036 pounds
Lead – 44,080 pounds
Nickel – 39,672 pounds
Silver – 6,612 pounds
Tin – 4,408 pounds
Gold – 2,204 pounds

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“We see a huge opportunity to improve the way we reclaim finite resources from our products,” writes Apple.

The company calls Liam an “experiment in recycling technology”, and says it hopes “this kind of thinking will inspire others in our industry”.

Watch our iPhone SE video review:

Do you think Liam deserves a pay rise? Let us know in the comments.