Read About China’s “Apocalyptic, Toxic” Stranglehold On The iPhone’s Rare Earth Elements


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There are seventeen rare earth elements in the periodic table: fifteen lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium. About nine of those elements go into every iPhone sold… and if China were suddenly to disappear from a map tomorrow, Apple would lose about 90% of those elements.

Those nine rare-earth elements are used in all sorts of things to make your iPhone, including providing the LCD display, help polish the glass, build the speakers, make the phone circuitry and even allow your iPhone to vibrate on silent mode. But they are also an environmental nightmare to actually claw out of the earth, which is why China — which doesn’t care much about such issues — has a stranglehold on them.