My iPhone 7 was sold to me by Apple. They receive the phones from assembly companies Foxconn and Pegatron which are both based in Taiwan. Foxconn assembles the majority of Apples iPhones in Shenzen, China. Foxconn has factories in Thailand, Malaysia, The Czech Republic, South Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines. The assembly companies get the materials from other people who actually create them and then ship them to the assemblers to be put together.
The materials are from places like mud pit mines on Indonesia's Bangka Island, which are a source of tin for Apple. Smelter is mined by children in Cerro Rico, Gold from Peru, and copper from Chile. 90% of “rare earth minerals, naturally occurring solids whose combination comprises essential iPhone parts, are mined… in Mongolia”. The costs include:
1. Destroying animal habitats where the minerals are mined from.
2. Contributing to deforestation and pollution of the environment.
3. Less than 1% of rare minerals are recycled; therefore, the rare earth minerals used in iPhones are thrown away after the phone’s life has expired.
4. Child labor
I couldn’t get a hold of anyone who contributed to the production or assembly of my phone, instead I talked to my friend Jose about Chile, where he grew up. He said that Chile has a very large gap between the rich and the poor communities. The wealthy show off their wealth through cars and clothes, and unlike America they do not really have big fancy houses. We talked about how they had water purifier but every now and then they would have times where the water got bad. Like America, in Chile they have commodity fetishism and don’t know the chain of where their stuff comes from. I enjoy hearing Jose’s stories about Chile because it is interesting hear about other cultures and to learn about how other people around the world live.
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