The smartphone you use everyday is a complex machine that is made up of a number of different components. But when you break it down, there are around 75 elements – that’s two-thirds of the periodic table – that go into the creation of a smartphone. Some of these elements are extremely prevalent while others are exceptionally rare. Why does this all matter? Let’s find out.
YouTube channel DNews discussed the elements that went into making smartphones, drilling in on the Apple iPhone specifically. It uses 75 of the 118 elements on the periodic table.
Some of the elements like silicon, aluminium, potassium, lithium and carbon are common enough. Others like gold, which is an excellent conductor, and tin, which is used in the soldering process are a lot rarer. Some like yttrium and terbium are known to be difficult to mine.
All this leads to supply issues since environmental damage and human rights violations may be involved in mining for some of these minerals.
DNews goes into more detail in the video above.