CUPERTINO, Calif., 1 April, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apple® today announced the ‘most sustainable iPhone® ever’, the iPhone TC (standing for ‘Tin Can’).
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated “If we’re going to reach Net Zero by 2050, we’re all going to have to innovate like never before. Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the newest addition to the iPhone family. The new iPhone TC is the sleekest, easiest to use, most affordable, and most sustainable iPhone you’ll ever see.”
According to Apple Senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji, “Inside and out, iPhone TC has been re-architected to provide the simplest, most environmentally friendly iPhone we’ve ever built.”
The stripped-down mobile phone features a precision hollow unibody enclosure milled from an extruded block of anodized aluminum paired with what Apple calls its specially designed M1 Cordage, a 6-ply, 3mm diameter natural jute twine that is fully recyclable.
The entry-level iPhone TC comes with 64 meters of M1 Cordage, with power users able to upgrade to what Apple Senior Vice President for Hardware Engineering John Ternus described as “a staggering 256 meters of nonpolluting biodegradable M1 Cordage with a tensile strength of 90 pounds.”
“But that’s not all,” Cook explained. “If you pop out the M1 Cordage, iPhone TC transforms into the all-new Apple® Camera Obscura™, perfect for taking stunning long-exposure selfies.”
iPhone TC begins shipping today, with the 64m model retailing for US$199. The 128m iPhone TC retails for US$299, and the 256m deluxe edition retails for US$499.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s profiteering strategy of planned obsolescence is partially responsible for the earth’s impending environmental catastrophe, while its design choices enable the expansion of worldwide extractive activities like lithium mining, which is responsible for 90% of biodiversity loss and more than half of planet-wide carbon emissions. Mining is linked to human rights abuses, respiratory ailments, dispossession of indigenous territory and labour exploitation. Once the minerals are wrested from the ground, mining companies tend to accumulate profits and leave behind poverty and contamination. These profits only multiply along the vast supply chains that produce electric vehicles, a market Apple is also planning on entering. Access to these technologies is highly unequal, and the communities who suffer the harms of extraction are frequently denied the technological benefits. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making products that strip the populace of their ability to concentrate while acting as a gateway to addictive social media platforms that have enabled a rise in the spread of misinformation that has destabilised democracies and endangered public health, but boy do you people love to eat all this shiny new shit up.
Rachel Wolf Tulley
Information on lithium mining above is adapted from The Rush to ‘Go Electric’ Comes With a Hidden Cost: Destructive Lithium Mining by Thea Reofrancos, published in The Guardian, 14 June 2021.