Tim Cook Tells Dua Lipa That Kids Aren’t Mining iPhone’s Cobalt

November 18, 2023 @ 3:33 PM

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Dua Lipa for a uncommon podcast interview on her present “Dua Lipa: At Your Service.” The pair lined a variety of matters, however the one which’s drawn listeners’ consideration is Lipa being the primary to publicly ask Cook about the usage of baby labor to mine cobalt for “my new iPhone 15,” a query the CEO was keen to reply… type of.

Lipa stated, “I got here throughout some, like, I assume distressing articles about younger youngsters mining cobalt within the Democratic Republic of Congo. And I assume it’s an advanced difficulty for all tech firms, however, I assume what I used to be questioning is, my new iPhone 15 … are you able to assure that the cobalt in that cellphone has not been mined utilizing baby labor within the DRC?”

“Yes, we will,” Cook stated. “Because we do two issues. Well, initially, I ought to again up and say our goal over time is to take nothing from the earth to make our merchandise.”

He added, “This is an enormous concept of not having to mine something, is to make use of all recycled materials, and at this time we’re utilizing 100% recycled cobalt within the watch and 100% recycled gold, tin, tungsten, and different rare-earth supplies within the watch. So we’re actually, we’re actually happy with this.

“But for these merchandise that we nonetheless do mine, for a few of our different merchandise, we’ve an intense stage of tracing in our provide chain all the way in which again to the mine and the smelter to be sure that the labor used just isn’t baby labor.

“I feel we do a very good job of that,” he concluded.

Not everybody purchased Cook’s reply. Plenty of Redditors took to the positioning to debate the query, with many concluding that it’s seemingly your entire interview was meant as optimistic PR for Apple with Lipa’s questions accredited forward of time.

As one individual put it, “I’m glad they’re now beginning to use 100% recycled mined supplies however I’m skeptical of him saying that the merchandise that do want these supplies are usually not mined by kids. It may very well be some type of technicality the place it’s not kids however nonetheless horrific for the miners.”

Another replied, “The reply is definitely some type of ‘We at Apple don’t run the mines. You’ll need to ask the mining firm CEO.’”

The use of kid labor has been a problem Apple has wrestled with earlier than. In December 2020, The Information reported that considered one of Apple’s companions, Suyin Electronics, relied on baby labor recurrently to provide Apple merchandise. Apple was stated to have discovered in regards to the observe in 2013 and continued to work with the corporate for 3 years.

In December 2019, Apple was considered one of a number of tech firms accused of being complicit within the deaths of a number of kids who died after working in mines within the DRC. The different defendants had been Google, Tesla, Alphabet, Dell and Microsoft. The lawsuit accused the businesses of “knowingly benefiting from and aiding and abetting the merciless and brutal use of younger kids in Democratic Republic of Congo (‘DRC’) to mine cobalt.”

As Lipa fairly particularly requested, Cook’s reply pertained to her new iPhone — not essentially different Apple merchandise, significantly those who got here earlier than.

In their almost 45-minute-long chat, the pair additionally mentioned Cook’s childhood in Alabama, the affect the late Steve Jobs nonetheless has on the corporate and extra. You can watch the total interview on the prime of this story.


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