Apple plans to phase out use of conflict minerals

apple plans phase use conflict minerals

Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Progress Report for 2014 is out and available to read on its official website, and one of the biggest headlines to take away from the publication is the company’s continuing commitment to phasing out the use of conflict minerals.

The term refers to mining operations that finance armed groups and human rights violations, and while no deadline has been set by Apple, the Guardian understands that the company hopes to have its supply chain cleaned up by the end of 2014. Apple has confirmed that its sources of the rare metal tantalum are now all conflict-free, and it hopes to be able to say the same about its tin, tungsten and gold in the months and years to come.

It’s not a straightforward process however, as Senior Vice-President of Operations Jeff Williams told the Financial Times: “The fastest way for Apple to become conflict-free would be to channel our demand through a couple of verified smelters. But quite honestly, if we did that, we could wave our conflict-free flag but it would do nothing to affect the workers on the ground. And so what we are focused on is getting a critical mass of suppliers verified such that we can truly influence the demand situation and change things.”

The 2014 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report also shows a drop in the number of cases of underage child labour that Apple identified (11 active cases as opposed to 106), while more than 97 percent of the logged working weeks at Apple’s suppliers met the minimum requirement of at least one day off in every seven.

The scope of the report has been widened this year to take in a broader range of environmental considerations, including waste disposal and responsible water usage. During 2013, an additional 1.5 million workers at Apple’s suppliers received free training on their rights.

Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime to get faster deliveries with one-day shipping pledge

In a bid to attract more Prime members and increase orders, Amazon is planning to cut in half its two-day delivery pledge for Prime customers worldwide, getting ordered goods to the doorstep in just one day.
Home Theater

Report: Apple AirPods 3 with noise cancellation coming later this year

A report that is decidedly light on details, suggests that Apple could introduce its next generation of fully-wireless earbuds as early as the end of 2019, with noise cancellation as its key feature.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Mobile

Walmart drops a killer deal on the Apple iPad Mini 4 tablet

The Apple iPad still reigns supreme in the tablet market, and the pint-sized 7.9-inch iPad Mini is the perfect everyday carry companion. Now’s the perfect chance to score a deal on the last-gen iPad Mini 4 before it’s gone for good.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Apple

Leaked memo: If your MacBook keyboard dies, Apple will fix or replace in one day

If your Apple MacBook keyboard is problematic, getting it fixed at a Genius Bar just got a lot easier. Apple has now mandated that its Geniuses repair or replace MacBook keyboards by the next working day.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best affordable phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget…
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.
Mobile

Need a minute to yourself? Buy some alone time with the best tablets for kids

Looking to keep those tiny fingers and brains busy? Tablets aren’t just for grown-ups, and many are kid-friendly! Here's our list of the best tablets for kids, with parental controls and plenty of tempting features to satisfy your…
Mobile

Bigger isn’t always better: 5 of the smallest smartphones worth buying

Phones are getting larger and larger, but what options exist for the small-of-hand, or people who just want a phone they can use one-handed? In a world of phablets, some of the smallest smartphones can still pack a punch.
Home Theater

Beats Powerbeats Pro: Everything you need to know about the earphones

Apple will release a fully wireless pair of earphones in May from its Beats brand. The Powerbeats Pro earphones have impressive features to compete with the AirPods, along with a litany of other options. Here's everything we know.