At a dedicated factory with 24-hour security in an undisclosed location in Hong Kong, iPhones are being carefully and meticulously destroyed.
The plant is one of a handful around the world, chosen by Apple Inc. to grind up and recycle its iconic phones. And just as the companies that manufacture the handsets are subject to strict standards and secrecy, the same applies in reverse for their disassembly, right down to weighing the shreds, to make sure nothing is lost.
Apple has sold more than 570 million iPhones since that January morning nine years ago when Steve Jobs stepped on stage in San Francisco to “reinvent the phone.” Even Apple doesn’t know how many of those phones are still out there -- in the hands of their second, third or fourth owner, or sitting forgotten in a drawer. But the company wants to ensure as few as possible end up in landfills.