Apple is rightly getting some adulation for its new robot that can autonomously disassemble new iPhones so that their components can be recycled. The company could instead use a much simpler move to signal that it’s actually dedicated to reducing its environmental impact: Apple should start selling screwdrivers.
Running at full speed, the robot, Liam, is capable of disassembling 1.2 million iPhones every year. As many have already pointed out, Apple sells roughly 230 million iPhones annually. Unless Apple starts mass producing Liams and sending them out to independent recycling facilities—which isn’t happening anytime soon considering the robot is proprietary, very large, and very expensive—Liam is unlikely to make much of a dent in overall smartphone recycling numbers worldwide.