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back to article SMELT YOU LATER: Apple announces conflict-free status

Apple has announced that it is now at least partially conflict-mineral-free after confirming that its suppliers use only ethically sourced tantalum. This follows hot on the heels of Intel announcing that they've achieved the same feat. While it's not a perfect result, it is an advance in civilisation and doing the right thing. …

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Anonymous Coward

This is one thing Samsung should copy. I can't imagine they will though.

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Anonymous Coward

Not that I'm a racist...

...it's just that they're Korean.

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Anonymous Coward

Repairing any iPad becomes a conflict zone.

Since when did all that glue become green may I ask?

Apple produce disposable goods.

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting that it's Intel and Apple first. Two manufacturers that are at the higher price point in the market place. At the cheaper end of the market I wonder if the same will happen or if they will just keep getting the cheapest deal possible.

We've had ethically produced products for decades, but they are always slightly more expensive than the equivalent product and are always less popular with the great unwashed, mainly because the majority of people consider saving for their twice yearly holiday to Mallorca more important than saving the lives of thousands of people being worked to the bone daily.

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Maybe, just maybe, those 'unwashed' people you refer to need to buy cheaply so that they can, you know, eat.

Many people out there on the breadline who have never have a holiday.

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Not sure you read the article. With the enactment of Dodd-Frank, the Intel/Apple method is now the cheapest method.

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Anonymous Coward

"Maybe, just maybe, those 'unwashed' people you refer to need to buy cheaply so that they can, you know, eat.

Many people out there on the breadline who have never have a holiday."

I didn't call them "unwashed" people I referred to them as the great unwashed, a well know collective term for the general public. Personally I would say that working in a mine run by slavers, being forced to work long hours without a break, food or water in 30+ degree heat is worse than someone having to have 2 rather than 3 eggs for tea because they bought the slightly more expensive version (we are talking no more than £1 difference here). But I suppose that is the difference between someone who actually gives a shit and someone who would rather be comfortable whilst other people suffer greatly.

"With the enactment of Dodd-Frank, the Intel/Apple method is now the cheapest method."

How sweet that you naively believe that this is the case. Western countries love to think that they can implement a solution that always works, but I guarantee you that the criminals will find a way around the "problem" and will still be able to supply the product, and companies will buy that product and claim it is still ethical because it passed the testing process. It's something we have seen in Africa for decades with various different products. The only solution that has been effective so far is in a total ban on trading the items (such as ivory) and that isn't even 100% effective either.

Just look at the horse meat saga for proof. The larger companies buying the end product had no clue of the meat used, despite their being all these checks already in place and the meat being certified by all the relevant government departments.

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Anonymous Coward

How sweet that you naively believe that this is the case.

Jesus, could you patronise that up for me? Talking down to people doesn't make you sound clever or informed, it makes you sound like an arrogant dick.

And your insistence that hunger in a far away place is more important than hunger here is wrong, the frightening growth in the number of uk food banks isn't because people are saving for their holidays....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How sweet that you naively believe that this is the case.

"Jesus, could you patronise that up for me? Talking down to people doesn't make you sound clever or informed, it makes you sound like an arrogant dick."

Course it does love, course it does.

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> How sweet that you naively believe that this is the case. Western countries love to think that they can implement a solution that always works, but I guarantee you that the criminals will find a way around the "problem" and will still be able to supply the product, and companies will buy that product and claim it is still ethical because it passed the testing process.

Gosh, how amazingly clever of you to work that out. Of course, that reasoning applies to both methods, so, all other things being equal, the Intel/Apple method is still cheaper than the Dodd-Frank method. Except that all other things aren't equal: as explained in the article, the Intel/Apple method (chemical analysis) is also more effective and difficult to fool than the Dodd-Frank method (certification). So, unless, you were referring to some third method that you prefer but have neglected to mention, what was your fucking point, exactly?

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A Marine Corps?

You mean Para's me thinks

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How naïf

adopt the one that both works and is cheaper

I suppose it's possible that the EU might do something sensible (even a stopped clock is right twice a day). But given the hideously incestuous relationships between NGOs and governments (particularly EU governments), I wouldn't bet on it.

As Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes) so astutely observed: "A charity that gets most of its funding from the government is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend."

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So is this the end for.....

fairphone?

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Re: So is this the end for.....

Fairphone is trying to do something a little different.

They want to use the minerals from the area but only non-bandit ones. Everyone else is trying to make sure they do not use bandit ones. So Fairphone are deliberately going into the area (or their proxies etc are) acquiring local but non bandit ores to process.

So instead of a phone that doesn't use bandit stuff, we've a phone that is non-bandit but is also helping the legitimate artisanal miners in the area.

In the long run this will increase the difference in price between bandit and non-bandit ores which would be a good thing. It will increase the incentive to mine i a non-bandit manner in the area.

I've no idea whether it will work but happy to give them credit for the attempt.

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Not the end for fairphone

There's more to Fairphone model than conflict-free minerals. One is the 'fair-trade' concept right through the supply chain, so factory workers in China etc get paid decently. Another is hardware and software platforms that are as open as possible - Rootable with any OS image out-of-the box, dual-sim, replaceable battery and as much as possible replaceable and user-repairable parts. And yet another is built-in recyclabilty of as many parts as possible.

They're still far from their own (very ambitious) target of completely reuse/recycle every phone component, modular components that users can pick and choose etc but at the moment they're way ahead of the curve.

Oh, and it's half the cost of an iPhone for a pretty similair spec

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This is all well and good

But if Dodd/Frank is already law, then surely this (vastly more sensible option) doesn't fulfil the necessary requirements for it? Surely the bureaucrats haven't shuffled enough papers, and NGOs haven't leeched enough blood?

I'd like to think the EU might have a modicum of sense when it comes to this, but then I remember that EU bureaucracy makes American bureaucracy look positively amateur.

This is now a political issue, which, like all political issues, requires nonsensical actions coupled with taxpayer signed blank cheques to "solve". Do we really think that this sensible approach has any hope at succeeding?

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Re: This is all well and good

I think the relevant parts of Dodd-Frank haven't come into force quite yet. But it also may be that it won't work anyway.

So this system will be the bit that mostly works. And the Dodd-Frank one will be the vast paper-shuffling exercise, where the bad guys manage to bribe the right people to get the required stamp on the right form, and so pass Dodd-Frank. And then hopefully still fail to sell their stuff, because of the smelters.

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Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock...

As everyone knows, Paper destroys Spock, which seems to be happening here.

And we all know what happened to the piece of paper deemed "Peace in our time".

NGOs like to throw tantrums. It is the only way they can justify their existence (*SIGH*).

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4bn?

I can't imagine how asking people to fill in a form can add up to 4bn of any currency!

Care to enlighten us?

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