Technology

Imagination likely to see Apple royalties slashed, then end

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The Apple Inc. store is seen in Los Angeles California U.S

It's not only companies in the iPhone's supply chain that can be affected if Apple changes things up.

Apple has set a lofty goal for itself: use only renewable materials in its products to protect the environment and avoid "blood minerals".

"One day, we'd like to be able to build new products with just recycled materials, including your old products", Apple says on its updated Environment site.

Apple's ambition to halt mining for rare metals and toxic materials has a small catch, however: it isn't completely sure how to do it. In an interview with VICE, Apple vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson commented on the mining plan, saying "it's where technology should be going".

Limiting the materials the company uses will have less of a negative environmental impact as well as helping the company to combat human rights abuses associated with its supply chain.

"Apple's announcement comes less than a month after Samsung's commitment to refurbish and recycle 4.3 million Galaxy Note 7s recalled worldwide, sending a strong signal to Samsung and the rest of the sector that much greater innovation is possible", it added.

If the newly leaked schematics are anything to go by, Apple could be taking a very different direction with the 2017 iPhone 8, also rumored to be called iPhone Edition - a really, horribly ugly one.

Apple described some of the initiatives it has in place to hit its goal. UBS forecasts Apple is likely to ratchet down the royalty rate it now pays of around $0.30 to closer to $0.10 - the rate Imagination charges customers such as MediaTek.

Apple has a history of being one of the most environmentally conscious companies, and it's about to take those efforts a step further. For example, it melted down the aluminum enclosures on the iPhone 6 to make Mac mini computers to use in its factories and it said that it is moving to 100% recycled tin solder on the main logic board of iPhone 6s.

"They also have control over how the products are designed and should be made with an eye toward making products easier to fix so they have a longer lifespan" Greenpeace Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook told Vice News. For instance, the company says it's facilities now run on 96 percent renewable energy - up from 93 percent the year before.

But analysts are anticipating the potential for Apple's growth in India will be huge, reports the Nikkei, helped along by increasing competition among telecom companies.

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