Apple is rumoured to be buying long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners for the first time, according to Bloomberg, in a bid to secure long-term supplies - possibly for an electric car project.
Citing "people familiar with the matter", the report said the Cupertino giant is looking into buying more cobalt to ensure it will have enough of the key battery ingredient, in a move that sounds like it's scared its all going to run out.
And, according to the sources, that's exactly it. It's apparently due to concerns over shortages caused by the recent boom in electric vehicles, and it's hardly surprising considering the iPhone maker is one of the world's largest end users of cobalt as it uses it in all of its device batteries.
Usually the firm would leave such a task in the hands of the firms that make the batteries for its iPhones, iPad and iMacs, but it seems that Apple has deemed sourcing this material is too big a job to not do itself.
And its not like it's just a small amount of the material the iPhone flogger is looking to buy. The sources in the report claim that Apple is looking to sign contracts to secure several thousand metric tons of cobalt a year, for up to five years, or maybe even longer.
Declining to be named as the discussions are confidential, the source said that the firm is in first discussions on cobalt deals with miners were more than a year ago, and it may end up deciding not to go ahead with any deal, another person said.
Last week, it was rumoured that Apple's next major update to iOS, iOS 12, will push it closer to MacOS by offering developers the ability to create iPhone apps that will also run on Apple's desktop operating system.
That's according to Mark Guttman, who claims that Apple's upcoming iOS update, code-named 'Peace' internally, will make it possible for a single third-party app to work across iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.
This functionality will also apparently be folded into Apple's MacOS 10.14 update, codenamed 'Liberty', and will see some of Apple's own iPhone apps, including Home, coming to the firm's desktop operating system.
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