With 85 million iPhones having been sold since 2007, consumers are sitting on $154,700,000 worth of gold or 85,000 ounces of gold. That is because, in each one of those iPhones, there is approximately 0.034 grams of gold, according to the US Geological Survey.
That is approximately $1.82 of gold. In each phone, there are also 16 grams of copper, worth about 12 cents, meaning about $10 million in that base metal overall. With 0.35 grams of silver (29,750,000 ounces), worth 36 cents a pop (30,600,000 altogether), and 0.00034 grams of platinum, approximately 2 cents.
While not an overwhelming amount of metals being sat on in the US, it is still a considerable amount of metals that will only increase over time as Apple continues to make iPhones. There is a chance, to be sure, that the development of new iPhones slows as the models year-to-year change less than the year prior.
More than half of US consumers claim they have two or more cell phones in their household, with an overall trade-in value of $34 billion. New iPhones make up a quarter of that total, as Apple has released since 2007 85 million phones for $50 billion in revenue. Despite a new model each year, users clearly are hoarding their old phones. One-in-five US persons claim they are “too lazy” to sell their old devices.
Apple enjoys one of the higher upgrade rates in the industry at 83% for 2012-201oc3, up 10% from a year prior, according to Morgan Stanley.An interesting question to pose is how much of these precious metals does Apple buy in anticipation of the continuance of the secular bull market in these metals?