Overnight the new iPhone 6 SE was released, a mini iPhone just like your old pre 6 phone, nothing too exciting but a welcome addition for a lot of Apple fans out there. A new, smaller iPad Pro, not so exciting but a good idea considering the original iPad pro is just far too large for the masses. As far as announcements go, the situation was looking bland, well that was until they announced a shiny new Robot!! Yes, you are reading correct, a Robot has been born out of Apple. But don’t get too excited, don’t reach for your credit card just yet. This robot is not for sale and it’s only purpose is to rapidly tear down old iPhones, stripping them to their basic components that can be easily shipped off for scrap metal and precious resource recovery. Watch the video, Liam is very impressive, he can tear apart your iPhone in a matter of seconds.
If Apple makes a ‘Liam Pro’ that actually repairs iPhones, this could be the ‘Next big thing’ out of Apple that everyone has been waiting for.
Hopefully he works as reliable as the demonstration, there are 100’s of millions of iphones out in the wild that will need to be diverted from landfill so Liam has some serious work to do. Ideally Apple should just make their phones easily repairable and parts readily available. Instead, as it stands today they glue and seal their devices so tight that most attempts by end users fail miserably, usually rendering their device useless. They even go to the extent of proprietary screws so ordinary screwdrivers can’t be used. It will be interesting what the team at iFixit discover when they open up the new iPhone SE, who knows they may find Apple have had a change of heart and made it a lot easier to repair.
Liam could just be the start of something very special at Apple, something no other mobile phone company has demonstrated in such a spectacular way, how to take back what they churn out on mass and responsibly return back into the recycling loop. But, note to Apple, looking after the environment goes in this order, REPAIR, REUSE, RECYCLE. Its great to see step 3 ticked off perfectly, now please work on Steps 1 and 2. Suggestion to Apple, make a Liam Pro Edition (it can be bigger and slimmer to impress if needed) that goes a step further and FIXES phones in seconds! Please do that Apple. Even better, put one in every Apple flagship store and you’ll have a clear winner. If Apple makes a ‘Liam Pro’ that actually repairs iPhones, this could be the ‘Next big thing’ out of Apple that everyone has been waiting for.
Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll learn more about this robot and what exactly happens to the materials after Liam tears them down. There is still a lot to find out. What percentage of the phone can be successfully recovered? Will Apple be using the recovered materials in new devices? Will Apple be taking the next step and making their devices more repairable rather than expecting users to upgrade continuously. We are hoping Apple isn’t just using fancy robots like Liam as a marketing tool to sell more phone. Could Apple be putting these on display in their flagship stores across the world for people watch there very own phone be impressively recycled before their eyes? I must admit I would go and watch! Bring it on!
We are super impressed with Apple’s new Robot and can’t wait to see just how they use this technology in the future. For those that are interested in repairing your own phone, check out the Fairphone. A phone you can easily fix.