By 2025, your new iPhone could be basically the same phone you have now

As Apple press on with their sustainability targets, more and more recycled material will make it into their products

The internals of the iPhone 14
(Image credit: Apple)

Critics of the iPhone will often tell you that there's no big difference between models. Look at the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 side-by-side – there's not a huge change going on between generations.

But what if I told you that the brand new iPhone you buy in 2025 could be mostly the exact same phone you have in your pocket right now? Well, that's pretty much true.

As part of Apple's efforts to boost sustainability in their devices, the company has announced a plan to make some materials in their devices 100% recycled by 2025. In particular, Apple are planning to make all of the cobalt in their batteries, and the rare earth elements in their magnets, 100% recycled within that timeframe.

In addition, they're planning to make 100% of the tin soldering and gold plating on their own printed circuit boards recycled, too. When combined, that could make up a hefty portion of rarer materials in Apple products.

This isn't a new trend, either. According to Apple, in 2022, "over two-thirds of all aluminium, nearly three-quarters of all rare earths, and more than 95% of all tungsten in Apple products [were sourced] from 100% recycled material."

The end goal, they say, is to one day use 100% recycled or renewable materials in all of their devices. It's a noble effort.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of this. Waste from tech products is a serious issue, and this is a solution that helps to save some of the most problematic materials to source. Sure, there are always other things that could be done – nothing is perfect – but we should recognise these efforts for what they are.

So, in 2025, when you're unboxing your shiny new iPhone 17 and someone says, "It's basically the same as the old one," they just might be right. 

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.