One of the updates to this year’s flagships from Apple was the replacement of the chassis materials of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max from steel to titanium. Of course, this implies that the company has to buy materials somewhere, and in large quantities, since the Pro models are among the most popular smartphones.
Russia is one of the largest suppliers of titanium, and it has large deposits of this material. However, Apple does not buy titanium from Russia.
In response to a request from employees of the Ukrainian company iLounge, Apple gave an affirmative answer that Russian titanium is not used in the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models.
“Thank you for writing to us. In regard to your question about titanium, we can confirm that our suppliers do not source this material from Russia,” йдеться у відповіді від Apple.
The company did not disclose which country’s titanium was used in its new smartphones. Interestingly, Ukraine could become a supplier of titanium not only to Apple, as it has the largest titanium reserves in Europe. As ZN.UA reported according to the Wall Street Journal, last fall, as part of reducing dependence on China and Russia in this matter, the United States considered titanium supplies from Ukraine, in particular for the aerospace industry.
The publication notes that, according to the US Geological Survey, Ukraine is among the seven global producers of titanium sponge, so it can be an alternative supplier of the material.
The WSJ article, citing informed sources, also noted that “internal political strife and war” have so far prevented this from happening. Nevertheless, the State Department is studying the possibility of cooperation with Ukraine.
“The United States cannot afford to remain dependent on supplies from hostile foreign countries such as China and Russia. Ukraine is not an enemy and has the largest titanium deposits in Europe,” emphasized Congressman Tom Tiffany, who is also a co-sponsor of the defense spending bill.
Meanwhile, former Boeing CEO John Byrne speaks out in favor of Ukraine in the issue of titanium supplies:
Will Ukraine be able to come in and fill this supply gap? We can say for sure that it will definitely be among the places that everyone will pay attention to.
There are bigger obstacles on this path. The only plant in Ukraine is located in Zaporizhzhia, not far from the front line. It used to be controlled by oligarch Dmytro Firtash, but last August the government nationalized the plant. Even so, it will require investment and time to modernize.
The WSJ also mentions the Ukrainian company Velta. The company is currently actively working to increase production and offers its own solutions for manufacturing titanium end products for the aerospace industry.